What We Do
We identify opportunities, make connections, and fund initiatives.
Treat the Problem, Not the Symptom
Addressing the root causes of poverty in under-resourced communities
Focus on Key Issues
Increasing equity in key issue areas of disparity: quality education, juvenile justice, youth employment, human trafficking, and economic justice
Empower & Engage
Engaging communities in problem-solving and empowering them to have control of their own circumstances
Invest in Real Change
Uniting funders and other stakeholders in pursuing systemic change
The Incarnate Word Foundation promotes efforts in our community to empower the poor and marginalized, especially women, children, and seniors, to attain quality of life.
Research and listen to identify needs
We believe it’s both effective and respectful to engage the communities we serve in devising their own solutions, and to leverage data & research to guide investment.
Convene stakeholders and funders
We pursue solutions to complex issues that require diverse stakeholders to work together.
Fund organizations to advance equity
Our grant funding is one tool of many that we use to effect change. We fund innovative solutions that are addressing the root causes of poverty and effective work that addresses issues of racial disparity and creates opportunity.
Empower youth for leadership
As we listen, convene, and fund, our role often allows us to see “gaps.” In these cases, we leverage our relationships, funding, and infrastructure to launch creative, cross-sector strategies.
The Incarnate Word Foundation is a catalyst and funder of innovative projects to respond to our community’s most pressing needs. Here are some examples of the initiatives which the Foundation collaborates on with other community leaders:
The St. Joseph Housing Initiative is a faith-based, nonprofit entity seeking to produce quality housing for low- and moderate-income families in the St. Louis area, launched by Archbishop Carlson and the Incarnate Word Foundation in the summer of 2018.
STL Youth Jobs connects young people ages 16-24 with meaningful employment while building transferable job skills. STL Youth Jobs’ mission is to bridge the divide between our region’s youth and the growing skills gap in our workforce.
In response to COVID-19’s disruption of youth programs and school schedules, the Foundation is coordinating with neighborhood community services to curb violence and support programs to engage young people.
The Art Place Initiative seeks to build wealth and equity for low- and moderate-income artists of all disciplines in the Gravois Park area of St. Louis. Artists who qualify will have a commitment to living and working in St. Louis, demonstrate professionalism at their craft, and prove financial capacity.
In Fall 2019, Incarnate Word Foundation hosted the second convocation of Missouri funders who invest in child-serving agencies to discuss the “Effects of Missouri Budget & Policy on Children and Families.” Presenters included Missouri State Representative Kip Kendrick, Ruth Ehresman of the Missouri Budget Project, along with many care center representatives sharing their experiences from the field.
The pandemic has exacerbated long-running issues for people living in poverty in the St. Louis area and across the country. This disenfranchisement has made access to virus testing and essential medical and behavioral health services nearly impossible. The Incarnate Word Foundation is supporting the work of St. Louis area health care advocates and leaders to address this need.
A call to RECONnect, RECONcile, and RECONsecrate:
An Invitation for St. Louis to Come Together, Learn Together, and Engage in Reuniting Divided Communities
Incarnate Word Foundation and its community partners will host opportunities for St. Louis to listen to experts, share ideas, and participate in respectful discourse on race, religion, response to violence, evolving social structures, responsible use of social media—all topics which have historically divided our community and wield power to block present and future creative response.
Our mission, grounded in the belief that God became human and dwells in all persons, challenges us to rediscover the beauty and value of diverse peoples, opinions, and approaches to problem-solving. We invite all who honestly seek truth to have a voice at the table.
Let us join together in rediscovering civility, believing that respect is at the heart of understanding and building life-giving communities.
Grant Partner Spotlight
We deeply value the work of our grantees and view each one as a partner toward enacting community change. If you are interested in becoming a partner, take a look at our grant opportunities.
A Vision for St. Louis
The Incarnate Word Foundation believes in a community where the poor and marginalized have the ability to attain quality of life. Through our grant making processes, IWF supports the work of organizations who also believe in this kind of community and are actively working to advance equity and well-being in St. Louis. As we work together to envision and bring forth this reality, we asked grant partners to talk to us about their vision for St. Louis and highlight ways they are working toward this vision.