San Antonio philanthropist Harvey Najim and the Valero Energy Foundation have joined forces to more than double the amount contributed to local charities in the recent round of capital grants given by the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation.

In August, the San Antonio Area Foundation awarded six area nonprofits a combined total of $3 million to build new training centers, exhibition space, school programs, a commercial kitchen, a recording studio, and playing fields in honor of the late John Santikos, its largest donor.

The Santikos gifts, given every two years, are required to present a significant naming rights opportunity for Santikos, and requests are limited to renovation, restoration, construction, acquisition, and expansion projects or programs.

During the 2018 Santikos grant process, the Area Foundation received 122 applications from area charitable organizations totaling $96 million in funding requests. Six organizations were selected, with each receiving between $250,000 and $750,000 during check presentations last month.

But in a recent announcement, Najim said he is contributing another $3.5 million to semifinalists for that grant. The charities identified for the additional funds and the projects that will be named for Najim include:

“I wanted to take strong business practices and apply them to philanthropy by identifying how my fund could collaboratively magnify the impact made,” Najim stated. “As a result, I was able to provide $3.5 million in funding to an additional seven nonprofits, without any extra work on the part of the nonprofits involved.”

In addition, the Valero Energy Foundation is contributing $2 million to another semifinalist to support the construction of a new child development center at the Healy-Murphy Center, an organization that serves youth in crisis.

The community foundation manages more than 500 charitable funds, including Najim’s, approaching $1 billion in assets. The 2015 gift to the foundation from John L. Santikos’ estate was valued at more than $605 million.

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.