SMCF banks on new treasurer Fred York

By Gregory Gunter

The San Miguel Community Foundation (SMCF)—founded in 1976—boasts a successful history of both distributing grants and attracting qualified volunteers for their unpaid board of directors. And with the recent addition of SMCF treasurer Fred York, they scored a coup.

“Fred’s career in the nonprofit sector proves a boon for us,” says Donna Foudray, president of SMCF. “We’re really blessed to have his decades of expertise on our board.”

As treasurer, Fred’s role is invaluable for a nonprofit foundation that has distributed over US$743,000 in the last six years alone, a monthly average of over US$10,000. Given the modesty of SMCF grant requests—and yet the astounding outreach of each grant’s effect—the foundation’s outreach proves invaluable to the community.

Treasurer York spent the first half of his life in the nonprofit arena, primarily with the March of Dimes’ Birth Defects Foundation. He served in positions of field representative, executive director in Dallas and Houston, Texas, and finally at the New York corporate office serving as director of national coalitions development. In 1989, Fred moved to Dallas and founded his own nonprofit consultancy organization specializing in small and emerging community service charities, which he ran until 1998.

“Grant analysis review and the actual distribution of funds are what I always enjoyed most,” says SMCF’s new treasurer. “At March of Dimes I mostly focused on fundraising, but here at SMCF, I’ll be focusing on what I truly enjoy.”

Fred also finds time for a wide variety of other interests, especially since his move to San Miguel de Allende in 2006. Travel and tennis are two favorites, especially when he can combine the two as he did when he played in a tournament in Cologne, Germany, while visiting several Central European countries.

Fred also helped found in 2008 the local Community Church where he served as council chair in 2012. But he also really enjoys taking the pulpit—so to speak—when serving as a volunteer tour guide for Patronato Pro Niños’ historical walking tours. “I always wanted to teach history,” Fred adds. “Now I can share San Miguel de Allende’s rich and wonderful history while helping raise funds dedicated to improving the health of children in our community.”

While SMCF has distributed grants to well-known nonprofits—names like Hospice San Miguel, Jovenes Adelante, and Mujeres en Cambio—their outreach extends to many smaller organizations, from Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora, Cadena de Ayuda, and Centro Infantil San Pablo. All organizations seeking funds, however, must meet SMCF’s strict grant request guidelines.

While Treasurer York spent almost a decade out of the nonprofit sector in the home décor industry prior to his move to San Miguel, he’s now back in the industry that guided most of his life. “I started in the nonprofit arena straight out of the University of Texas,” he says. “And now with SMCF, I’m back in the role I love: helping others.”

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