Greehey Family Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Greehey Family Foundation mostly makes grants in Bexar County, Texas, supportinghealth and human welfare issues, children's causes, education, and the homeless. The foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Bill Greehey, chairman of the board of NuStar Energy, and family.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, Human Services, Children, Education

IP TAKE: Greehey is focused on Bexar County, but states that it is open to other regions, provided they're within the foundation's grantmaking focus areas. Almost all of the foundation's grants are made in Texas.

PROFILE: Bill Greehey grew up poor in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He served four years in the United States Air Force and attended St. Mary’s University, graduating with an accounting degree. He landed a job at Price Waterhouse, and later worked at Exxon and Coastal Corp. Greehey went on to serve as chairman of Valero, and currently chairs NuStar Energy, in San Antonio, Texas.

Greehey, his wife Louree and family have also engaged in philanthropy. The Greehey Family Foundation was established in 2003, when Greehey provided $40 million in initial funding. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $8.5 million, with nonprofits throughout San Antonio and Bexar County receiving most of Greehey's support. The Foundation's emphasis is on supporting health and human welfare issues, children's causes, education, and the homeless.

The foundation is accessible with a website and a clear list of guidelines for grantseekers. Grant applications can be submitted via snail mail or email. Assets have been around $199 million lately.

Past education grants include support of Alamo Heights High School PTO, Butler Community College, Junior Achievement of South Texas, KIPP Aspire Academy (which recently received a $1 million grant), McMurry University, San Antonio Academy, St. Edward's University, Texas A&M University, and special education school The Arc Of San Antonio. Texas A&M University-San Antonio received a $1 million endowment gift to support scholarships for first generation students. A $5 million grant went to University of Texas and Greehey's alma mater St. Mary's University has received tens of millions, including a $1 million gift for the Greehey Scholars Program.

The Greehey Foundation also supports a number of human services outfits in Texas. Recent grantees include Galveston County Food Bank, Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries, House Of Neighborly Service, Inner City Development, "a nonprofit, community-based organization that responds to emergency, educational, and recreational needs of the neighborhood on the near Westside of San Antonio," Madonna Neighborhood Center, Martinez Street Women's Center, Merced Housing Texas, Pay it Forward Ministries, a recovery and rehabilitation outfit, and American Red Cross. Large sums have also gone to Haven for Hope, a Greehey chaired outfit which provides services for the homeless. Haven for Hope received a $1 million grant.

Greehey also supports youth and children in Texas. Funds of late have gone to outfits such as Any Baby Can, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, Boysville, "a comprehensive, residential care facility in south Texas, providing support and a home for children," Brighton Center, which provides early childhood services, Child Advocates San Antonio, Children's Hunger Fund, Kinetic Kids, which supports children with special needs, and San Antonio Youth Literacy.

The foundation also makes a number of health grants, with recent support going to Cancer Center Council, Down Syndrome Association Of South Texas, HeartGift San Antonio, Project MEND, which "empowers individuals to become active members of their communities through the reuse of medical equipment," Ready Or Not Foundation, which deals with brain cancer, and San Antonio AIDS Foundation. The foundation has given large sums to UT Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), including a $25 million gift. A $5 million gift went to the outfit, and a $3 million gift went to Glenn Biggs Alzheimer Center at UTHSCSA. 

Money has also gone to cultural and civic organizations such as San Antonio Botanical Garden, which received a $500,000 grant in a recent year, San Antonio Parks Foundation, San Antonio River Foundation, and the Hidalgo Foundation of Bexar County, which "operates exclusively for the charitable, literary, historical, and educational purpose for the sole benefit of Bexar County, Texas." Recent support has also gone to Accion Texas, which provides credit to start up and established small businesses.

 PEOPLE:

  • Bill Greehey, President
  • Louree B. Greehey, Vice President
  • Julie Bedell, Administrator 

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