Special and Urgent Needs

Helping organizations meet their mission while managing an unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive emergency.

Funding Purpose

When other funding sources are not available, the Special and Urgent Needs Fund provides rapid response support when an unexpected unbudgeted need critical to operations would prevent an organization from fulfilling their mission.

One-time grants of up to $5,000 are provided to help organizations respond to an urgent need that could not have been anticipated, allowing them to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity.

Special and Urgent Needs Funding is closed at this time. The funds allocated for Special and Urgent Needs Funding in 2022 have been expended and no additional grants can be awarded this year. The process will be reopened in 2023 at the start of the first quarter.

Grant applications may be submitted and you are welcome to contact Gavin Nichols directly, but the application will not be considered until January 2023.

Review the Media Guideline to assist you in publicizing and referring to your grant.

Create an account to access the online application.

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Application Information

To be eligible for funding applicant organizations must:

  • Be a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Provide programs and services directly benefiting Bexar County and the residents of the surrounding seven contiguous counties.

The Special and Urgent Needs Fund (SUNF) will support organizations that meet the overall grantmaking criteria of the foundation. Preference is given to applications where the organization has made its own commitment to the project through an allocation of some of its funds.

Funds are intended to support the replacement or purchase of critical equipment or resources that could not have been anticipated or budgeted. Examples of projects and proposals allowed include:

  • Replacing essential equipment and technology whose need could not have been anticipated or budgeted and whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services. An example of this would be a crisis hotline phone system that fails without warning.
  • Providing resources whose need could not have been anticipated or budgeted, and without which the work of the organization would be severely hampered. An example of this type of grant is training on post-traumatic stress disorder for school guidance counselors supporting children severely impacted by a disaster or traumatic event.
  • Manage an unanticipated leadership transition or emergency succession of an executive director. An example of a grant of this nature is staffing costs for someone to fill a capacity need caused by the sudden departure of the organization’s executive director.
  • Emergency repairs of building structure or mechanical systems (heating/cooling, water service, etc.) whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services. Examples of a grant of this nature would be repair costs for a leaking roof resulting from an extreme weather event.

Special and Urgent Needs Funding does not support the following:

  • Endowments
  • Capital campaign
  • Religious purposes
  • Individuals
  • Debt reduction
  • Indirect costs
  • Scholarships for colleges, universities and trade schools
  • Political activities, organizations, or lobbying efforts intended to influence legislation
  • Non-emergency work that has already been completed.
  • Operation deficits or deficits due to:
    • Gradual loss of funding
    • Loss of government funding
    • Waiting for government reimbursement
  • Start-up program expenses
  • Operating expenses for strategic planning, organizational development needs or ongoing program work.
  • Expenses that should have been anticipated or result from failure to exercise proper maintenance or duty of care.
    • A frequent example of this is requests to replace air conditioning systems. These systems will die of old age eventually. The Area Foundation considers this as something that could and should be planned for. For this reason, it is not a candidate for SUNF.
    • However, if for example, a storm causes a tree to fall and the tree crushes the A/C system, it would be a candidate for SUNF.

Applications for the SUNF are accepted and reviewed on an on-going basis. We strive to notify applicants of decisions within ten business days after receipt of an application.

Organizations wishing to apply must complete an online application which includes the following documentation:

  • A list of the board of directors and their community or professional affiliations.
  • The current year’s annual organization budget.
  • Bids from consultants, contractors or vendors, if applicable.
  • Additional information may be requested once your application is reviewed.
  • Grants will be awarded on a monthly basis. There is no deadline.
  • All grant seekers must create an account to access the online application. Please click here to create your account. You will receive an email confirming you have created an account.
  • Each organization may submit only one application at a time.
  • Applications must be submitted electronically.
  • Applications must be submitted via our online Grants Center.
  • When you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated response stating the Area Foundation has received your application.
Gavin Nichols
Gavin Nichols
Senior Program Officer

Have Questions?

See a list of frequently asked questions about our Special and Urgent Needs Funding grant-making process.

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