Nonprofits Serving Our Military Community
Through special initiatives, the San Antonio Area Foundation strengthens nonprofit sectors that provide critical solutions for specific populations in need.
The Area Foundation’s military initiative builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations that serve the military community by training these organizations in fundamental nonprofit management topics and giving them tools to enhance their impact and sustainability.
Over the past five years, San Antonio has seen a sharp increase in the military community’s need for housing assistance, job training and counseling due to the drawdown of forces after multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 40% of veterans who transition out of the military from a San Antonio military installation choose San Antonio as their permanent home. This number is expected to grow as additional troops return from overseas. The continued economic recession compounds the challenges.
Here in “Military City USA,” we have a tremendous network of veterans and veterans’ service organizations ready to help, to listen, and to provide information and assistance. Unfortunately, few transitioning military members and their families know where to find this support. Many leave the military with a sense that not only are they alone, but also that they alone feel isolated and alienated. With thousands of veterans expected to rejoin us in San Antonio over the next few years, we are all working to tackle these connectivity and awareness problems.
Our goals for our military community initiative are to:
- enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of nonprofit organizations serving this population,
- assist in building partnerships and collaborations,
- ensure that participating organizations are better equipped to maximize their potential impact on the communities they serve, and
- remove barriers that exist between the military community and the civilian community which hinder access to services and support.
To reach our goals, the San Antonio Area Foundation partners with St. Mary's University on a 10-month Certificate of Nonprofit Management for Veterans' Service Organizations. This intensive program provides a level of expertise that is essential to nonprofit organizations as they find themselves stretched by the increasing population of veterans at a time when they are adjusting to cutbacks in state and federal programs. This program is unique in the nation.
We also convene and collaborate on forming a new Military and Veteran Community Council, a broad community initiative that includes the San Antonio Coalition for Veterans and Families, the Bexar Area Agency on Aging, the Alamo Area Council of Governments, the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of individuals representing local agencies, businesses and government organizations. The Military and Veteran Community Council coordinates to link former and current military, veterans and their families with the Alamo region and its resources. The Military and Veteran Community Council is forming eight Solution Teams to address critical impact areas facing veterans, returning service men and women and their families: employment/economic development, education, health, housing stability and homelessness assistance, family strength and reintegration, financial and legal issues and volunteerism/peer-to-peer relationship building. Through this effort, we participate as a member of The Community Blueprint Network, an initiative of numerous national organizations with support from the Points of Light Foundation. The Community Blueprint Network pushes for greater collaboration and improved delivery of services through a suite of tools and resources and a network of industry experts that together provide a roadmap for community volunteers to take action, both with and for our nation’s veterans.
The San Antonio Area Foundation provides a number of additional training opportunities for nonprofit organizations and professionals in the sector. We partner with Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) on several nonprofit management certification programs, and we provide a variety of other training classes throughout the year.
Find information about our OLLU Certification programs.
Find our calendar of training events.
Find information about the Community Blueprint Network (an initiative of Points of Light) and tools and best practices for serving the military community.