San Antonio Area Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: This community foundation supports a wide range of program areas with special emphasis on children and youth, seniors, women, African Americans, and Hispanics. Only Bexar County and the 13 surrounding counties are considered for grants.

FUNDING AREAS: Animal services, arts and culture, biomedical research, children and youth, medicine and healthcare, seniors and community at large, high school completion, strengthening nonprofits, African Americans, Hispanics, women and girls.

IP TAKE: There are a lot of things that SAAF funds, but focus on one the four key initiatives: animal no-kill efforts, high school completion, military support, and strengthening nonprofits. Look into what's being funded in the next grant cycle for community grants, too.

PROFILE: The San Antonio Area Foundation was established in 1964 and serves as the city of San Antonio’s community foundation. It has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarships and grants, including funding for youth, environmental preservation, animal protection, research and human services. There are over 500 funds under management at the foundation today.

In a recent year, the foundation reported over $901 million in assets, which jumped dramatically from $276 million due to a major donor gift. With more giving power now, the foundation has at least 500 funds under management and distributed at least $32 million in grants and scholarships. That figure is up from $22 million the year prior. These are the general areas in which the foundation awards grants, along with details about the specific focus within those areas:

  • Animal Services: Health and wellness of animals, educates the community about animal care, provide spay/neuter and/or adoption services.
  • Arts & Culture: Accessibility to the arts, encourages broad participation from all parts of the community, provide arts education and outreach.
  • Biomedical Research: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease.
  • Children & Youth - Programs that enable children and families to lead safe and productive lives.
  • Medicine & Healthcare: Reducing obesity and diabetes, preventative in nature or education about prevention; increases access to comprehensive healthcare, including dental, vision and mental health services.
  • Seniors and Community-at-Large: Safety and welfare of vulnerable and under-served populations, increases chances for individual/family success and self-sufficiency, enhances the quality of life for seniors.
  • High School Completion: Out-of-school programs that provide academic, recreational and cultural activities to keep middle school youth in school.
  • Strengthening Nonprofits: Leadership training, staff development, strategic planning, technology resources and other areas that will build the capacity of nonprofit organizations.
  • Programs Serving the African American population: Initiatives must serve a population that is at least 70 percent African American.
  • Programs Serving the Hispanic population: Must serve a population that is at least 51 percent Hispanic.
  • Programs Serving Women and Girls: Must serve women and girls.

Each category has its own set of deadlines, so check the grants page for the most current information. Grantmaking is limited to the Texas counties of Bexar, Frio, Atascosa, Karnes, Wilson, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Comal, Blanco, Kendall, Gillespie, Kerr, Bandera and Medina.

The foundation awards community grants in two cycles annually in these areas: animal services, arts and culture, children and youth, medicine and healthcare, seniors and community-at-large. Grant application are accepted online, and you can find a sample application and list of past grant awards on the community grants page.

With its local expertise, the foundation conducts research and publishes reports on community issues. Past report topics have included no-kill animal shelters, arts education, child abuse, urban forests, summer learning programs, teen pregnancy and adult obesity. It hosts workshops and ongoing certifications for nonprofit professionals, so check the foundation’s events page for upcoming opportunities. Nonprofits can also use the foundation’s space for community and educational activities

Grantseekers can also call the foundation to join one of its regular 20-minute phone conversations about issues affecting the community. The current schedule and past calls are published on the Quick Connections website, and the calls take place from 8 - 8:20 a.m. CST. To join these calls, dial 712-775-7031 and enter meeting ID 979-500-399. No RSVP is required.  General inquiries can be directed to the staff at 210-225-2243 or info@saafdn.org.

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