The San Antonio Area Foundation has “Got Your 6” in San Antonio

Posted August 6, 2012

By: Mary Beth Harrington, San Antonio Area Foundation

In 2010, the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAFDN) became one of three facilitators of the Texas Regional Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD) funding, which provided capacity building support to nonprofit veteran service organizations in Texas.  After the money was distributed, the foundation recognized that, while the funding ended, the need did not. That’s when SAAFDN began developing a comprehensive educational and convening program that would enable nonprofit veteran service organizations to remain effective and sustainable.

This program began in May, 2012 at our San Antonio Veterans Collaboration Summit, organized to engage nonprofit veterans service organizations in collaborative efforts.  We recognized there needed to be a “hook”, something that the organizations could all get on board with and support. That “hook” was the Got Your 6 campaign.

That day, in addition to our educational workshop on collaboration, we introduced the 100+ participants to the Got Your 6 public service announcement as well as the 6 Pillars of Veterans Reintegration.  The participating organizations each identified the pillar that best fit their organization’s mission, and then each group participated in a conversation focused on their respective pillar. Groups took an inventory of their shared assets, created targets for San Antonio’s contribution to Got Your 6, and began to identify practical ways to collaborate.

SAAFDN will continue to convene the six Pillar groups to identify additional community partners, determine their individual pillar goals and how best to achieve them.  The foundation will also partner with St. Mary’s University in San Antonio to provide a Certificate in Nonprofit Management for Veteran Service Organizations to continue the capacity-building education that began with the TRIAD funding established in 2010.   Dubbed the “Veteran’s Initiative” this 10-month series of educational and convening sessions is designed to provide support for veterans serving organizations throughout Texas.  The series’ goals are to create effective and sustainable veteran service nonprofit organizations; assist in building partnerships and collaboration among the organizations; and ensure that participating organizations are better equipped to maximize their impact within the veteran’s community.

One of the primary goals of the Got Your 6 campaign is to start a community conversation to bridge the gap between the civilian and military sectors. So SAAFDN will offer regular “Town Hall” sessions to educate the entire community on the needs of our military community, and more importantly how individual veterans and veterans’ organizations can lead the community in solving societal problems and building capacity.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Mary Beth Harrington, Director of Curriculum Development & Training at the San Antonio Area Foundation at 210-242-4713 or mbharrington@saafdn.org or go to our website at www.saafdn.org.