The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, was created by John L. Santikos – entrepreneur, real estate developer and movie theatre businessman – who died December 30, 2014. Mr. Santikos gifted the bulk of his estate to the San Antonio Area Foundation to establish his legacy, continue the successful operation of his businesses and make significant annual donations beyond his lifetime. Mr. Santikos had a specific and well-planned vision for how the Area Foundation would direct his support. He identified eight Texas counties along with a set of charitable interest areas for the Area Foundation to administer grants.

Immediately following Mr. Santikos’ passing, at the direction of Mr. Santikos, the estate released $6.6M in 2015 for memorial gifts. 141 grants were awarded to 113 agencies whose missions aligned with Mr. Santikos’ personal passions. Four nonprofits among the original 2015 recipients will honor the late entrepreneur with naming rights. Among the four, the Southwest School of Art ($1.5M recipient), the largest 2015 grant recipient, renamed their Navarro Campus building to the John L. Santikos Building. Throughout 2015, the Area Foundation worked to create a formal process and strategy for the Santikos funding for 2016 and beyond.

In 2016, the Area Foundation announced it's formalized grants process for Mr. Santikos' funds moving forward. A majority of the Santikos funding is funneled through the already existing grants process established by the Area Foundation. There are new grants opportunities that are exclusively Santikos funded.



Read more about the John L. Santikos Legacy Gift

$500K in Surprise Year-End Gifts to 25 Nonprofits

In the spirit of the holidays, the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, is pleased to announce $500,000 in surprise year-end gifts to 25 nonprofits. Congratulations!

Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center
Alamo Public Telecommunications Council (KLRN)
American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions
AVANCE - San Antonio, Inc.
Ballet San Antonio
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, Inc.
Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council
Chrysalis Ministries
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
I Care San Antonio
Open Table, Inc.
Rivard Report
Roy Maas Youth Alternatives
San Anto Cultural Arts
San Antonio Botanical Garden Society
San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic
San Antonio Clubhouse
Special Reach, Inc.
Sports Outdoor And Recreation (SOAR) Park
SRG Force Sports
The ARC of San Antonio, Inc.
The Salvation Army
University of the Incarnate Word
Urban-15 Group
Voices for Children of San Antonio

$9.3M in Capital Grants Awarded to 8 Nonprofits

SAN ANTONIO (November 1, 2016) – Eight nonprofit organizations will receive nearly $9.3 million in total funding for capital projects from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation. The inaugural capital grants process was created by the San Antonio Area Foundation to honor the late John L. Santikos with naming rights opportunities from nonprofits that fall under his designated areas of interest and within his eight-county region.

“The impact that the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation has on our community is tremendous. We are just beginning to experience the effects of Mr. Santikos’ vision and how that will be felt for generations to come. The Area Foundation is honored to carry out Mr. Santikos’ wishes. Our first capital grants process saw an incredible response from our nonprofit community. The projects that these nonprofits are working on are incredibly worthy, and it was an extremely competitive process. We are proud to announce our first eight nonprofits receiving this funding and look forward to the year to come when their projects will truly come to life for our community,” said Susan Steves Thompson, Vice President, Grants, Programs and Services for the San Antonio Area Foundation.

The eight nonprofit organizations and their funding amounts are detailed below. All projects will be named in honor of John L. Santikos. Funding will be made to the nonprofits in increments of one to five years.

  • Clarity Child Guidance Center
    $672,280
    Renovation of a regional inpatient hospital facility treating children diagnosed with significant mental health needs; one-of-a-kind in San Antonio
  • El Centre del Barrio dba CentroMed
    $800,000
    Only doctor-referred health, fitness and wellness center in Indian Creek –  one of San Antonio’s most under-resourced zip codes (78242)
  • Haven for Hope of Bexar County
    $1,000,000
    New welcome center that coordinates homeless care services on the Haven for Hope campus
  • City of Hondo Public Library
    $125,000
    Children’s interactive “Imagination Stations” in the new public library’s youth education center 
  • San Antonio Food Bank
    $500,000
    Collaborative endeavor to launch the New Braunfels Food Bank. New Volunteer Engagement Center 
  • San Antonio Sports
    $1,375,000
    School park program” to improve health in neighborhood accessible parks. Forty-one school playgrounds to be converted into community parks with the ability for neighborhoods to use parks during non-school hours
  • Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation
    $2,500,000
    Establishing the only Children’s Trauma Services program in the San Antonio region
  • UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
    $2,300,000
    Equipping the region’s only comprehensive institute for Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative diseases

TOTAL IN CAPITAL GRANT FUNDING: $9,272,280

In an unprecedented response to the grant application, the Area Foundation received 92 proposals that totaled more than $70 million in grant funding requests for the 2016 process. Through a two-phase competitive application process, the Area Foundation accepted letters of inquiry in July 2016. Fourteen finalists were invited to submit a formal proposal by September 26. Criteria for the grants included:

  • All requests had to demonstrate exceptional, potential impact measured by one or more of the following: 1) number of people served; 2) type and scope of impact it will foster; 3) opportunities for scalability
  • Projects had to present a significant naming rights opportunity for Mr. Santikos and requests were limited to renovation, restoration, construction, acquisition and expansion projects, or programs.
  • Extra consideration for proposals that also accomplished one or more of the following: be new, unique and/or introduce national best practices in the San Antonio area; align with city, county or other regional priorities; align with the Area Foundation's High School Completion and Successfully Aging and Living in San Antonio (SALSA) strategic initiatives; and/or seek to match or leverage national funds

To accommodate community needs and offer more funding to eligible nonprofits, the capital and naming rights process is a bi-annual process that will reopen in 2018. Full application details and deadlines will be posted on our website when it's available.

Santikos Funding Set at $12M for 2016

SAN ANTONIO (Wednesday, February 17, 2016) – The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation is nearly doubling the amount of funding distributed to area nonprofits for 2016. An estimated $12M will be granted this year to organizations that fall within Mr. Santikos’ expressed areas of interest. Since the announcement of the John L. Santikos estate, gifted to the San Antonio Area Foundation, local nonprofits have been anticipating the details for the application processes.

This month, the Area Foundation will begin holding monthly information seminars at their offices, located at 303 Pearl Parkway, Suite 114, 78215. The February session will detail the available 2016 grant opportunities with opening dates and deadlines. This month features two seminars held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday, February 22. Registration is open, but limited. Visit saafdn.org/calendar to attend.

“The impact that the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation has on our community is tremendous,” said Dennis E. Noll, San Antonio Area Foundation president and chief executive officer. “With $12 million in Santikos funding allocated for grants this year, we are nearly doubling the amount of Santikos funding from 2015. Mr. Santikos’ generosity allows us to broaden our competitive grantmaking to include public parks, libraries, public radio and television and higher education programs. He is also enabling us to create new funding initiatives for our community.”

Santikos’ legacy will provide opportunities for nonprofit organizations that are located in his eight specified counties and fall under his areas of interest, as expressed in his will: People in Need (seniors, individuals with special needs, victims of child abuse and disaster relief), Youth and Education (K-12 and higher education), Public Spaces (libraries, parks and museums), Arts and Culture (to include public radio and television), and Medical Needs (medicine, healthcare and medical research).

 $1.8 million of the $12 million in 2016 Santikos funding will be added to the Area Foundation’s existing annual responsive grant opportunities: Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Community-At-Large, Medicine and Healthcare, and Seniors. Several new grant opportunities have been created specifically to meet the wishes expressed in Santikos’ will. Those include funding for capital campaigns and Santikos naming rights, college success programs, disaster relief funding, special and urgent needs funding and Area Foundation-initiated collaborative funding.

Several of these programs are still being developed and will have application and program information released later this year. They include Disaster Relief (April), Special & Urgent Needs (April), Capital Campaigns (June) and College Success (late 2016).

Santikos Estate Largest Single Gift in San Antonio History

SAN ANTONIO (December 25, 2015) - The gift received from the estate of John L. Santikos, local cinema businessman and real estate entrepreneur, has an estimated asset value in excess of $605 million. This valuation represents the largest gift in the 51-year history of the Area Foundation and is the largest single gift on record in San Antonio.

Mr. Santikos gifted the bulk of his estate, including his theater and real estate businesses and raw land assets to the Area Foundation after careful research on the best method for establishing a legacy fund that could make significant annual donations beyond his lifetime. The donation fulfills his desire to support a wide range of charitable programs in the local area while ensuring that his successful businesses remain in operation.

“This truly is a transformative gift from our dear friend John Santikos. The Area Foundation is humbled and grateful to have the tremendous responsibility in continuing his legacy,” Dennis E. Noll, President and CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation, said. “He led a quiet, private life, but his final acts in life to prepare for the future of others speak loudly upon his legacy and showcase the visionary that he was, both in business and civic-minded matters."

Following Mr. Santikos’ passing in December of 2014, and to honor his wishes, the estate released $6.6M in 2015 for memorial gifts. 141 grants were awarded to 113 agencies whose missions align with Santikos’ personal passions. Four nonprofits will honor the late entrepreneur with naming rights. Among the four, the Southwest School of Art ($1.5M recipient), the largest grant recipient, has announced the renaming of the Navarro Campus building to the John L. Santikos Building.

Mr. Santikos identified the following areas of interest and the eight Texas counties that will receive his support:

Santikos areas of interest:

I. People in Need

  • Individuals with mental and physical challenges
  • Seniors
  • Victims of child abuse
  • Victims of disasters

II. Health

  • Healthcare and wellness
  • Medical research (seed funding)

III. Youth and Education

  • College and university programs - especially those focused on entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Pre-K to 12 
  • Scholarships
  • Youth development

IV. Arts and Culture

  • Arts education
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Public parks
  • Public radio
  • Public television

Santikos eight Texas counties:

  • Bexar
  • Atascosa
  • Bandera
  • Comal
  • Guadalupe
  • Kendall
  • Medina
  • Wilson

What our community is saying about the Santikos gift:

Mayor Ivy R. Taylor

“We have big dreams for a better community, and Mr. Santikos had big dreams. His gift will touch thousands of lives here in San Antonio. Your city of the future will feel the Santikos impact on a daily basis. On behalf of our great city, thank you John Santikos for your vision, for your thoughtful and careful planning and for your belief in a better future for all of our citizens, today and for generations to come.”
Ivy R. Taylor, Mayor, City of San Antonio

Dennis E. Noll

“This truly is a transformative gift from our dear friend John Santikos. The Area Foundation is humbled and grateful to have the tremendous responsibility in continuing his legacy,” Dennis E. Noll, President and CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation, said. “He led a quiet, private life, but his final acts in life to prepare for the future of others speak loudly upon his legacy and showcase the visionary that he was, both in business and civic-minded matters.”

“I’ve had the privilege to work with four visionary philanthropists in my life, one of them being Mr. Santikos. Mr. Santikos was a true visionary in the theater and real estate industries. Mr. Santikos has now shown that he was a true visionary in philanthropy. That much is evident as we work through the amazing philanthropic plan he designed for the San Antonio community.”

"It is an honor and a privilege that Mr. Santikos has entrusted the Area Foundation with his theaters and real estate developments. This unique gift will have an incredible impact in the nonprofit community and our city.”

“The impact that the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation has on our community is tremendous,” said Dennis E. Noll, San Antonio Area Foundation president and chief executive officer. “With $12 million in Santikos funding allocated for grants this year, we are nearly doubling the amount of Santikos funding from 2015. Mr. Santikos’ generosity allows us to broaden our competitive grantmaking to include public parks, libraries, public radio and television and higher education programs. He is also enabling us to create new funding initiatives for our community.”

Dennis E. Noll, President and Chief Executive Officer
San Antonio Area Foundation

Kronkosky Charitable Foundation

“One of the blessings for San Antonio and South Central Texas is the private philanthropy that has helped address the many issues facing our communities. We at the Kronkosky Foundation are delighted that the John Santikos gift through the Area Foundation, is now the largest in San Antonio's history. We know that our good friends at the Area Foundation and other philanthropic organizations join us in looking forward to many more such extraordinary gifts being provided to help our communities.”
J. Tullos Wells Managing Director, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation

Southwest School of Art

“We are truly honored to be the recipient of this extraordinary gift, a gift that enables us to complete our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign and to achieve the campaign’s objectives, which include launching the only independent college of art in Texas. This also provides the opportunity to celebrate John Santikos by naming our Navarro building for him. We are extremely grateful to the good work of the San Antonio Area Foundation and for the many ways it enhances our community.”
Paula Owen, President The Southwest School of Art
$1.5 million grant recipient, The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation,
a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation

San Antonio Museum of Art

“John Santikos was a long-time supporter of the San Antonio Museum of Art.  We are delighted that the Museum and its audiences will continue to benefit from his passion for the arts. These grants allow us to offer the experience of art through lectures, films, and special events and to engage and grow our community—something Mr. Santikos very much believed in. John Santikos' name endures as one that is synonymous with art, culture and community.  We are grateful that the San Antonio Area Foundation has chosen the Museum to be part of his legacy and vision.”
Katherine C. Luber, PhD, The Kelso Director San Antonio Museum of Art
$700,000+ grant recipient, The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation,
a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation

Board of Directors Chairwoman

“The John L. Santikos gift builds on the San Antonio Area Foundation's more than 50-year history of generous donors benefiting our community. John Santikos' trust in the Area Foundation will enhance the lives of many for years to come. We are so grateful.”
Marie Smith, San Antonio Area Foundation Board of Directors’ Chairwoman

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