Top 15 Moments of 2015
2015 was another huge year for SA2020. From welcoming new partners to getting out the vote, we were busy, busy, busy (in the best possible way). And we couldn’t have done any of it without you. To celebrate the end of the year, we’ve been looking back at all that we’ve done together, and we put together a countdown to share our Top 15 Moments of 2015.
2015 marked two milestones for us: SA2020’s 5th birthday and the halfway point to reaching our 2020 goals. At our birthday breakfast in September, we celebrated all the progress we’ve made in the last 5 years and the many individuals and organizations that helped us get here. At the same time, we recognized the work that’s left to do. Making it to the halfway point has only inspired us more in achieving our 2020 vision.
#14 Talent Pipeline Report
Speaking of work… while high school graduation rates are up (in fact, we’ve exceeded our 2020 goal!), we’re still trying to get on track for professional certificates, college enrollment, and college attainment in order to become a more economically competitive city. This year we released our Talent Pipeline Report to address workforce gaps in San Antonio, identifying key industries and jobs that are lacking the right talent in San Antonio, but also shining the spotlight on initiatives that are working to shrink this gap.
#13 Community Outreach
If you (somehow) didn’t know already, now you do: SA2020 is committed to strengthening, connecting with, and engaging our community. In 2015, our team collectively attended 159 local events and programs across San Antonio. We’ve had a blast learning more about the people and organizations making San Antonio even better, attending new events, and getting to know even more community members. #weloveourcity
#12 New Team Members
This year, we welcomed two new members to the SA2020 team: Shelby and Mary Kate. These two Trinity University alumni work in Outreach and Communications, and we’ve thrown them headfirst into the SA2020 excitement. We’re so happy to have two more people getting involved in our vision and community.
#11 New Partners
Partners are such an important part of SA2020, so we were thrilled to welcome 58 new ones this fall. These organizations spend their days making San Antonio even greater, and they certainly inspire us in the process. You can learn more about all of our partners here or sign up to connect with them for volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved here.
As an organization built on engaging the community, there’s nothing we love more than individuals getting involved with what we do. In 2015 more individuals donated to SA2020 than in any previous year. In fact, we nearly doubled our donations! We’re so excited that what we’re doing excites you too, and we couldn’t be more thankful for your donations. Our shared vision could not be reached unless we all get involved, so your donation – no matter how big or small – shows us that you’re just as committed as we are. Get in on the action here.
We don’t just collaborate in the office or with our partners; we work together across San Antonio and Bexar County. In fact, we know that in order to achieve our collective goals, we need system changes that take collaborative efforts and partnership. This year, we grew those efforts and teamed up with EnrollSA/Get Bexar Covered, VIA, Economic Development Foundation, SA Tomorrow, the Downtown Arts & Culture Committee, Eastpoint, Destination College, SA2020 Commissions on Education and Strengthening Family Well-Being, MLK Commission, Talent Pipeline Task Force, United Way’s ReadyKidSA, and The Health Collaborative in order to better align resources and develop comprehensive strategies and tactics to move us closer to our community vision.
As supporters of philanthropic giving, we’ve always loved and promoted The Big Give S.A. In 2015, however, we got in on the fun for the first time. We asked donors to support both SA2020 and at least one of our partners by promoting #Give2020. We also spent an entire 24 hours visiting some of our great partners and sharing some of our favorite parts of San Antonio. We also celebrated—because South Central Texas raised over $4 million for nonprofits during The Big Give!
We welcomed 7 new board members in August of 2015, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have these awesome individuals in our corner. These business, civic, and non-profit leaders work all across San Antonio, bringing great experience and diversity to SA2020.
#6 ReadyKidSA Launch
2015 also marked the launch of ReadyKidSA! Under the leadership of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, this coalition of organizations works to build upon successful child and family programs in San Antonio. Currently in its pilot phase, ReadyKidSA’s mission is to create a comprehensive early childhood system, and provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources. SA2020 is excited about what’s to come for ReadyKidSA because research shows that early childhood development benefits not only children and their families, but also the local community and workforce well into the future.
Improving voter turnout is one of our goals for 2020, and in 2015 we worked hard to make an impact during the May municipal election. We surveyed the mayoral candidates about how they might work toward our vision for 2020, hosted a candidate meet and greet with Rackspace, and participated in Theatre for Change’s “Vote for Change” forum. We also worked with the League of Women Voters to provide content for the super cool ThinkVoting app. While we still have a ways to go to reach our voter turnout target, we were excited to see increased engagement and attendance at candidate panels.
We’ve always loved Pecha Kucha San Antonio, and on Dec. 1st, they let us get in on the fun! SA2020 and PechaKucha partnered to co-present Vol. 20 of a night of chit-chats, and honestly, we’re still buzzing about it. Each of the 8 speakers were inspiring, engaged community members who shared their individual passions and collective vision for San Antonio. From Mayor Ivy Taylor to 8th grader Kylie Helterband, every presenter motivated us to get involved in our community. Read more about it here. And, if that wasn’t enough, we celebrated #GivingTuesday at the same time! With more than 1,000 people in attendance that raised over $10,000, it was a seriously awesome night of two of our favorite things: community involvement and philanthropic giving.
SA2020’s founding President & CEO, Darryl Byrd, initially agreed to lead SA2020 to the halfway point, which we reached in 2015. Darryl stepped down early this year, and our board appointed Molly Cox, previously the Chief of Engagement, as the new President & CEO. While Darryl was integral in laying the foundation for SA2020, the nonprofit, Molly’s role is in leading the execution of our shared community vision. We’re so excited to see where SA2020 goes in the next 5 years with Molly at the helm.
#2 New Office
Movin’ on up…to the east side. (Sing it with us!) On May 15th, we moved into our awesome new office in St. Paul Square, right next to Sunset Station. We love the location, our East Side neighbors, East Commerce Realty for the awesome space, Wittigs Office Interiors for our fantastic furniture, and our great balcony.
#1 Community Engagement
In 2015 we worked hard to improve community engagement, and we’re so glad to say we saw increases across the board. 600 individuals signed up for volunteer profiles on our website, SA2020 endorsed 45 community events, we gave 38 presentations on the SA2020 vision to more than 8,500 individuals, and 13 organizations shared their stories with us on our blog. We love seeing new people get involved and hearing the awesome stories about San Antonio’s progress. We can’t wait to see how much more is in store in 2016—stay tuned!