The Arts and Education Council has received more than $9 million from Edward Jones over a 38-year partnership.

In 2016, financial-services Edward Jones and its associates contributed more than $976,000 to the Arts and Education Council’s annual campaign, which benefits nearly 70 grantee organizations with financial support, professional development opportunities and incubation services through A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts.

Campaign partner chair Mike Fross and associate co-chairs Mary Pat Thompson and Irasa Downing led the home office campaign, which kicked off in May and raised more than $609,000 from 2,700 associates and partners.  More than 200 associates volunteered on Edward Jones’s A&E Campaign Committee to create fun and engaging ways for associates to learn about A&E, its grantees and to contribute to the arts in the St. Louis community.

In September, Edward Jones continued its A&E Workplace Giving initiative with a campaign involving area financial advisors and branch office administrators. Chaired by Financial Advisor and Regional Leader Annette Meyer, the Branch A&E Campaign raised more than $42,000.

“The United States is by far the most charitable country in the world,” said Cynthia A. Prost, A&E President and CEO.  “Contributions to charity comprise nearly 2% of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and total over $316 billion.

“There are few other private partnerships that embody America’s exceptional generosity better than Edward Jones,” Prost continues.  “The firm’s associates and partners not only generously contribute financial resources to the arts, but they also contribute their most precious asset of time to ensure that arts and culture remain critical assets to our region’s vitality and livability.”

In recognition of its strong commitment to creating a more vibrant community in St. Louis, Edward Jones matched its associates’ contributions with a corporate gift of $325,000, increasing the financial firm’s total commitment to A&E to more than $976,000.

Edward Jones has supported the Arts and Education Council for 38 years, during which time the firm and its associates have provided A&E with outstanding leadership and invested more than $9 million in arts and arts education throughout the 16-county, bi-state region.

“A foundation of our Edward Jones culture is giving back to our local communities because we believe everyone benefits when we create better places to live,” Managing Partner Jim Weddle says. “I’m proud that nearly three-quarters of our associates participated in our record-setting campaign to support the arts.”

The Arts and Education Council recognized the company’s impressive commitment to St. Louis’s arts and culture industry by awarding Edward Jones the “Corporate Support for the Arts” award at the 1998 St. Louis Arts Awards and the  “Corporate Champion of the Arts” at the 2014 St. Louis Arts Awards. Weddle and his wife Stacey chaired the 25th annual St. Louis Arts Awards in January 2016.  Edward Jones was also recognized nationally for its charitable support for the arts when it received an Americans for the Arts’ 2014 BCA10 Award as one of the nation’s “Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America”.

For more information about hosting an A&E Workplace Giving Campaign, visit V

Via Press Release