St. David's Stories

Learning & Improving in 2019

A year ago, St. David’s Foundation published a story on our “New Year resolutions” for 2019. As promised, we want to share the progress we’ve made towards increasing our community engagement and improving our processes and systems.

The Foundation has been out in the community and sharing our learning along the way.

We have spent the year focused on strengthening our relationship with the community and our grant partners. In last year’s post we mentioned our excitement around the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Through the CHNA process, we heard directly from community members who are impacted by our work. The insights from our neighbors are invaluable to the Foundation and we are grateful to all who participated in the process.

The Community Health Needs Assessment Reports (CHNAs) for Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Travis Counties.


We are continuing our efforts to understand and support the community at large in the year to come; this time with the Central Texas 2020 Get Out the Count Campaign. The Foundation is one of many funders collaborating to make sure that every individual in our region is counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. An accurate count has implications for how much federal funding is distributed to programs that provide services like housing, education, food, transportation, and healthcare to Central Texans. You can read more about our role and importance of the count in our most recent story.

Speaking of St. David’s stories, we’ve been sharing more than ever about our experiences in the community and our learning along the way. On the Foundation’s website you’ll find our new The 411 newsletter highlighting some of the important work the Foundation is involved with.

To date, three editions of The 411 Newsletter have been published.

The Foundation is working differently in support of our grant partners.

Throughout the year, the Foundation has been working to ensure applicants and grant partners are supported through opportunities for learning and streamlined processes.

The Foundation has increasingly used Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a means to make space for innovation and learning. Over the past year, we released three RFPs: Central Texas Home Visiting: A Good Start is a Healthy Start (Childhood Adversity), Parks with Purpose: Parks for Health & Equity (Opportunities to be Active), and Connecting Generations, Strengthening Communities (Aging in Place). The RFP process helps the Foundation capture a diverse set of ideas from a range of organizations working towards a common outcome. This creates a natural opportunity for learning across organizations as they test approaches on related problems. In order to foster collective learning, the foundation has begun to take a more active role in convening learning communities related to these funding opportunities.  We plan to share more about how our approach to learning communities has evolved in early 2020.

The recipients of our Parks with Purpose: Parks for Health and Equity RFP grants.

The Foundation has streamlined some processes and continues to improve our technology.

On a more technical side, fulfilling a promise we made last year, our internal process changes have improved the timeliness of grant payments. Our improved payment tracking system has led to a ten-fold increase in the number of payments made before the start date of grant projects.

While the progress is promising, we know there is still work to be done in years to come. We will continue to refine our payment system so that all grant partners receive their checks and contracts on time.

Additionally, we have been working throughout the year on a new metrics web tool. While we hoped to launch the improved tool in 2019, we faced technical hurdles that slowed down our progress. The new interface, with fewer headache-producing glitches, will be launched in 2020.

Forever learning and improving.

We are happy to celebrate the progress we’ve made over 2019, and we look forward to continued learning and improvements in 2020.

Latest Stories

Mental Health First Aid: Providing Vital Training to Address Mental Health During COVID-19

Alumni Spotlight: 2011 Neal Kocurek Scholar Leads Front Line Response for COVID-19

Guided by Grace, Mama Sana Vibrant Woman Continues Supporting New and Expectant Mothers Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

St. David’s Foundation Deploys First Round of COVID-19 Recovery Funds to Central Texas Nonprofits

A Moment of Reflection

Providing Oral Care Packages During the Coronavirus Pandemic, St. David’s Foundation’s Dental Program Distributes Supplies to Those in Need

COVID-19: The Health and Financial Crisis Threatening Nonprofits

Press Release: St. David’s Foundation Announces $10 Million Fund in Support of Central Texas Nonprofits and Public Entities Impacted by COVID-19

St. David’s Foundation and Catchafire Deploy Virtual Operational Support to Assist Texas Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 in Central Texas

Announcing our Intergenerational Grants: Connecting Generations with Creativity and Innovation

Gratitude and Impact: Our Winter Grant Announcement

Partnering to “Get-out-the-Count” for the 2020 Census

Learning & Improving in 2019

Parks with Purpose & Equity: 19 Groups Receive Grants to Level the Playing Field

Why the Census Counts

Welcome to the Neighborhood – Our Dental Team’s Summer at Community First! Village

A New Beginning: Terrace at Oak Springs

Always Looking Forward: Our Austin Community College Endowed Scholars

Brains Aren’t Born, They’re Built – Announcing our Early Childhood Home Visiting Grants

St. David’s Foundation Announces New Leader

Catching Up with Parks Progress

Celebrating our Summer Grant Cycle

Mentoring Success

Supporting Seniors to Age with Dignity

Building Trust, One Village at a Time

Keeping Our Austin Neighbors Cool

The Healthcare Leaders of Tomorrow: Our Neal Kocurek Scholars

Our Summer Grants: Strengthening Community Health in Partnership with our Central Texas Neighbors

The Path to Healthier Texas Mothers and Babies

We Came, We Saw, We Were Inspired: SDF at SXSW 2019

Embracing Continuous Improvement in the New Year

Deepening our Impact in Central Texas with our December Grants

Earl Maxwell Announces His 2019 Retirement – VIDEO

Announcing the Recipients of our “Health Starts at Home” Grants

Getting to Impact Together through Good Measure

Flipping the Script on Anti-Poverty Programs: Family Independence Initiative (FII) Launches in Austin

Seeing the Potential: Keep Austin Beautiful & LBJ High School

Preventing Childhood Adversity and Building Community Resilience: Investing in an Emerging Field

Bringing A/C to our Neighbors in Need this Summer

The Next Generation of Health Professionals: Our 2018 Neal Kocurek Scholars

Testing a new model of Capacity Building: What I learned from evaluating St. David’s Foundation’s Capacity Academy

Senior Program Officer Kim McPherson on “Childhood Trauma’s Footprint on Health” Panel at SXSW

St. David’s Foundation Announces $30 Million in Grants, Including $8 Million Toward Childhood Resilience

Hurricane Harvey Relief in Central Texas

St. David’s Foundation Announces Our Active Parks Project

Foundation Communities’ Cardinal Point Location Opens in Northwest Austin

Focus on The Fourth: Our First Women’s Health Grantees

From One Van to Nine: The growth of St. David’s Dental Program

St. David’s Foundation Announces Grants of over $20 million

St. David’s Foundation Announces Summer Grants Totaling Over $25 Million

Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care Breaks Ground

10 Nonprofit Agencies with Innovative Healthcare Solutions Awarded St. David’s Foundation Opportunity Grants of nearly $1 million

St. David’s Foundation Announces Grants Totaling Nearly $27 Million