Area safety net nonprofit organizations seek charitable giving knowledge and skills

Several nonprofit safety net organizations serving Atascosa County met Wednesday with San Antonio Area Foundation senior staff. The topic was Eagle Ford Shale. The boom created by the Eagle Ford Shale has had an unforeseen impact that these safety net providers know well.

Increased need for medical and dental care, substance abuse counseling, family crisis situations, sexual assault and increased reports of child abuse and neglect are not as readily visible or talked about as pot holes, large trucks and speeding traffic; long lines at area restaurants; and skyrocketing housing costs.

Monty Small, CEO of Atascosa Health Center, Inc., said that, “The Eagle Ford Shale communities are facing many of the same community challenges that I saw in North Dakota. Now is the time to think ahead and do prevention and early intervention work in our communities.”

As a member of the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Health Care subcommittee, Mr. Small visited the Bakken Shale Oil Field last November.

“Our committee went to learn how to avoid the medical and human resource issues and problems the Bakken communities’ are facing. And, we want to focus our efforts on the resources to do this work.”

This time of rapid growth in wealth for the Eagle Ford Shale counties, has left many nonprofit organizations’ executives scratching their heads about how to tap into the resources of large oil and gas companies’ gift/ community giving programs; and, how to reach local area residents who have benefited from oil leases, property sales and increased business who want to contribute to their communities.

“Community safety net providers will benefit from a coordinated approach to area philanthropic giving. We want to provide the comprehensive, unduplicated services our donors will be proud to support” stated Gloria Day, Executive Director of the Atascosa Family Crisis Center and the Director of the Atascosa Inter-Agency Council (AIC), a meeting participant. Emma Garcia, Executive Director of Camino Real Community Services, and Joni Garcia, Executive Director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children-CASA of South Texas, Mr. Small and Ms. Day engaged San Antonio Area Foundation staff in a dialogue initiated by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of San Antonio (PPPSA). Three of these nonprofit organizations serve multiple counties located in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Joni Garcia stated that, “Reaching out to the San Antonio Area Foundation and the members of PPPSA for charitable giving expertise will guide our communities’ nonprofit organizations into the long-term sustainable planning and fund development greatly needed.”

The goal of the Atascosa County nonprofits, the San Antonio Area Foundation and the PPPSA is to increase the communities’ knowledge about charitable giving and, the significant benefit of supporting local nonprofits and safety net providers.

The options to Eagle Ford Shale individual residents and communities (towns, counties, partnerships, etc.) for long-term charitable giving are numerous. Establishing new endowments, individual scholarship programs, and creating community chests or community foundations similar to the San Antonio Area Foundation, is a few of the tools the San Antonio Area Foundation staff described to the nonprofit organizations.

The San Antonio Area Foundation and PPPSA members have agreed to work with local safety net providers to make corporate connections and increase learning opportunities for individual donors. This group of Atascosa County nonprofits will be reaching out to other nonprofits throughout the Eagle Ford Shale and local wealth managers/financial advisors to provide charitable giving education events and information.

For further information, contact Kate Martin, Development Office, Atascosa Health Center, Inc. 830-569-8940 ext. 327.

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