Dear Friends,

What an amazing year it has been for the Area Foundation! We ended strong in 2019 thanks to your dedication and commitment to the success of this organization. Thank you for welcoming me to the team and walking alongside me as I learned the ropes of the Area Foundation. I appreciate the gains we have made together in such a short time, and I look forward to the accomplishments we will have in 2020.

Here are a few of the 2019 highlights.

  • Nearly 100 nonprofit agencies received a total of $3 million in operational support from the Area Foundation. Learn more about our 2019 grantmaking here.
  • Another $7 million plus was granted into the local community from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation to help prevent domestic violence, ensure every person is counted in the upcoming Census, create strategies to support the Alamo Promise of education attainment, and more.
  • Successfully Living and Aging in San Antonio (SALSA) produced key research revealing housing and transportation issues for our area’s older population.
  • The Area Foundation provided seed funding to create a San Antonio chapter of the national nonprofit, Asset Funders Network. A ground-breaking research study released in 2019 detailed how our community can address areas of poverty with specific asset building strategies for families. We further helped establish a financial coaching hub that aims to train nonprofit staff in order to target our most challenged areas.
  • We have been working alongside large funders in our community to collectively discuss and address the need for data, systems integration and common technology platforms to begin the process of determining impact.
  • We established processes to prepare for our change to four key focus areas in 2020. These areas — Youth Success, Cultural Vibrancy, Successful Aging, and Livable & Resilient Communities – will allow for more focused community impact.
  • Our scholarship impact grew with 1,200 students receiving funding to begin or continue their college education.
2019 Scholarship Reception
  • We cultivated a major gift for 2020. An announcement will soon be made about a new scholarship fund, which when fully established, will be one of the top scholarship funds in the nation and will benefit students in Bexar and Webb counties.
  • Our focus to build millennial relationships began in the latter part of 2019. As a result, two major funds were established, and a valuable partnership was created. 
  1. The Live 2 Ride Fund supports policy and programs to create safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists. 
  2. In addition, Students + Startups was established as a supporting organization of the Area Foundation. Students + Startups is a 10-week internship program connecting San Antonio startups with high-caliber university students. 
  3. We also launched a partnership with San Antonio Young Professionals – a citywide group recognized for helping young professionals connect, engage and transform.
From left Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Lorenzo Gomez III
  • We have led successful training programs for area nonprofits and boards, benefiting thousands. From our HOLT CAT partnership to Board Day with Dan Pallotta, to the ever-increasing schedule of nonprofit trainings hosted in the Wells Center.
Dan Pallotta at Board Day 2019
  • Nonprofit membership is another important aspect of this team, and 2019resulted in record numbers. For the first time, the Area Foundation has topped 100 nonprofit memberships.
  • The Area Foundation received accreditation from the Community Foundations’ National Standards Board, validating our processes and due diligence efforts.
  • The latter part of 2019 marked a refreshed brand standard for the Area Foundation across all organization platforms, and an updated website look and feel.

Exciting News!

Our Growing Family – In 2019, we also welcomed several new family members to the Area Foundation. Our newest staffers are Fabiana R. Gomes and Cecilia Martinez. Both joined our new Marketing and Communications (MarCom) team the first week of January. Fabiana will oversee the website and Cecilia will spearhead our very popular Nonprofit Weekly, which provides the latest news and information to our more than 6,000 nonprofit subscribers. Before the holidays, we welcomed Laura Giacomoni and Anne Marie Oliver to the Development and Donor Services team, Stephanie LaFroscia to the CEI team, and Renee Carta as our new receptionist. In addition, two staffers – Jessica Urias and Arizbeth Posada – received promotions. Jessica was promoted to grant assistant and Arizbeth to senior social media specialist.

From left Laura Giacomoni, Anne Marie Oliver, Renee Carta
From left Cecilia Martinez, Fabiana R. Gomes, Stephanie LaFroscia

As you can see, a lot has taken place in 2019. It was a year of growth and new beginnings, a strong start for our trajectory in 2020. I look forward to all the great accomplishments the new year will bring as we lock arms for further success.

Marjie headshot

Wishing you a Happy 2020!

We are stronger together,
Marjie M. French