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Community Responsibility Endowment Fund

Community Responsibility Endowment Fund

2020 CREF Award Recipients

Click HERE to view our 2020 CREF awards presentation video.

Since 1982 the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio has managed and administered the Community Responsibility Endowment Fund (CREF). Each year the elected CREF Trustees award grants to support projects or activities in our local community.

  • Governed by the CREF Trustee Agreement, grant award organizations/projects must meet the following criteria:
  • Nominated by a church member
  • Reflects the values of our church
  • For charitable, religious, educational, or scientific purposes
  • A project under 2 years and limited to the San Antonio Metropolitan Area
  • Organizations must be 501(c)(3)


Award Criteria

CREF Trustee directives for award consideration are to administer funds:

  • For the purpose of supporting activities and/or projects which reflect the values of the current membership of the church (such as a new program, expanding a current program or a facilities expansion/capital investment)
  • For 2020 & 2021 only, in consideration of hardships and needs non-profit organizations are experiencing as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 world pandemic, the CREF Trustees have voted to allow project types to include sustaining an existing program or defraying expenses from Covid-19 related costs
  • Limited exclusively to charitable, religious, educational, or scientific purposes. 
  • For projects limited to the San Antonio Metropolitan Area (the project in SAMA, as is the organization)
  • For projects targeted for completion under 2 years.
  • To 501 (c) (3) organizations only


Organizations applying for grants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Background information:  physical location and directors, mission and/or purpose, and a brief history of the organization
  • Information about the activity/project:  description, how it will be carried out, project costs and need for funds
  • Project timeline and completion dates
  • Expected project outcomes:  impact on community and its betterment, specific alignment with any UU Principles


Award recipients will be required to submit an Evaluation Report the following Spring summarizing the events and/or accomplishments of the project.  If the project goes extends to the second year, a second final report is expected.

Please give anytime!

Simply Click Here and select “CREF”. Thank you for supporting our community philanthropy.

In the fall, CREF conducts its annual fundraising drive to raise money to grow the CREF endowment and increase the amount of earnings CREF has to award for grants in future years.

CREF FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Does the organization I want to nominate have to have a 501(c )(3) tax exemption?
A: Yes. The CREF trust document requires that the organization receiving a CREF grant have a 501(c ) (3) tax exemption. When submitting their applications to CREF, all organizations are required to submit their IRS tax letter as proof that they are a 501(c )(3).

Q: The organization I want to nominate is not located in San Antonio. Is that OK?
A: Yes, IF the focus of the project under consideration is limited to the San Antonio Metropolitan Area (SAMA) or its residents. SAMA includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties. Be aware that if the organization’s work is entirely outside the SAMA and the project does not directly benefit residents of the SAMA, it will not be considered.

Q: The organization I want to nominate is desperately in need of funds to “keep the lights on” to keep doing the good work they do. Can I nominate them for a grant?
A: The CREF grants are specifically for projects that reflect the charitable, religious, educational, and scientific considerations of our church. The trustees have not awarded grants to assist with general operating expenses, rather it asks organizations to specify a particular project; and the grant can cover those costs, including its staff and program expenses. However, in consideration of the impact of Covid-19 on an organization and hardships endured, the Trustees have voted to allow project types to include sustaining an existing program or defraying expenses from Covid-19 related costs for 2020 and 2021 only

Q: Once I nominate an organization will you notify me when they receive an application or when they have submitted their grant application to CREF?
A: No. Every 501(c )(3) organization nominated will receive an application in July. We suggest you follow up with the organization’s contact person that you listed on your nomination form by mid-July to urge them to get the application in. Not all organizations nominated turn in applications. The CREF trustees select grantees from the applications received. Applications will due in August.

Q: If the organization I am thinking about has received funding in the past from CREF before, may I still submit a request?A. Yes, if it meets all the guidelines. However, the CREF Trust Agreement provides that the same project may not receive funding for more than 2 years.Q: Who receives and reviews the applications?
A: The CREF Trustees meet to review and select between 3 and 5 grantees.

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about submitting an organization?
A: You may contact any of the CREF Trustees if you have questions regarding submitting a nomination. Please read the website and these FAQs first – we believe that all the necessary information regarding nominations is contained on this website. You may contact CREF Trustees at CREF@uusat.org.

Q: Who does the organization contact if it has a question?
A: If the question is regarding the nomination then they should contact you – the First UU Congregant who wishes to nominate them. If the question is regarding the application, a contact name and email will be provided on the application itself. You may also contact CREF Trustees at CREF@uusat.org.

Q: What range of funds are available to suggest to the non-profit organization?
A: Awards have historically been granted anywhere from between $500 and $5,000.

Q: As a member of the church, how can I become a CREF Trustee?
A: Please contact our First UU Minister or the First UU Board President to be considered for serving a CREF Board term (3 years). Please indicate any specific skills and experience you will provide to enhance the Board.