Select nonprofits work together for 36 months to become more efficient and effective leaders so their organizations operate at peak performance.
Each year, our Capacity Building Program forms a Peer Learning Cohort consisting of select nonprofits that agree to work together for 36 months at becoming more efficient, effective, and cooperative. They dig deep on leadership development, continuous learning processes, managing, planning, oversight, and generating resources. The goal: to help vital nonprofits operate at peak performance.
The organizations involved represent a breadth of services being offered in San Antonio, from after-school activities to distressed housing restoration to mental health support and more. Each nonprofit is provided with an external assessment using the Impact Capacity Assessment Tool (iCAT), which helps orient them to the work ahead. In the first year, cohort members meet on five occasions, connecting through peer learning opportunities, and creating the potential for lasting collaborations that can benefit communities for years to come. A list of all the partners can be found here.
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio provides a life changing club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all Club members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. At our six Clubhouses and 24 school-sites, we provide high-quality programs with caring staff and volunteers dedicated to serving as positive role models and champions of our Club members’ success. This past year, ninety-seven percent of youth improved or maintained their grades in basic skills courses including math, science, and reading. Ninety-nine percent of youth attending our clubs were promoted to the next grade level, with one hundred percent of seniors graduating on time. Ninety-six percent of youth demonstrated improvement or growth in age-specific social emotional learning activities.
The mission of Culturingua is to cultivate, promote, and preserve Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian (MENASA) cultural, linguistic, and artistic heritage to invest in human, community, and economic development. Culturingua believes in heritage assets as a paradigm-shifting call to action. Since 2018, Culturingua’s innovative programming has been fostering human development and civic engagement. The programs are focused on three main areas: Youth Development, Community Development, and Economic Development. Culturingua offers multiple services within each of the programs, all with a focus on building bridges through cultural heritage assets.
Gardopia Gardens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency based in the Near Eastside of San Antonio. The mission of Gardopia Gardens is to grow healthy communities through garden-based learning. We envision a sustainable society, empowered, and educated to lead healthy lifestyles through gardening. Gardopia Gardens has proudly serviced the community for 7 years, promoting health and environmental stewardship by implementing garden-based learning programming in schools, businesses, and community organizations – offering tools, materials, and best practices to ensure their gardens’ sustainability. Gardopia Gardens provides five programs: Garden-Based Learning, Build-A-Garden & Optimization, Garden Volunteer, Garden Media, and Farmers’ Market. These programmatic efforts strategically align with ten of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Musical Bridges Around the World is a multicultural arts organization focused on education and creating one-of-a-kind performances by internationally renowned artists for the benefit of the general public, underserved youth, and elderly communities, while fostering San Antonio’s reputation as a cosmopolitan cultural center. All the public performances are free. The organization was founded in 1998 by Russian-born concert pianist Dr. Anya Grokhovski, along with a group of music lovers, to promote cultural understanding through innovative programming. MBAW envisions San Antonio as a vibrant epicenter that embraces her rich heritage and increasingly diverse cultural make-up through performances of international repute for all residents and visitors, regardless of socioeconomic standing.
For more than 30 years, the San Antonio Education Partnership has been a pillar in the San Antonio community. Originally founded in 1989, SAEP’s mission is to create college opportunities, access, and success for our community. We provide students, youth, and adults alike, the opportunity to access higher education. Our services include goal setting, career planning, college entry and enrollment, college affordability and financial aid, and college transition. These services are provided at local high schools as well as at the City of San Antonio’s supported Café College, centrally located in downtown San Antonio. Annually, we provide services to over 12,000 youth and adult learners and award scholarships to nearly 2,000 college students in San Antonio.
In our community, YWCA San Antonio works to achieve its mission to empower women and eliminate racism by providing multiple services to remove barriers to overcoming poverty, which disproportionately affects women and individuals of color. These programs focus on early childhood care & education, youth & teen, health & wellness, racial justice & gender equality, and economic empowerment. Annually, YWCA San Antonio serves on average 10,000 individuals ages zero to 99 through direct services, emergency assistance, education and training for long-term sustainability, and partnerships with other nonprofits to maximize our impact. Each year, the YWVA celebrates San Antonio women who have upheld the mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all through the Women of Achievement event.
The mission of the American Indians in Texas (AIT) at the Spanish Colonial Missions is to work for the preservation and protection of the culture and traditions of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation and other indigenous people of the Spanish Colonial Missions in South Texas and Northern Mexico through education, research, community outreach, economic development projects, and legislative initiatives. Family wellness programs include our San Antonio Fatherhood Campaign, counseling, restorative practices programming for youth, as well as other educational programs and events.
San Anto Cultural Arts was founded in 1993 with the mission to foster human and community development through community-based arts. A focus on art through community engagement led to the creation of our community-based arts programs: the Community Mural Program, El Placazo Community Newspaper, and our After School Arts Program. These dynamic programs engage residents and foster the talents of youth by educating them on the history and techniques of public art while documenting and preserving the rich history of San Antonio’s Westside.
Healthy Futures of Texas is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to reduce unplanned and teen pregnancies through science-based education and advocacy that empower youth, women, and families to make the best decisions for their futures. Our vision is that every youth has access to evidence-based sexual health education, and access to the health care they need to protect their health and avoid an unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.
The mission of Maestro Entrepreneur Center is to grow small, minority, woman, and veteran-owned businesses beyond the $1 million mark in revenue to promote economic mobility. Their programs include a 12-week cohort program for small businesses; support groups for cohort entrepreneurs; a women in leadership panel; and a one-week youth program introducing the spirit of entrepreneurship and leadership skills to the next generation of entrepreneurs that they are working to expand over a longer period of time.
Prosper West is a nonprofit organization that includes a coalition of community members and area partners working together to make the Westside of San Antonio a more prosperous place for families and businesses through our “Big Six” model which includes housing and real estate, small businesses, cultural preservation, community engagement, promotion and marketing, and placemaking and activation. Prosper West aims to implement planning and economic development initiatives that promote growth, revitalization, and economic opportunities while also preserving existing residents and businesses, enhancing our local culture and history, and creating a viable, sustainable, and thriving urban community.
For more than 30 years, the San Antonio Education Partnership (SAEP) has been a pillar in the San Antonio community. Originally founded in 1989, SAEP’s mission is to create college opportunities, access, and success for our community. We provide students, no matter their place in life, the opportunity to access higher education through our four programs: Cafécollege is a centrally-located “one-stop-shop” dedicated to providing college access information, resources, and opportunities to students of all ages:
Established in 1973, AVANCE is a national, nonprofit organization, primarily serving Texas, that meets hard to reach, low-income families where they are. Meaning “advance” or “progress”, AVANCE serves as a trusted guide to support parents and their children in a family-oriented, non-judgmental environment. Programs yield measurable learning outcomes while building community and social capital. The Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP), an evidenced-based model of early intervention, focuses on the interdependent welfare of children, families, and the community. AVANCE offers a multitude of wrap-around services and programs including PCEP, Early Head Start, Head Start, Services to Fathers, Health Clinics, and Caminos al Futuro (adult education and workforce development programs).
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The single most critical factor that determines if a child grows up successfully is whether or not they have a strong, positive, consistent, caring adult role model in their lives. Through mentoring and training, Big Brothers Big Sisters builds the developmental assets youth need to grow up successfully. Thousands of volunteers serve as mentors each year helping youth overcome challenges and reach their full potential.
The Madonna Center helps individuals and families improve their daily lives through education, connections to resources, healthy aging, and creating a sense of community. Early childhood programs are designed to educate young children and prepare them for success in school. From after-school programs to senior services, Madonna Center has activities and programs meant to build community among all age groups. The Center also hosts summer camps and the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) early childhood program.
Presa Community Center improves lives by providing access to needed resources and tools for social and personal transformation. The Center provides comprehensive programs that foster independence, personal growth, and empowerment for youth, older adults, and families. In addition to resources and referrals, community members can access educational support, free tax assistance, computer lab, emergency food, transportation for older adults and people with disabilities, plus various classes and activities. We base our approach to service on or core values:
The San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative was founded in 2019 by a group of nonprofits wanting to provide a holistic approach to mental wellness by breaking barriers and bringing services right into the schools. The group works with school districts to provide individual and group counseling, psychiatry, education, and more to students, as well as their parents, teachers and district staff. In partnership with Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, organizations in the Collaborative include Jewish Family Service of San Antonio, Family Service Association, Clarity Child Guidance Council, Rise Recovery, and Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas.
SA Youth’s prime focus is helping high-risk youth and youth adults to achieve their full potential by providing quality educational programming in a safe environment. SA Youth’s vision is for all San Antonio youth and young adults to have equitable access to educational opportunities, graduate from high school, and become successful community-minded adults, regardless of circumstance.
Girls, Inc. of San Antonio inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold. The evidence-based, girl-serving program helps girls reach personal, educational and career goals by looking past discriminatory messages and embracing their internal self-worth. Trained facilitators meet girls with age-appropriate and hands-on learning opportunities inside and outside of school. Girls can dip their toes in a diverse array of activities, including life skills, STEM studies, leadership training, economics and social action. Dreaming big and exploring possibilities happens at Girls, Inc. through a safe and empowering environment fostered in each program.
Over 100 years ago, a refugee and Presbyterian missionary fled the Mexican Revolution and came to the West Side of San Antonio to encourage other refugees leaving behind desperate situations. Soon after, The House of Neighborly Service (HNS) established to support families building new lives, providing social services to a neighborhood in need. Now, helping the neighbor has become a way of life for HNS. From early childhood development to senior services, the organization meets the holistic needs of the community. A breadth of resources is provided through the Family Support Program, including diapers, food security, emotional support, housing, medical and legal needs.
A rise in juvenile crime unsettled founders of the Juvenile Outreach and Vocational Education Network (JOVEN). For almost 30 years, the group has combatted youth crime in Bexar County through education and support services, collaborating with local organizations and churches to assist high-risk youth. A holistic approach to programming meets youth in all stages- health education, prevention, intervention and counseling services. Leaders of America, a summer youth-intern opportunity, offers first-hand knowledge of necessary workforce ethic and skills. Character and resiliency are woven into each program to help children make positive changes toward a better-quality life and a successful future.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. When Eve Oliphant placed a newspaper ad in 1974 inviting people into her home who had concerns for mentally ill family members, she started a movement. NAMI San Antonio continues the movement using a “pay it forward” model to stop stigma and provide hope. NAMI provides free, peer and caregiver led classes and support groups for adults struggling with a mental health condition and their loved ones. Presentations are offered to faith groups, service providers, businesses, community groups, schools and law enforcement agencies. A person with “lived experience” – a peer or a caregiver who is living well – is trained to lead their own class or group or to speak in the community. This is how NAMI San Antonio brings hope!
Project Transformation connects three communities—children, college students and churches. All three C’s are combined in one interconnected mission, to change lives through relationship. The Rio Texas Chapter, formed in 2015, starts by addressing the needs of students challenged by low income and other related adversity risks. A summer camp emphasizing literacy improvement is implemented by college students, who live in intentional community together, building relationships while learning a unique, meaningful skillset. All of this takes place in churches, aimed to be re-anchored through dynamic and relational connections.
The founder of Restore Education, John F. Rhodes, believed that single parents and disadvantaged youth, who struggled in a traditional education setting should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. In 1997, he and his staff began curating unique pathways to and through college, as well as developing workforce training to form self-sustaining careers.
Serving over 9,000 San Antonio individuals since 2008, the nonprofit operates three programs to help transform lives—an individualized GED program, a college readiness and support service, and multiple career training programs. These services give San Antonio learners the tools needed to be self-supporting adults, exemplar parents, and productive community members.
Since its inception in 1997, the Health Collaborative has worked to improve the health of the community through partnerships and collaborations that leverage resources to enhance positive community health outcomes. It is a powerful network of citizens, community organizations, and businesses taking a more synergistic approach to solving critical community health needs.
Founded in 2005, Blueprint Ministries is a non-profit organization in the heart of San Antonio that provides servant leadership training for youth and adults while restoring homes for elderly, disabled and low-income residents.
As the sole provider in South Texas dedicated to providing grief support programs for children through young adulthood, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas addresses the grief and loss needs of children from every culture and social circumstance to help them heal and move forward. Services are provided at no cost to families.
Empower House (formerly Martinez Street Women’s Center envisions a world where all women and girls are empowered to transform themselves, their families, and their communities. Our organization provides transformative community health services, youth development programs, and advocacy opportunities that empower women and girls of color. Founded in 1999, Empower House has now grown to include two locations on the East and West Sides of San Antonio, creating a closer connection to the community we serve.
For over 25 years, PROSPERA Housing Community Services has provided safe, high-quality, affordable housing and supportive services as a starting point for pursuing goals, fulfilling dreams, restoring spirit, and building self-endurance. PROSPERA has a proven business model to serve residents who aspire to rent affordable, secure homes by maximizing life-stabilizing, transformational services.
Voices identifies critical issues that impact child well-being in San Antonio and Bexar County, then collaborates with local and state organizations to improve programs, practices, and policy. Voices partners with over 200 organizations on its various initiatives in focus areas of Early Care and Education, Child Abuse/ Neglect and Children’s Health and Mental Health. Working with city and state government and leaders, as well as with the health, education, and human service sectors, Voices for Children works to keep the wellbeing and the future of children at the forefront of planning and discussion.
The mission of Good Samaritan Community Services (Good Sam) is to serve as a catalyst for change, supporting youth, individuals and families by providing excellent community services to overcome economic poverty. The Center was established as a downtown mission of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in 1951 by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, under the leadership of Bishop Everett Jones. Since then, Good Sam has grown to become a private 501(c) 3 nonprofit that provides comprehensive services to more than 5,000 individuals and 1,600 families in six South Texas locations. Good Sam actively serves as a place of change, reaching out to support thousands of people working to improve their lives and to overcome the challenges of poverty. Its vision is to “Empower Communities to Thrive.”
Rise Recovery helps teens, young adults, and families overcome the effects of drug and alcohol and partner with the community in education and prevention. For over 40 years, Rise has served youth and families in Bexar County ranging in age from twelve through thirty-five, in addition to support groups for family and loved ones. They walk with participants through their recovery journey with a keen sense of love and understanding. Programs and services range from individual counseling to support groups to social activities. There are no time limits on participation and there is no shame in walking through their doors.
The mission of SA Hope Center is to love people well by empowering them to meet their needs through in-depth case management and wrap-around social services. Founded in 2001, SA Hope Center’s program model shifted in 2014 from a food pantry program to a multi-faceted social service agency that addresses the root causes of poverty to help the community become holistically sustainable. SA Hope Center’s programs are relationally focused and provide program including case management, financial literacy, job training, senior services, nutrition assistance, health and wellness screenings and classes, parenting classes, spiritual programs and many more.
The vision of SAY Sí is for all young people to have equitable access to opportunities to develop their worldview and creative potential, empowering them to live rich, full lives and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities. SAY Sí ignites the creative power of young people as forces of positive change and values artists, empowers marginalized communities and advances culture. Programs include on-site year-round, long-term youth programs as well as community-based programs hosted throughout the city. On-site programs feature high school studios for visual arts, media arts, theatre arts and new media, with corresponding multidisciplinary Saturday middle school programs.
Founded in 2009, UP Partnership (formerly P16Plus) has been the leader in collective impact for young people in Bexar County for more than 10 years. In that time, it has helped to facilitate progress across major population-level change indicators, from early grade reading to high school completion. In 2018, UP Partnership expanded its mission statement to focus on all child- and youth-serving institutions in Bexar County, not just educational ones. Its new mission is “to ensure all young people across Bexar County are ready for the future.” To deliver on this mission, UP Partnership coordinates data, aligns pathways, and promotes policy change that can help to unlock the full potential of our young people, our communities and our region.
Capacity Building is based out of our San Antonio office at 140 West Sunset Road, San Antonio, TX 78209. For inquiries, please reach out to Perri Rosheger through our contact form.
The Foundation Capacity Building partners have mostly been built on relationships and referrals from within the partner network. We realize that others might be a perfect fit and we would like to know about you. While we don’t have an application, here are some filters for the type of organizations that are asked to be a part of a cohort:
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