San Antonio lost a dear friend on Dec. 30, 2014, when Mr. John L. Santikos passed away. As a demonstration of love for his city, his business assets were formally transferred to the San Antonio Area Foundation as of Dec. 31, 2017. The Area Foundation now has the privilege of carrying on Mr. Santikos’ commitment of making a difference throughout the community he loved while continuing his business innovation and service to excellence.

Mr. Santikos’ desire was for Santikos Enterprises, comprised of Santikos Theatres and Santikos Real Estate, to be gifted to the Area Foundation to carry out his charitable giving wishes in concert with more than 500 funds already under management at the organization. In keeping with his bequest, initial grantmaking was directed from the bulk of his personal estate until exhausted. Now, funding will be made to nonprofits exclusively from annual variable dividends generated from his movie theatres. This means that every Santikos theatre moviegoer has a vital part in helping nonprofits provide key services that will meet the needs of our growing community.

Read more about the John L. Santikos Legacy Gift

$500K in Inaugural Gifts Given to 25 Nonprofits

In the spirit of the holidays, the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, announced $500,000 in surprise year-end gifts in 2017 to 25 nonprofits. 

Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center
Alamo Public Telecommunications Council (KLRN)
American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions
AVANCE - San Antonio, Inc.
Ballet San Antonio
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, Inc.
Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council
Chrysalis Ministries
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
I Care San Antonio
Open Table, Inc.
Rivard Report
Roy Maas Youth Alternatives
San Anto Cultural Arts
San Antonio Botanical Garden Society
San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic
San Antonio Clubhouse
Special Reach, Inc.
Sports Outdoor And Recreation (SOAR) Park
SRG Force Sports
The ARC of San Antonio, Inc.
The Salvation Army
University of the Incarnate Word
Urban-15 Group
Voices for Children of San Antonio

$9.3M in Inaugural Capital Grants Awarded to 8 Nonprofits

In the 2016 inaugural funding year, eight nonprofit organizations received nearly $9.3 million in total funding for capital projects from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation. The inaugural capital grants process was created by the San Antonio Area Foundation to honor the late John L. Santikos with naming rights opportunities from nonprofits that aligned to his designated areas of interest and within his designated eight-county region.  All projects were named in the honor of John L. Santikos. Funding was made to the nonprofits in increments of one to five years.

Inaugural recipients were:

  • Clarity Child Guidance Center
    Renovation of a regional inpatient hospital facility treating children diagnosed with significant mental health needs; one-of-a-kind in San Antonio
  • El Centre del Barrio dba CentroMed
    Only doctor-referred health, fitness and wellness center in Indian Creek –  one of San Antonio’s most under-resourced zip codes (78242)
  • Haven for Hope of Bexar County
    New welcome center that coordinates homeless care services on the Haven for Hope campus
  • City of Hondo Public Library
    Children’s interactive “Imagination Stations” in the new public library’s youth education center 
  • San Antonio Food Bank
    Collaborative endeavor to launch the New Braunfels Food Bank. New Volunteer Engagement Center 
  • San Antonio Sports
    School park program” to improve health in neighborhood accessible parks. Forty-one school playgrounds to be converted into community parks with the ability for neighborhoods to use parks during non-school hours
  • Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation
    Establishing the only Children’s Trauma Services program in the San Antonio region
  • UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
    Equipping the region’s only comprehensive institute for Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative diseases


In an unprecedented response to the grant application, the Area Foundation received 92 proposals that totaled more than $70 million in grant funding requests for the 2016 process. Through a two-phase competitive application process, the Area Foundation accepted letters of inquiry in July 2016. Fourteen finalists were invited to submit a formal proposal by September 26. Criteria for the grants included:

  • All requests had to demonstrate exceptional, potential impact measured by one or more of the following: 1) number of people served; 2) type and scope of impact it will foster; 3) opportunities for scalability
  • Projects had to present a significant naming rights opportunity for Mr. Santikos and requests were limited to renovation, restoration, construction, acquisition and expansion projects, or programs.
  • Extra consideration for proposals that also accomplished one or more of the following: be new, unique and/or introduce national best practices in the San Antonio area; align with city, county or other regional priorities; align with the Area Foundation's High School Completion and Successfully Aging and Living in San Antonio (SALSA) strategic initiatives; and/or seek to match or leverage national funds

Full application details and deadlines will be posted on our website when it's available.

Mr. Santikos identified the following areas of interest and the eight Texas counties that will receive his support:

Santikos areas of interest:

I. People in Need

  • Individuals with mental and physical challenges
  • Seniors
  • Victims of child abuse
  • Victims of disasters

II. Health

  • Healthcare and wellness
  • Medical research (seed funding)

III. Youth and Education

  • College and university programs - especially those focused on entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Pre-K to 12 
  • Scholarships
  • Youth development

IV. Arts and Culture

  • Arts education
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Public parks
  • Public radio
  • Public television

Santikos Eight Texas Counties

  • Bexar
  • Atascosa
  • Bandera
  • Comal
  • Guadalupe
  • Kendall
  • Medina
  • Wilson

303 Pearl Parkway, Suite 114
San Antonio, TX 78215

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