Community Development is a Good Investment Strategy – Mary McMurtrey Speaks Out

Mary McMurtrey  wrote an important and informative article for the Community Builder’s Network. We would like to share this insightful article with you and ask that you share it with others.


Mary McMurtrey is currently the Director of Community Engagement for the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation.  She previously served as President of the Gateway Center for Giving (formerly The Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy) for over six years.  Prior to joining The Center, she served as the Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis and before changing sectors to human services she served as the Executive Director of the Wildlife Rescue Center.  Before entering the field of nonprofit management, Mary was the communications officer for the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she was recruited to create a new position within the PPRC and to direct the organization’s communications and marketing efforts as an established professional entity in the St. Louis policy arena with a focus on both regional and national issues.  Mary lives in Ladue with her husband Michael and their children, Sophia and Lyla.

Mary is a great proponent of non-profit fund development in St. Louis, enthusiastic and forward thinking. Please read on:

Our region fundamentally lacks the community development infrastructure needed to incent local and national development dollars. This is deeply troubling, as it means we are leaving meaningful philanthropic dollars on the table. The community development initiatives we choose to support must make business sense, but they must also help improve the quality of life for the people who live in those communities.

Think about it. Services exist in a place.  A community.  As such, before allocating dollars to a worthy cause, as funders I believe we have an obligation to give equal weight to the quality of life for the people within those communities. We need to think beyond our funding niche, and also focus on community and economic development and give those issues the attention they deserve. READ MORE.