Dear Members of the Area Foundation Family,

We are so pleased to share the COVID-19 Response Fund has now reached $5 million in donations! A $500,000 challenge grant from renowned philanthropist Harvey Najim was matched by the John L. Santikos Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, increasing the fund by $1 million dollars. Harvey had previously helped to seed the fund with $500,000, alongside the Area Foundation’s $1 million at the inception of the community response fund. Thousands within our community will benefit because of Harvey’s generosity.

We shared with you last week many of the ways the San Antonio Area Foundation has been supporting our community. We are only able to provide these services because you chose to create a philanthropic legacy through our community foundation. Your fund, whether individual, family or corporate-based, continues to make a difference to so many in need!


Some of our donors expressed a desire for us to evaluate our grantmaking minimum thresholds. We have good news to share – the minimum has been lowered to $1,000. In this COVID-19 environment, the Area Foundation has migrated to electronic grant payments, which require additional security steps, yet is beneficial for the nonprofit in terms of the funds going directly into their accounts without waiting for a paper check to be mailed, received, and deposited.

The Federal government has released information and provided supports to address the ongoing needs. This information may aid you in your future grant recommendations, as we are in a critical time for many nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits will face unprecedented economic challenges in the months, and possibly years, ahead. We urge our fund advisors to please continue recommending grants to nonprofits you support, or if desired, join us in the COVID-19 Response Fund’s effort announced to you last week.

COVID-19 Response Fund – UPDATE

The COVID-19 Response Fund we are jointly managing with the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County has now reached $5 million in donations, thanks to a cadre of businesses, corporations, government entities, individuals and foundations. In fact, many of our donor advised funds have joined in this immense effort to address the crisis, including the Harvey E. Najim Charitable Fund, Gloria Galt Fund, Semmes Foundation Fund, Houston H. and Carolyn H. Harte Fund, Tom White Charitable Fund, Annie and Tim Swan Fund, and the Ellinor and Marvin Forland Charitable Fund. As of April 16, over 100 nonprofits have been awarded $3.3 million in grants, serving the most vulnerable in our community.


A $2 trillion stimulus package to help American workers and businesses mitigate the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak was signed into law on March 27.

A portion of the legislation includes supports for charitable giving. The CARES Act establishes a universal charitable tax deduction for gifts up to $300 and suspends the typical 60 percent adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation on cash charitable contributions for individuals.  

Thanks to the CARES Act*, in 2020 you’re able to donate more funds to qualifying charities AND receive higher tax deductions. If you make a charitable gift of up to $300, you will be eligible to receive a $300 tax credit on top of the standard deduction on your income tax in 2020. A helpful article published by the Association for Fundraising Professionals is available for your further review.

If you need any help or have any questions, please reach out to your relationship manager, or email us at We will keep you updated as events continue to evolve.

Thank you for your support as we care for each other and our community through this time.

With appreciation,

Marjie headshot
Marjie M. French