Connecting local nonprofits through technology

Bill Neely

Bill Neely left a successful 24-year technology career in the corporate world after he started having more fun working with nonprofit organizations.

Neely’s IT experience combined with his passion for helping others has led him to establish his own nonprofit organization. Today he’s the executive director of the San Antonio Community Resource Directory (SACRD), which maintains a free, comprehensive online directory of social services offered by nonprofit organizations, congregations, government agencies and other community groups in and around San Antonio.

It’s an idea that has been attempted before, but often without the resources to compile and maintain a comprehensive list of resources.

The database at now includes approximately 9,750 programs available locally, with 45,000 user visits a month. Neely estimates that roughly 70% of the usage is from case managers and other professionals seeking assistance for their clients and the rest from individuals seeking resources for themselves or their families. With no requirement to register or fill out forms, is a low-friction, easy-to-use directory.

“I really like the idea of micro-philanthropy, individuals using their time and talents in an impactful way,” he said. “You don’t have to be giving away millions of dollars to have a significant impact.”

While working as a senior IT professional in San Antonio, Neely’s employer asked him to serve on various nonprofit boards. As he learned about the challenges facing local organizations, he was intrigued by the idea of helping to find solutions.

After leaving his full-time job, he joined AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program designed to fight poverty. In that role, he met Ann Helmke, faith liaison for the City of San Antonio Human Services and joined her in her outreach to nonprofit, faith and government communities.

They discovered that groups wanted to work together, but they needed to be able to find each other. For example, if a case manager has a client who needs glasses and their organization doesn’t offer that service, they need to quickly find another group that can help.

Local service providers needed an easily searchable and up-to-date database of resources. To solve the problem, Neely created the platform that now runs the database at Once software and a categorization structure were in place, volunteers began compiling information on local services.

“It’s not really innovative software,” he said. “It’s really the infrastructure we put around being able to collect and maintain the data and the taxonomy that’s unique.”

With support from city government, the first iteration of was online in the summer of 2018. The program became a 501(c)(3) organization in March 2019.

                Neely oversees a paid staff and also provides internship opportunities for people with disabilities through the Alamo Colleges and workforce grants who need to work flexible jobs from home.

“The work we do at SACRD is perfectly suited to that,” he said.

With a successful San Antonio directory established, Neely is setting his sights on expanding the concept into other markets.

Neely joined SVP as a Partner in early 2020 and currently serves as treasurer. SVP appealed to his interest in effective altruism, the idea of identifying the best contribution an individual can make to maximize their impact. Using his technology skills to help support the local nonprofit ecosystem fits into that vision, he said.

“I’m not a counselor, I’m not really client-facing, that’s not my skill,” he said. “I can’t be the one sitting at the table, but I can build the table.

“I really like the idea of micro-philanthropy, individuals using their time and talents in an impactful way,” he said. “You don’t have to be giving away millions of dollars to have a significant impact.”

He also appreciates the opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals through SVP.

“That alone is worth the cost of partnership,” he said. “SVP is a tremendous vehicle to get to know other people that have similar values as you.”

SVP addresses what Neely sees as the biggest need for nonprofits and society in general: for individuals to care about each other.

“No issues get solved until I decide to care about something besides what’s going on in front of me,” he said. “SVP gives people who have decided to care an outlet for working together.”