What San Antone Grantseekers Should Know About the Greehey Foundation

Bill Greehey is the former chairman of Valero and the current chairman of NuStar Energy. Greehey rose from humble beginnings, growing up poor in Iowa, serving in the Air Force, and eventually attending St. Mary's University in San Antonio. In 2003, Greehey provided $40 million in initial funding to establish the Greehey Family Foundation which he runs with his wife, Louree, and family. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $7.5 million. The foundation is laser-focused on Texas, and more specifically on San Antonio. As Greehey once put it: “Our family foundation is focused on San Antonio and Bexar County... the money stays here." 

The good news for grantseekers working in this specific geographic region is that the foundation has an accessible website with a clear list of guidelines. Grant applications can be submitted via snail mail or email. Grants mostly focus on the following areas: health and human welfare issues, children's causes, education, and the homeless.

Past grantees in the realm of health and human welfare issues include Cancer Center Council, Down Syndrome Association Of South Texas, HeartGift San Antonio, Project MEND, which "empowers individuals to become active members of their communities through the reuse of medical equipment," and San Antonio AIDS Foundation. Large streams of money have also flowed to UT Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where in 2007, a large $25 gift went. In 2013, a $5 million gift went to the outfit, and a $3 million gift went to Glenn Biggs Alzheimer Center at UTHSCSA.

Greehey's support of children's causes, meanwhile, includes funding Any Baby Can, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, Boysville, "a comprehensive, residential care facility in south Texas, providing support and a home for children," and Brighton Center, which provides early childhood services. Education grants have gone to St. Mary's University, which received a $1 million gift in 2015 for the Greehey Scholars Program, an undergraduate scholarship program that focuses on servant leadership. Greehey's alma mater has received millions including a $25 million gift in 2005 to the school of business which is now named for him. In 2014, a $1 million gift went to Texas Lutheran University to support a nursing program, and that same year Texas A&M University- San Antonio received a $1 million endowment gift to support scholarships for first generation students. Other education grantees include Alamo Heights High School PTO, Butler Community College, Junior Achievement of South Texas, KIPP Aspire Academy, and McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.

Greehey also funds outfits in Texas that work for the homeless. A big effort in this area has been the Bill Greehey-chaired Haven for Hope, a nonprofit which provides services for the homeless. Greehey was initially drawn towards this issue when he watched a documentary on San Antonio’s homelessness that aired on a local TV station. Greehey spearheaded Haven for Hope and has been passionate about the cause ever since.

Other past grantees include Galveston County Food Bank, Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries, House Of Neighborly Service. Money has also gone to cultural and civic organizations such as San Antonio Botanical Garden, which received a $500,000 grant in the 2013 fiscal year, San Antonio Parks Foundation, San Antonio River Foundation, and the The Hidalgo Foundation Of Bexar County, which "operates exclusively for the charitable, literary, historical, and educational purpose for the sole benefit of Bexar County, Texas."

Grantseekers working in San Antonio should definitely keep Greehey on their radars.

Related: Greehey Family Foundation: Texas Grants