COVID-19 Response Fund Boosts Local Nonprofits With $13M Infusion

San Antonio non-profit organizations helping those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have received $13.4 million in the last five months, thanks to the generosity of donors working with the San Antonio Area Foundation.

The Area Foundation has helped numerous charitable organizations, foundations and individual donors offer a swift response to the coronavirus outbreak by supporting the nonprofits serving the city’s most vulnerable populations.

“As our region battles forward from emergency response to recovery efforts, I want to recognize the tremendous generosity of individuals, families, foundations, businesses and civic institutions who have rallied in support of our community during this crisis,” said Marjie French, CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation.

Since its launch on March 20, the COVID-19 Response Fund, jointly managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation and United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, has awarded $6.4M to 200 nonprofits in the areas of social services, business and employment, and food security and shelter.

In June, contributions from The Meadows Foundation and Casey Family Programs increased the total amount of donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund to $6.4 million. As quickly as donations have been received into the fund, the Area Foundation and a volunteer committee of community leaders have put funds in the hands of vital and vetted nonprofits. 

The full list of nonprofit grant awards from the COVID-19 Response Fund can be found here (http://www.saafdn.org/COVID-19/Grants-Awarded), and the list of fund partners is also available: http://www.saafdn.org/COVID-19/Donations-and-Partners.

In addition, Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), donor-directed charitable funds administered by the Area Foundation, provided an additional $7M in grants made directly to nonprofits impacted by COVID-19, while also contributing $1.2 million to the COVID-19 Response Fund. 

Donor Advised Funds hosted at the Area Foundation took early action to support nonprofits serving on the frontlines of COVID-19. DAF grantmaking grew 33 percent in the first and second quarters of 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019, with 95% of all giving in response to COVID-19 staying in Bexar County.

The sharp increase in donor-directed giving to nonprofits is directly attributable to independent donors’ urgent concern for nonprofits working on the front lines of the crisis.

The battle against the effects of COVID-19 has opened on a new front: economic recovery. Active fundraising for and grantmaking from the COVID-19 Response Fund is wrapping up as philanthropic and regional public initiatives intensify their focus and investments on the economic impact of the pandemic, including unemployment.

At the request of Mayor Ron Nirenberg, French and other community leaders have simultaneously worked on a plan to address unemployment issues through significant investments in workforce development. The plan was approved by City Council on Thursday, August 13.


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