Banking on Hope: Nonprofit CEO Finds Partnership for Growth
Business Banking Relationship Manager Denise Garcia (left) with SA Hope Center CEO Megan Legacy (right) in front of a mural wall outside of SA Hope Center headquarters.
Megan Legacy, CEO of SA Hope Center, wakes up every day fueled by her organization’s mission to help end systemic poverty on the west side of San Antonio. She leads the team that operates the facility and its programs, which helps families who are experiencing generational poverty, crisis, food insecurity, and housing insecurity find a way forward. The SA Hope Center meets the immediate needs of these families during their most challenging times and works with them to build a path toward a more sustainable future.
“We have lots of amazing programs and classes and workshops, but it's that shift in thinking where someone realizes, ‘Wow, my name matters. My story matters. My kids matter. My future matters.’ That's the place from which growth starts. And to be able to see that in people when they realize they're valued and loved, that’s what fuels me to keep going every single day.”
– Megan Legacy, CEO, SA Hope Center
In 2020, SA Hope Center had just begun its capital campaign efforts to fundraise for the construction of a new facility that would greatly expand its capacity to serve the community. When COVID-19 hit, Megan needed to find support for the organization immediately so that it could continue their family services even if its long-term fundraising efforts were forced to come to a temporary standstill. This is when Megan met Denise Garcia, Vice President, Relationship Manager at The Bank of San Antonio, whose banking expertise in nonprofit management provided the partnership and support she needed to navigate uncertain times.
“During COVID, it was a very scary time, especially in the nonprofit sector. All at once, we had funding disappearing because we had to cancel our events...yet, there were more people at our door needing help than ever,” says Megan. “When the opportunity for PPP loans came up, it was very confusing, and the rules were changing every day. We called The Bank of San Antonio, and we were connected with Denise, and it was such a fast process. It was such a gift to know that, because of her partnership, everything was going to be okay.”
After Denise was able to help secure PPP loan funding for the SA Hope Center, she and Megan continued to keep in touch for the next two years while the capital campaign fundraising resumed for SA Hope Center’s expansion. With the campaign now almost complete in 2023, the expansion project is soon to begin with financing provided by The Bank of San Antonio.
“As a community bank, we are all about giving back, learning, and serving as a resource locally. When a nonprofit comes to us for financial solutions, it's never a one-size-fits-all, straightforward process. We start from the beginning to really learn a nonprofit’s mission, business model, [and] identify where they are on their mission and how we can partner to help with growth goals or management of daily operations. That can be done through financing, introducing a nonprofit’s leaders to other community partners to help their mission, or any other ways we can strategize to help move the organization forward.”
– Denise Garcia, VP, Relationship Manager, The Bank of San Antonio
Megan attributes the SA Hope Center’s expansion in part to the relationship with The Bank of San Antonio. “The opportunity to partner with The Bank of San Antonio on this loan is really an opportunity for us to help the community,” says Megan. "We are going to have expanded classroom facilities, mental health resources, drop-in childcare...none of this would be possible without a loan from the bank to be able to help us cover many of the fundraising pledges. Even when we raise the money in our capital campaign, there are pledges that come in that are multi year gifts, but we need the cash up front for the construction. This loan is making that possible.”
For Denise, serving the San Antonio community and organizations like SA Hope Center through her work at The Bank of San Antonio is a higher calling. As a nonprofit banking expert, helping others is always at the heart of her personal mission. In her current efforts to spearhead the Toastmasters program for her colleagues at The Bank of San Antonio, she hopes that strengthening her own communication skills and encouraging her peers to do the same in a collaborative environment will only further her mission to give back to others as she offers financial solutions to grow their organizations. “We all know how important communication is in business and in our own lives, and the Toastmasters program provides a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth,” she says.
If your nonprofit organization could benefit from a strategic thought partner on your mission to serve our community, The Bank of San Antonio and Denise Garcia are here to support your needs.
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