An archway entrance to Saint Louis University
chuteme | Flickr | Creative Commons

Would you pay a few thousand bucks to sit on the bench during a Saint Louis University basketball game as an honorary coach? Or be willing to round all your university purchases up to the next dollar and turn the difference into a donation instead of pocket change?

Those are just a couple of the hundreds of ideas submitted to a program called GrowingSLU, an effort to bolster the university through programs, academic or not, that contribute to both its mission and its bottom line.

Members of Blank Generation play Marquette Pool opening this summer. The group headlined a Play for the Cause show at Off Broadway yesterday.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis nonprofit called Playing for the Cause is trying to connect philanthropic musicians and their fans to causes they care about. Lynn Cook founded the organization on one simple idea.

“If you have 3,000 happy people in front of you every night, all you have to do is ask and of course they’re going to support you,” said Cook.

Henry Biggs
Courtesy of Henry Biggs

Henry Biggs, an entrepreneur and former dean at Washington University in St. Louis, had a big goal in mind that involved a 27-mile swim for a good cause.

On July 15, Biggs swam around Manhattan to raise funds for educational and mentoring initiatives in Ferguson.

Urb Arts fundraising poster
Courtesy of Urb Arts

Urban Artist Alliance for Child Development known as Urb Arts, a community arts organization, hopes to raise $72,000 in 72 hours. Founder MK Stallings said the money will fund the organization's purchase of a building in north St. Louis to remake as a new arts center.

“A professional performing arts center for community artists would elevate, I would say, the game for a lot of community artists in St. Louis,” said Stallings, the administrative and creative force behind Urb Arts.

St. Louis Art Museum East Building
Jacob Sharp/Image courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum and Architectural Wall Systems

St. Louis Art Museum board member Barbara Taylor and her husband Andrew Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings, Inc., recently donated $5 million dollars for a new sculpture garden at the museum. Carl Ham, head of development for the museum, praised the Taylors for their foresight and said the gift would fund both construction and an endowment for maintenance.

“It’s the rare exception and real benefit to organizations when people like the Taylors make a gift that makes possible both,” Ham said.

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Miles Davis once said, “Always look ahead, but never look back.” Yet some Alton residents believe looking back is a matter of pride.

The Miles Davis Memorial Project maintains a varied fundraising approach in its effort to erect a statue in Davis’ honor. The group has held events, started Indiegogo campaigns and gathered donations.