Tripling a Community Foundation (San Antonio)

  • Local Projects
  • 2015

John Santikos owned 11 cinemas, some shopping centers, and open land in San Antonio and southern Texas. When he died, he left those assets, worth more than $605 million, to the San Antonio Area Foundation. This was the largest single charitable gift on record in that city, and the largest philanthropic donation nationwide in 2015. It will more than triple the community foundation’s assets. Annual proceeds from the Santikos gift will mostly be distributed to a wide variety of local charities, bolstering people in need, students, cultural institutions, and medical treatment. However, the immigrant from Greece—whose family suffered through the Greek civil war—also specified that two non-San Antonio nonprofits should each get 10 percent of the annual donations from his estate: Doctors Without Borders, and International Orthodox Christian Charities.