KERRVILLE, TEXAS, June 1, 2022 – Four local nonprofits—New Hope Counseling Center, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Light on the Hill at Mt. Wesley, and Families and Literacy—are finishing up their months-long capacity-building cohort with the H. E. Butt Foundation this month. Members gathered at the Foundation’s headquarters on Earl Garrett St. in person last week for the first time since the cohort formed in fall of 2021.
Capacity-building cohorts are a part of the Foundation’s community engagement program: a program supporting nonprofits that build healthy families and children primarily from under resourced situations in San Antonio and Kerrville.
“It was really great to have everyone in the same room,” said Dana Williams, director of community engagement at the H. E. Butt Foundation and leader of the Kerrville cohort. “There was a camaraderie there that you can only build together in person.” Until May, the cohort met virtually due to the pandemic.
In 2017, the Foundation began this program with a goal of helping organizations become more efficient, effective, and cooperative. Participants build trust with each other, sharing their wisdom and resources collaboratively.
Williams says that the nonprofits were able to work alongside each other in prioritizing their goals, discovering new obstacles, and talking through their journeys as Kerrville nonprofits.
Each nonprofit received a grant disbursed in two parts. “We recognize these leaders are devoting significant time to this work. We also understand that it takes resources to build out infrastructure and expand staff,” Williams said.
“In rural areas like Kerrville, they don’t always have access to the same volume of resources that larger urban nonprofits do.” The four nonprofits will finalize their plans and receive their second grant this summer.
The bulk of the Foundation’s capacity-building work takes place in San Antonio, but this 10-month pilot expansion of the program was its first run at supporting family- and children-focused nonprofits in Kerrville.
“[Community engagement] is one of our youngest programs and stretches us to be in deeper relationship with the community,” says President and CEO of the H. E. Butt Foundation David Rogers. “It has been rewarding to witness leaders step into this work with so much focus and enthusiasm. Given that Kerrville has been important to our family since 1905, we’ve enjoyed this chance to support local nonprofits whose work is aligned with ours.”
“I’ve been blown away with what these organizations have put together,” says Williams. “They put enough time and energy into developing their plans to compare with million-dollar organizations.”
Although there are no plans for another Kerrville cohort at this time, the Foundation will consider future work of this nature in coming years.
About the H. E. Butt Foundation: The H. E. Butt Foundation is an operating foundation focused on spiritual formation and health in families and children. Our headquarters are in Kerrville, Texas, and we have offices in San Antonio and Real County, though much of our work takes place deep in the Texas Hill Country on 1,900 acres situated along a breathtaking stretch of the Frio River Canyon. There, we run five programs—a youth camp, a family camp, an adult retreat center, an outdoor school, and a camp that provides free facility use to qualifying groups. Outside the Canyon, we operate a sixth program dedicated to fostering community engagement on behalf of families and children in the places we live and work—San Antonio, Kerrville, and Real County.