Casey Weed (left), Asia Ciaravino (middle), and Corina Zars (right), walk through Main Plaza during the 2015 BigGiveSA. Photo by Scott Ball.
(From left) Casey Weed, Asia Ciaravino, and Corina Zars, walk through Main Plaza during The Big Give SA in 2015. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

For nonprofits in San Antonio and the surrounding eight-county area, eligibility for funding from the $605 million John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation has been a topic of keen interest and conversation since the announcement last April that the estate of John L. Santikos, including his theater businesss and real estate holdings, was given to the San Antonio Area Foundation.

Starting Monday, nonprofit leaders can learn if their organizations are eligible for funding, and if so, how to apply for those funds. The Santikos Foundation will grant an estimated $12 million this year to area nonprofits, nearly doubling the amount of locally distributed funding by the Area Foundation in 2016.

The gift will transform San Antonio’s philanthropic landscape, representing the biggest infusion of charitable dollars into the city’s nonprofit world since the advent of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation in 1991. The Area Foundation, which offices at the Pearl where it hosts many nonprofit gatherings and events, is San Antonio’s community foundation. Before the Santikos gift it was managing nearly $280 million in assets. It has distributed more than $240 million in grants and scholarships to educate youth, preserve the environment, protect animals, fund research and provide services that enhance the quality of life for people living in and around San Antonio since its inception in 1964.

The Area Foundation will begin holding monthly information seminars at its offices at the Pearl, located at 303 Pearl Parkway, Suite 114. The first two seminars will be held Monday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Foundation officials will detail available 2016 grant opportunities with opening dates and deadlines. Registration is open, but limited. Go to saafdn.org/calendar to register to attend. For a full schedule of planned seminars and areas of giving, click here and scroll down to Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.

“The impact that the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation has on our community is tremendous,” said Dennis E. Noll, San Antonio Area Foundation president and chief executive officer. “With $12 million in Santikos funding allocated for grants this year, we are nearly doubling the amount of Santikos funding from 2015. Mr. Santikos’ generosity allows us to broaden our competitive grantmaking to include public parks, libraries, public radio and television and higher education programs. He is also enabling us to create new funding initiatives for our community.”

Dennis E. Noll, San Antonio Area Foundation president and chief executive officer at a recent Area Foundation announcement. Photo courtesy of the Area Foundation.
Dennis E. Noll, San Antonio Area Foundation president and chief executive officer at a recent Area Foundation announcement. Photo courtesy of the Area Foundation.

Santikos’ legacy will benefit nonprofits in his eight specified counties (Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, and Wilson) and fall under five general areas of interest, as expressed in his will:

* People in Need (seniors, individuals with special needs, victims of child abuse and disaster relief)

* Youth and Education (K-12 and higher education)

* Public Spaces (libraries, parks and museums)

* Arts and Culture (to include public radio and television)

* Medical Needs (medicine, healthcare and medical research)

$1.8 million of the $12 million in 2016 Santikos funding will be added to the Area Foundation’s existing annual responsive grant opportunities: Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Community-At-Large, Medicine and Healthcare, and Seniors. Several new grant opportunities have been created to meet the specific wishes stated in Santikos’ will. Those include funding for capital campaigns and Santikos naming rights, college success programs, disaster relief funding, special and urgent needs funding, and Area Foundation-initiated collaborative funding.

Several programs are still being developed and will have application and program information released later this year. They include Disaster Relief (April), Special & Urgent Needs (April), Capital Campaigns (June) and College Success (late 2016). While not all program funds are accessible through an application process, several grant opportunities are closing on application during the first half of 2016.

For more information on each program, please visit saafdn.org/grants.

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Featured image: Casey Weed (left), Asia Ciaravino (middle), and Corina Zars (right), walk through Main Plaza during The Big Give SA, 2015. Photo by Scott Ball.

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is co-founder and columnist at the San Antonio Report.