Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s time for annual responsive grants! We are preparing for the first of two competitive funding cycles in the annual responsive grants program. The first cycle will provide funding to nonprofits related to our two new areas of impact – Youth Success and Cultural Vibrancy.

Several information sessions have been planned for nonprofits to learn about the process, which will start on Feb. 27. The sessions will be hosted by our Community, Engagement and Impact (CEI) team. The second annual responsive cycle covering the new areas of Livable & Resilient Communities and Successful Aging is scheduled to take place later this year.

The annual responsive program is the philanthropic heart of what we do at the Area Foundation, as we work together to improve lives. There are many other ways the Area Foundation is creating impact in our community. A few are listed below.

Exciting News!

  • Seeking Community Advisory Members – Members of the community are a large part of our annual responsive process. Known as CACS, these Community Advisory Committees help review applications and make recommendations for grant awards. We are currently accepting applications from individuals who would love to serve in this very important capacity. To learn more, visit our community advisory pageDeadline to apply is March 13.
  • In the News – Representatives from the San Antonio Area Foundation and the Magik Theatre were recently interviewed by News 4 San Antonio and KENS-TV. The topic of discussion was the Area Foundation’s operational funding awards to nonprofits and the impact of those awards. The News 4 interview aired Feb. 10 and the KENS-TV interview is scheduled for March 7. If you missed the News 4 interview, you can watch here
  • Accurate Count – The Area Foundation is doing its part to ensure an accurate Census count, since every person counted means $20,000 each in funding to our community. A total of $200,000 was awarded by the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation toward that effort. An accurate count is important because it helps shape the budgeting landscape of schools, hospitals, public transit, CHIP, Medicare, Head Start, student financial aid, and more. Our nonprofit partners are promoting their grant to the community, and you can learn more here.
  • Caring for Our Children – The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio recently shared the impact of their $2.5 million in funding from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation. The hospital, operated by Christus Health, was one of the very first recipients of Mr. Santikos’ legacy. Mr. Santikos helped create the first freestanding children’s hospital in our area, funding medical equipment, trauma training, and more. The hospital is designed for children, calming the fears that are associated with a hospital visit. As one example, the undersea adventure designed as a CT scanning room has resulted in children no longer needing to be sedated for this procedure.

Staff in the Community

I’m honored to have been asked to speak on a panel on March 4, alongside Harvey Najim and Tullos Wells on the topic of philanthropy for the Masters Leadership Program. The panel will be moderated by Bob Rivard.

Patricia Mejia

Patricia Mejia, vice president of Community, Engagement and Impact, is a member of the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. She is also a dedicated board member of the Neighborhood Place. The Neighborhood Place is operated by Family Service to empower families on the West Side of San Antonio. Patricia also opens her home to host migrant families as part of her work with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition.

Lorna Stafford

Lorna Stafford, director of Communications, has been asked to serve on a panel at the Public Relations Society of America luncheon in March. Lorna will be joined by two other former journalists to discuss, “Confessions from Ex-San Antonio Journalists: Secrets of a Successful Pitch.”


Rachel Duran

Rachel Duran, senior administrative assistant in the department of Human Resources and Learning and Development, received her Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional designation. The rigorous four-hour exam consisted of knowledge-based and situational judgement questions.

Heather Diehl

Heather Diehl, board engagement officer, is now a full member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. The next step to becoming a Registered Parliamentarian is an exam she plans to study for and take by end of year. 

Marjie headshot
Marjie M. French