Director’s Report


The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is pleased to report on its year ended December 31, 2014. The Foundation serves residents of Bandera, Bexar, Comal, and Kendall counties in Texas by (i) awarding grants across the wide range of charitable purposes summarized in the Foundation's Program Guidelines and (ii) inspiring action and bringing together coalitions to address root causes of the issues these communities face.

During 2014, 151 grants totaling $15.8 million were approved for 121 non-profit organizations covering all four counties in the service area of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. These grants are made possible by the remarkable generosity of the Kronkoskys. Our communities are fortunate to benefit from the dedicated work done by thousands of caring staff and volunteers who carry out the missions of numerous non-profit agencies that serve our communities in so many areas of need. The organizations we fund are valued partners in the work of the Foundation.

Grants in Honor of Albert Kronkosky, Jr. and Bessie Mae Kronkosky

From inception through December 2014, the Foundation has made grants totaling $217.5 million. The impact of the generosity of the Kronkoskys on the area non-profit community has been simply tremendous. The Foundation honors each of its founders annually by making an unsolicited, unrestricted grant in their honor to a non-profit previously supported by the Foundation.

In May 2014, Friends of Cibolo Wilderness received a $50,000 grant in honor of Mr. Albert Kronkosky, Jr. in support of its operations. The Cibolo Nature Center is responsible for 162 acres of wilderness and 4 miles of Cibolo Creek. Visitors can enjoy hiking the trails of the varied ecosystems or picnicking around the Cibolo Creek area. The Nature Center is made up of native Texas prairie, marsh, cedar woodlands, and is home to numerous species of animals and plants. The center provides several educational programs for children and adults to learn about nature as well as demonstration projects to educate landowners on how to maintain natural areas. Demonstration gardens and a weekly farmers market are located at the farm area of the park. Professional research is also conducted at the center and at the adjacent 600 acres of protected land, by both trained volunteers and scientists, to monitor and survey the natural areas.

In December 2014, CASA of Central Texas, Inc. received $50,000 in honor of Mrs. Bessie Mae Kronkosky. In 2014, Comal County had 435 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect. The CASA of Central Texas program provides trained volunteers who are sanctioned by the courts to gather information to advocate for children removed by the state from the home due to abuse and/or neglect. The program provides extensive training for volunteer advocates and case supervision by professional staff. Volunteers routinely go beyond the scope of their responsibilities. It is not uncommon for them to spend additional time mentoring the child and assisting CPS caseworkers in assessing new placements for children. In 2014, Comal County CASA volunteers donated 6,558 hours of volunteer time and drove 58,396 uncompensated miles.

Initiatives and Partnerships

This year, the Foundation introduced its Initiatives and Partnerships program, which will focus on determining the greatest needs for which the Foundation can make a profound difference in the region it serves, and within its program areas. Initiatives will be identified through such processes as assessment and evaluation programs, and roundtable discussions. Working with strategic planning and analytics, a collaboration infrastructure can be designed to attack gaps in services, recruiting resources to develop a collective impact effort between the Foundation, other funders, legacy gifts, and the community at large.

The Foundation’s Initiatives and Partnerships programs for 2015 will focus on (1) providing a seamless continuum of services for families dealing with autism; (2) understanding the community’s perspectives on child protection in Bexar County and attending to inefficiencies in the system; and (3) addressing transportation challenges facing individuals in need and the agencies who wish to provide them services.

Precious Minds, New Connections

The Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative continues to be a major focus of the Foundation and is the largest privately funded initiative that focuses on parents and young children in Bexar and surrounding counties. The objective of the Precious Minds, New Connections (PMNC) Initiative is to help parents understand the importance of the first three years of life when their child’s brain is developing so rapidly. Parents are exposed to information and skills that help maximize their child’s potential during this critical time – with the greatest focus being placed on the nurturing relationship between parent and child. Ultimately, we hope to have a positive effect on every family with a young child in our service area.

The Foundation funded 20 parenting education programs during 2014 with funding of approximately $3.4 million. Partner agencies are equipped with everything from parent educators, meals, childcare, incentives and data management services. The programs include both site-based and home visitation services. See the Precious Minds, New Connections section of this Website for more information on this important initiative of the Foundation.

In late 2014, we launched our PMNC Facebook page and are working to increase viewership and participation (please “like” us at Precious Minds, New Connections on Facebook). We are currently encouraging every parent to “like” us and several of the Program Managers are actively creating posts and sharing relevant information.

The Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative includes grant making in the area of parenting education as well as funding other programs within the community that promote early brain development of infants and toddlers. We suggest that non-profit agencies active in every program area of the Foundation consider how their work affects early childhood development. We anticipate funding early childhood programs in museums, parks, libraries and other areas. We hope this initiative will help put our service area on the leading edge of developing child-centered communities.

Selected Additional Areas of Funding in 2014

Described in the following paragraphs are six areas of funding by the Foundation. We recognize these grantees as examples of the good work being done in many nonprofit agencies serving our communities. See the "Awarded Grants" section of this Website for a complete listing of Foundation Grants.

Grants Funding Services for Persons with Disabilities

Agencies serving persons with disabilities were awarded 22 grants in 2014 for a total of $1,515,000. Of that, $350,000 was awarded to agencies serving individuals with multiple disabilities. 

A $225,000 grant was awarded to TEAMability to maintain access to care for its minimally responsive, unfunded clients. Children with severe combined disabilities typically have limited speech, difficulty with mobility, hearing impairment, cognitive difficulties and extensive medical issues. Despite these barriers, these children have the ability to learn primitive skills that will help with functional and social skills. These children, at the lowest level of functionality, are not served with consistent eligibility for typical benefits because they do not appear to make progress toward stated goals over time. If it were not for TEAMability, their needs could not be served.

Kinetic Kids received a $50,000 operations grant. This organization offers 107 programs that are specially designed for special needs children with all levels of mobility and cognitive skills. Each activity is designed and facilitated by physical, occupational and/or speech therapists that are aware of the needs and limitations of these children and are able to foster courage, confidence, self-esteem, pride, and joy. Programs include T-ball, swimming, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, basketball, golf, skiing, soccer, wheel chair sports, bike camp, cross fit, wrestling, outdoors explorers, art, music and more. Many disabled children are left out of conventional programs due to their physical disabilities. Sports and recreation programs geared towards this population will improve the participant's strength, coordination and flexibility, and help ward off secondary conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. Participating children often show improvements in health, behavior, academics and social interaction.

The Foundation awarded a $70,000 grant to HandsOn. This program is a 24 hour per day/7 days per week program for adults who are deaf, blind and have one other disability that affects independent functioning. Services include assisted living, nursing service, case management, behavior support, environmental accessibility, physical therapy, occupational therapy, intervener services and mobility assessment and training. Individualized training is provided for each client to enhance the skills in the areas of communication, personal care, daily living skills and recreation. Sensory stimulation is provided through arts and crafts, massage and touches therapy, exercise and play activities. Services are provided in the least restrictive environment possible while promoting the safety, care and welfare of the client. Most clients will come to this agency and will remain for the duration of their life.

Grants Funding Prevention of Child Abuse

In addition to the Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative, in 2014 the Foundation awarded $1,415,000 in grants to 20 agencies focused on prevention of child abuse.

Residential and treatment programs for abused women and children were awarded $750,000.

Child Advocates organizations serving all four Counties were provided operating and program funding totaling $300,000.

 Avance-San Antonio, Inc. was awarded $213,500 to help fund the parenting education portion of its Parent-Child Education Program.

 

Grants Funding Services Related to Illnesses

Services for persons with illnesses were a major funding area in 2014. A total of $2.2 million of grants were awarded to 18 organizations.

The largest single funding area was $500,000 for Diabetes – Obesity Prevention, with grants to San Antonio Food Bank, San Antonio Sports Foundation, and YMCA of San Antonio & the Hill Country.

Autism diagnosis and treatment programs were funded with $425,000, including a facilities grant in the amount of $250,000 to Autism Treatment Center and $175,000 to Any Baby Can of San Antonio for program costs.

Community health centers in all four counties were awarded a total of $425,000 including a $100,000 operations grant for San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic, which is a part of San Antonio’s Haven for Hope program. The Arthur Nagel Community Clinic in Bandera County also received $100,000. This clinic served 640 unduplicated patients with 3,396 patient visits in 2014, all of whom were Bandera County residents who do not have medical insurance and have a family income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The prescription assistance program of Any Baby Can of San Antonio, serving residents of Comal County and Bexar County, received $196,655.

Funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment totaled $300,000. This included $100,000 to Rise Recovery which offers programs that address the needs of chemically dependent youths and young adults. Programs include individual and group counseling, peer group meetings, leadership training, retreats, community service projects and chemical-free social events and activities. The agency also has programs that address the needs of the entire family. The reduction of substance abuse among young people is most successful when programs are available that educate the family about the disease and helps members of a family to function better as individuals and as a family unit. Programs are offered at the agency's two locations and at eight donated spaces throughout the community. The agency also has an outreach program that provides recovery meetings, educational workshops and presentations to local schools and the community. All services are provided free of charge.

 

Grants Funding Elderly Services

Agencies serving the elderly were provided funding in 2014 totaling $1,122,000.

Facilities grants were awarded to Sarah Roberts French Home in the amount of $40,000 and the Bulverde Senior Center in Comal County in the amount of $82,000.

Grants of $442,000 were awarded to senior centers in Bandera, Boerne, Bulverde, and New Braunfels for general operations primarily for Meals on Wheels and related nutritional services. Additional nutrition services for the elderly were funded in Bexar and Comal counties for a total of $400,000.

 

 

Grants Funding Character Development of Youth

Ten agencies serving youth in all four counties were awarded $976,000 in grants.

Alamo Area Council Boy Scouts of America received a $500,000 facilities grant in support of construction of the Mays Family Scout Ranch to provide quality outdoor experiences to youth from the south, west and east side of San Antonio. Boys & Girls Clubs in Boerne, Comfort and Bandera, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of South Texas received $275,000 in total grants in 2014.

 

 

Grants Funding Arts and Culture

Arts funding in 2014 was a total of $3.6 million for 23 organizations in Bexar and Kendall Counties.

The Comfort Public Library was awarded a $100,000 facilities grant, and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation was supported with a $100,000 grant for equipment. The San Antonio Symphony and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center were each awarded $265,000 and $250,000, respectively, in support of their operations. A $1 million facilities grant was awarded to The Witte Museum for the expansion of the museum.


Accountability and Evaluation

Each of the grants made by the Foundation has accountability requirements. Financial reports, including budget to actual comparisons on project budgets and annual financial statements, are required on all grants and are timely submitted by our grantees. In addition, all but the smallest grants require an evaluation report, a self-assessment of the effectiveness of the grantees’ work funded by the Foundation. The sophistication of the evaluations varies with the size and experience of the organization. Summaries of the evaluation reports are shared on our website in the Evaluation Section.

We implemented a requirement in 2010 that requires nearly all of the Foundation’s applicants be GuideStar Exchange Program Members to be eligible for grant consideration. The purpose of this requirement is to increase the transparency of area nonprofit organizations and to reduce materials normally requested as a part of grant proposals. The Foundation is also a GuideStar Exchange Program Member. Ours and our grantees’ reports may be accessed at www.guidestar.org.


At the end of 2014 the Foundation's investments totaled $362 million, down $6 from last year after grant payments and operating expenses. At December 31, 2014, the Foundation’s investments were in several asset classes, including 55% in equities, 23% in fixed income investments, and 22% in other investments. The Foundation experienced a 3.31% overall total return on investment after fees. Bank of America manages the investment portfolio.

The Foundation had $1.3 million of committed and contingent grants at year-end; all are scheduled for payment in 2015. New grants to be awarded for 2015 are expected to be about $16 million, including the Foundation’s Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative. Audited financial statements are included on this website shortly after the audit is completed each year.

We are excited about the programs that were funded in 2014 and look forward to seeing their results. Many of our grantees are long-time partners with us and their continued excellence is heart-warming.

We work hard to make the Foundation a friendly place where every potential grantee feels welcome. At the same time, we carefully evaluate each grant to ensure that Foundation funds are well spent and used in ways that are consistent with the wishes of the Kronkoskys. We continue to learn and refine our procedures and processes to improve our responsiveness and effectiveness.

I thank our Distribution Committee and staff for their excellent efforts on behalf of all of us who live in the four-county area.

While we are actively assessing grant requests received almost daily, we are also analyzing areas within the Foundation's charitable purposes where proactive efforts may be desirable and consistent with our Mission … to produce profound good that is tangible and measurable … by funding programs that support the Kronkoskys' charitable purposes.

J. Tullos Wells
Managing Director
June 2015