"For many years, I have believed that the only real and lasting happiness we get is from unselfish service – whether that service be to one’s family, to one’s friends, to one’s community or to one’s country.” - Nat Goldsmith (1889-1963)
Nat Goldsmith was gregarious, fun-loving, and a dedicated community philanthropist. The son of immigrants, Goldsmith was admired for his drive as a self-made business man as well as his leadership abilities. His dedication to civic involvement was apparent in the founding of the City-County Tuberculosis Control Board and the Community Chest, now the United Way. As a talented business leader, Mr. Goldsmith was a key planner for the development of San Antonio’s Good Government League – a pioneering city-manager form of governance before the era of representative council districts became common practice. He also served as Chamber of Commerce President and provided leadership to the San Antonio Jewish Community.
Inspired by the life of his brother, Mannie Goldsmith wanted to create a memorial to honor Nat’s wisdom, compassion, and love for his community. With the help and guidance from Nat’s son Richard, Mannie established the Nat Goldsmith Memorial Trust as the founding trust for the San Antonio Area Foundation. “Because my father’s interests and activities were so varied, it occurred to me that a United Way of permanent endowment funds to serve a variety of philanthropies might be worthwhile for San Antonio,” Richard E. Goldsmith said.
The Nat Goldsmith Memorial Trust was created in 1963, which provided the incentives and resources to establish the Area Foundation in 1964. The Area Foundation awarded its first grants in 1965 and its first scholarship in 1969.
For 50 years, the enduring legacy of the Goldsmith family has ensured the Area Foundation’s success. Richard Goldsmith served twice as Chairman of the Board as well as Director for 17 years. He continues today as the organization’s legal counsel, a role he has been dedicated to since the Area Foundation’s inception. As a tribute to the Goldsmiths' philanthropic vision, the Area Foundation created the Goldsmith Legacy Fund in 2004.
Today, the Area Foundation continues the Goldsmith's vision by helping donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community.