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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

November 23, 2016


Pooled Purchasing: Leveraging Economies of Scale for Efficiency and Impact

By Constance Siu, Intern at the Community Builders Network and Master of Social Work Candidate at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis

Community building organizations, simply put, are having a difficult time sustaining themselves financially. Not only are many unable to support themselves for an extended period of time on reserves alone, but many are operating on a deficit. With fewer funding streams supporting operational costs as many foundations move to a more issue- or place-based approach, there is a need for organizations to start thinking more strategically and collaboratively about the future in order to survive and thrive. 

The need to collaborate at an operational level drove the Community Builders Network to look for ways to support their members in this area, giving way to the inception of the Professional Services Support Program. Modeled after a similar program in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Professional Services Support Program borrows the basic value proposition from companies like Costco where members access items and services in a pooled manner allowing for discounted rates.

Sounds simple, right? Well, that’s because it is! However, for such a simple model, it isn’t as widespread in the nonprofit realm as you might think—especially since a model such as this has immense benefits for its participants.

To read more of this week's op-ed, click here.

We invite readers to contribute to the civic conversation about community development in St. Louis by writing an op-ed for the Community Builders Exchange. Op-eds should be short (400-700 words) and provocative. If you have an idea for an op-ed, contact Todd Swanstrom at
Save the Date For CBN's Fifth Annual Awards Reception!
CBN will be hosting their Fifth Annual Awards Reception on April 27th, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 pm! The event will be held at Washington University's Clark-Fox Forum at 6350 Forsyth Boulevard. CBN will be accepting nominations for awardees through February 22nd, 2017. Click here to access a nomination form and save-the-date flyer. We'll be sharing more details about the reception in the coming weeks.

Uncertainty About Trump's Effect on Housing and Community Development Policies
The future of housing and community development policy under the Trump administration remains unclear. A recent article from CityLab summed up key issues to consider, including President-elect Trump's appointment for HUD Secretary, whether the new administration will implement or eliminate President Obama's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, the future of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, and whether the administration will support or undermine fair housing efforts. The article notes that the Trump Administration could have unique opportunities to serve both rural and urban America. Click here to read the full story.

DeSales Community Housing Triples The Size of Its Property Management Business
Last month, DeSales Community Housing Corporation finalized the acquisition of Community Asset Management Company (CAMCO), a property management company created and previously owned by the St. Louis Equity Fund. The move has tripled the size of DeSales' housing portfolio and staff and means big growth for the CDC, which entered the property management business in 2005 with the creation of Fox Grove Management. The DeSales team is confident that the acquisition will help further their ongoing efforts to make a positive impact on the neighborhoods they serve. Click here to read more.

Lemay Homes Completed and At Full Occupancy
Rise Community Development (Rise) and Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc. (LHP) celebrated the completion and grand opening of Lemay Homes with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the morning of November 15th. The project's 40 new single-family homes are affordable to families earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income and are fully occupied. Speakers at the ribbon cutting discussed the positive effects that Lemay Homes has had on the community, including an increase in students in the Hancock Place School District. Click here to view the full story and photos from the event.

$75 Million in New Markets Tax Credits To Become Available Next Week
St. Louis Development Corporation plans to advertise $75 million in New Markets Tax Credits next Monday, November 28th. Applicant responses are due January 5th. The New Markets Tax Credit program grants individuals and corporations a federal income tax credit in exchange for qualified investment in Community Development Entities and subsequent re-investment in low-income communities. Click here to read the full story.

Vacant Factory in Forest Park Southeast to Become Loft Apartments and Retail Space
A new St. Louis real estate company is planning to convert the Woodward & Tiernan Printing Co. building at Tower Grove and Vandeventer into 160 loft-style apartments with retail space on the ground floor. The factory's "daylight" design will mean high ceilings and large windows for the apartment units. Developers plan to finance the project with support from historic preservation tax credits and potential tax abatement from the city. Click here to read more.

OneSTL wants Your Stories!
OneSTL is a regional sustainable development plan that highlights collaborative goals for the future of St. Louis and resources, tools, and strategies to help accomplish those goals. Each year, the OneSTL team invites local individuals and organizations to share their stories about a project, program, collaboration, plan, or strategy that helps tell the story of the St. Louis area's efforts to become a healthier, more prosperous, and more vibrant region. Submissions are due to by December 15th. Click here for more information. 

CityNexus Tool from Harvard Kennedy School Tackles Data Silos to Help Cities Combat Blight
A team out of Harvard's Kennedy School has created CityNexus, a tool that enables cities to identify high-risk blighted areas by sharing data and collaborating across silos. One of the tool's key strengths is its ability to clean up the variations in different data sets, allowing them to be merged across departments. Researchers hope their work will help cities both respond to existing blight more effectively and prevent blight before it proliferates. Click here for the full story.


What is TIF? Tax Breaks, Segregation, and Racial Equity
This event, hosted by the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), addresses Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and its use in local housing and business development projects. Dr. Molly Metzger of Washington University will discuss TIF and related incentives using a racial equity lens and explore opportunities for policy change. The event will be held at the SLACO offices on November 28th from 6:00-8:00 pm. Click here to sign up.

Strategies for Funding Capital Projects
On November 30th from 11:15 am-1:00 pm, the Rome Group, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Spencer Fane, and Stern Brothers & Co. are hosting a seminar on innovative strategies nonprofits can leverage to fund capital projects. Click here for more information and to register.

NLIHC Webinar: "The Changing Post-Election Landscape for Affordable Housing"
On December 2nd from 12:00-1:00 pm, the President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) will discuss next steps for affordable housing policy in the changing political environment. Click here to sign up for the webinar and here for NLIHC's take on what the new administration could mean for affordable housing.

UMSL Public Policy Administration Speaker Series
Join the Master of Public Policy Administration Program at UMSL on December 6th for the second event in their new speaker series. Joe Reagan, President and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, will share his ideas on revitalizing the future of St. Louis at 6:00 pm in room 404 of the JC Penney Conference Center. Click here to learn more and here to register.

What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series: Tower Grove South
Creating Whole Communities will host the second seminar in its What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series on Thursday, December 8th from 7:30-9:00 am at Hartford Coffee Company. This series explores gaps between communities and the opportunities they represent. December's session focuses on Tower Grove South and surrounding neighborhoods. Click here to sign up.

How Housing Matters Conference
The National Housing Conference, the Urban Institute, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research, and the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing are hosting the How Housing Matters Conference on December 13th in Washington, D.C. The conference seeks to discuss how housing can help promote positive health, education, and economic opportunity outcomes and invites practitioners from different sectors to participate. For more information, click here.

New Partners For Smart Growth Conference
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, the U.S.'s largest smart growth and sustainability event, will convene in St. Louis on February 2nd-4th of 2017. This year's conference is focused on "Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities" and will feature presentations, breakout and training sessions, workshops, peer-to-peer learning, networking, and more. Click here for more information.

People & Places Conference: Spring 2017
Save the date for the People & Places Conference next spring! The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), in partnership with several other organizations, is hosting a peer-learning conference for community development practitioners next May 31st through June 2nd in Arlington, Virginia.


Fundraising Campaign Feasibility, Planning, and Success Strategies
This two-part workshop explores strategies for planning and executing a successful fundraising campaign. Part 1 on November 29th focuses on pre-campaign feasibility studies and planning; Part 2 on December 13th discusses the elements and stages of an effective campaign. Sessions will be held from 4:00-5:30 pm at the St. Louis Public Library Central Branch. Click here for more information.

Fraud Prevention and Detection for Nonprofit Organizations
On December 7th from 2:00-5:00 pm, UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership (NPML) program is hosting a class on types of fraud, recent examples of fraud, and strategies nonprofit organizations can use to detect and prevent fraud and embezzlement. Click here for more information and to register.

Asset Management Training from the Brown School of Social Work, NeighborWorks America
Registration is open for the next course in this series, to be held January 9th-13th. This three-course certificate program, Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management, prepares professionals with key skills and knowledge to successfully manage property and services, maximize performance, and strategize sustainable growth. Courses can be taken as stand-alone opportunities or in pursuit of NeighborWorks America's "Asset Management Specialist" designation. Click here for details.


November 26
South Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 30
North Newstead Association Community Development Celebration

December 3
Cherokee Street Print Bazaar

December 3
South Grand Grinchmas Celebration

December 4
4th Annual Crestwood Nite of Lights: Give and Glow Celebration

December 7
Beyond Housing Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert

December 22
New Music Showcase Holiday Ball Annual Fundraising Concert (Rise Benefit)



The Community Builders Exchange would like to highlight a map relevant to community development in each issue. Please let us know if you have a map that would be of interest to our readers.

This week, we're sharing an interactive map from City Observatory that examines poverty and population change in the St. Louis region. To view this week's map, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is put out by the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, with the support of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision at UMSL, to bring you quality up-to-date community development information, analysis, and opinion.

Social Innovation District RFQ: Community Engagement Services
The Social Innovation District (SID) is seeking a consultant to facilitate and undertake community engagement activities related to the potential development of a nonprofit co-location hub in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis. Project work will take place between January 1st and March 1st of 2017, and applications are due December 9th. Click here for more information and the full Request for Qualification (RFQ).

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration Winter 2016 Notice of Funding Availability
The Winter 2016 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is now available from the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration (CDA). LRA inspections will end on Deccember 23rd and final applications are due December 30th. Click here to learn more and to access NOFA materials online. Questions related to the NOFA should be directed to

HUD Utility Benchmarking Technical Assistance Opportunity
In an effort to familiarize Public Housing Authorities and owners of some HUD-assisted multifamily housing with their utility consumption and associated costs, on October 4th HUD announced a proposed reporting rule that would require owners to benchmark utility usage within their housing portfolios. HUD, the Environmental Defense Fund, and TDA Consulting have announced the Climate Corps for Affordable Housing Summer Fellowship program to offer free, full-time related technical assistance to high-need owners during 2017. For more information, please contact Josh Geyer at

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence aims to promote innovative thinking about the built environment and further conversation about how we can make cities better. The award, which includes a $50,000 Gold Medal and four $10,000 Silver Medals, is granted to urban places distinguished by quality design as well as social and economic contributions. The deadline to apply is December 8th. Click here to learn more.

EPA Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites applications from governmental, quasi-governmental, and tribal groups interested in the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites. Assessment and cleanup grants are considered and awarded separately. Applications for the FY 2017 funding cycle for both programs are due December 20th. Click the links above to learn more.

CSH Show Me Healthy Housing Fund
The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), a national Community Development Financial Institution and expert in supportive housing and lending, has introduced a new acquisition and predevelopment loan pool in Missouri, the Show Me Healthy Housing Loan Fund. This fund draws on funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health and CSH's national loan pool to finance predevelopment costs associated with high-impact supportive housing projects. Click here to read more.

Kresge Foundation Local Systems Program
The Kresge Foundation is accepting applications for its Local Systems program, which supports cross-sector, cross-disciplinary projects that integrate arts and culture into community revitalization efforts and promote creative placemaking. Nonprofit organizations and government entities working with disinvested communities are invited to apply. Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Click here for more information.

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging from $250 to $2,500. Applicants should operate within the service area of a Walmart, Sam's Club, or other Walmart facility. Applications will be accepted through December 31st. For more information, click here.
City of St. Louis: Community Development Research Analyst
The City of St. Louis is hiring a Community Development Research Analyst to research and analyze demographic, housing, and economic data related to city development. Applicants should have relevant background education and/or experience in research, economics, statistics, systems analysis, and/or computer programming. The deadline to apply is December 2nd. Click here for more information.

Urban Strategies: Director of Finance
Urban Strategies is looking for a Director of Finance to oversee its Finance Department and perform high-level accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting functions. This position is responsible for maintaining systems and procedures that support successful program implementation, flawless audits, and compliance with good internal controls. Applications are due December 5th. Click here to apply.

Great Rivers Greenway: Accountant
Great Rivers Greenway is seeking an Accountant to manage accounts payable, cash receipts, employee expenditure reimbursements, and fixed asset tracking. This position is responsible for ensuring that transactions, reconciliations, and financial reports are completed accurately and on time. Applications are due December 1st. Click here to learn more.

Elevate energy: Missouri Field Lead
Elevate Energy is hiring a Missouri Field Lead to support development and implementation of multifamily green building and energy efficiency services in Missouri. This remote role is based in Missouri but reports directly to a Chicago-based supervisor. The Field Lead manages local energy efficiency retrofit projects and field work related to utility contracts and green building consulting. Ideal candidates will have experience and technical expertise with multifamily buildings. Click here to learn more.

Gateway Greening: Manager of Communications
Gateway Greening is looking for a Manager of Communications to manage their communication and marketing efforts, including programs in print and digital communications as well as consulting design. This role also works in the organization's gardens and provides assistance with fundraising events. Click here for more information.

Housing Authority of St. Louis County: Deputy Director of Finance and Administration
The Housing Authority of St. Louis County is looking for a Deputy Director of Finance and Administration to direct and manage accounting and financial reporting, as well as functions of treasury management, procurement, insurance, and facilities management. Applicants should have strong knowledge of accounting, governmental principles, fiscal and administrative management, and local government procedures and policies. Applications are due November 30th. Click here for more information.

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy: Opportunity for High School Students
Know a high school student who wants to learn more about philanthropy while helping the community? Youthbridge Foundation's Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) of St. Louis is accepting applications through December 31st. Program participants will receive mentorship and engage in professional development while giving back through grantmaking and fund allocation projects. Click here to learn more.
Research Links Time Spent In Subsidized Housing to Positive Life Outcomes Among Adults
The National Bureau of Economic Research released a report last month that links years spent living in subsidized housing with positive adult life outcomes. The study used a national-level longitudinal data set to track how child residence in public and voucher-assisted housing affected earnings at age 26 and incarceration rates in April of 2010. Researchers compared outcomes among siblings in the same household to isolate the effect of subsidized housing. Overall, they found that each year a teenager lived in subsidized housing predicted an increase in earnings and a decreased likelihood of incarceration. Click here to read a summary from Housing Matters and here to download the study. 
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