Pet Project

Russell and Phoebe Perry were more than animal lovers. Mr. and Mrs. Perry believed deeply in the fair treatment and care of animals and wanted to do everything they could to help those in need. With no children of their own, Mrs. Perry’s goal was to use their resources, both during their lifetimes and after, to help as many animals in North Texas as they could. Russell and Phoebe set up charitable funds at Communities Foundation of Texas to ensure that their money would be able to do the most good. The Perrys were able to work closely with Communities Foundation of Texas and their CPA, John Solana, to ensure that their passion turned into real change during and far beyond their lifetimes.

“Phoebe really was a guardian angel for animals in North Texas.” – James Bias, President of SPCA of Texas.

Phoebe approached every giving opportunity with insight, perspective, compassion and careful scrutiny.  After Mr. Perry died in the late 1980s, Phoebe wanted to make sure that their giving continued after her lifetime as well. Nothing gave Mrs. Perry more joy than seeing her gifts used in a responsible way and Phoebe was able to revisit her CFT fund agreements many times throughout the years as her giving needs changed. “Since Communities Foundation of Texas has no charge for agreement revisions, Mrs. Perry was able to add to and adjust her funds as often as she liked,” stated John Solana, Phoebe’s long-time financial advisor.

The Perry’s planned their deferred giving to include traditional vehicles as well as an IRA. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Perry’s thoughtful planning, the causes that they cared about will continue to benefit through their funds at CFT. This will allow their legacy of generosity to continue for years to come.

Communities Foundation of Texas Supports Private Foundations

A private foundation can be a great vehicle for charitable giving, but sometimes the process of managing the foundation’s operation can add stress to the joy of giving or become a burden. Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) can work with you to find a solution that makes your giving simple and fulfilling.

Utilizing CFT Staff Expertise

In the growing landscape of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, we understand that it can be difficult to find and/or assess the right charitable programs to fund. Through the Giving GuideNorth Texas Giving Day, and other community grant initiatives, CFT staff have extensive knowledge of nonprofits in North Texas. We are happy to provide a curated list of funding opportunities and nonprofit needs that align with a foundation’s charitable values, stated purpose and goals. Additionally, CFT can operate a separate grant application process and provide review and vetting services, if desired. Many individuals, foundations and corporate partners rely on CFT staff knowledge and experience to find specific grant opportunities.

Beyond our philanthropic services, foundations may utilize CFT to make grant payments on behalf of the foundation. CFT staff will ensure that the nonprofit recipients meet the necessary due diligence requirements, handle all check processing needs, and can also write grant agreements to provide reporting on the use and impact of funds.

Conversion of the Private Foundation

At different times in the life of a private foundation, we understand that an individual or family may need to decide if operating the foundation is the right thing. Administrative expenses, IRS compliance regulations and changing family dynamics can all impact the joy and the success of maintaining an independent charitable organization. We have worked with many people to retire the private foundation entity in favor of opening a donor-advised fund because the fund allows them to maintain the same name, identity and charitable goals as the current foundation without the administrative burden. Multiple generations can be part of the granting process, like with a board, ensuring that family values of philanthropy get passed down. Charitable giving, without the burden of administration, can be a welcome option at some point in the life of the foundation, and we are happy to explore all options with you or your client.

I would be happy to talk about the ways in which CFT can assist with the administration of your private foundation! Feel free to reach out to me at 214-750-4146 or

Dallas Area Paralegal Association Scholarship Opportunity

Answering clients’ questions, providing assistance with solutions to legal problems and holding clients’ hands though difficult situations can be quite rewarding to a paralegal that enjoys helping people. In order to extend the practice of helping others, the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) has created the DAPA Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas, designed to assist paralegal students enrolled in a Postgraduate Paralegal Certificate Program.

The most important thing about being a paralegal is a dedication to service. Paralegals serve clients, companies, bosses, and bureaucracies oftentimes without getting any credit for long hours. But that’s what service is–work on another’s behalf, for another’s interest without expectation of recognition, reward, or reciprocity. Being a paralegal is challenging and exhausting, but it’s the kind of fulfillment with which one falls in love.  – Dallas Area Paralegal Association Board Member Floy Gaidarski

DAPA is a voluntary non-profit corporation composed of paralegals, students and vendors working in all areas of the law who are interested in furthering their own professional development and who are dedicated to the advancement of the paralegal profession as a whole. The DAPA Scholarship is awarded to a paralegal student with strong academic performance, exemplary leadership, an indicated primary career interest in law, and financial need. The recipient of the scholarship will receive up to $1,500 scholarship from the DAPA Scholarship Fund.

To view eligibility requirements or apply, please visit, but hurry because the deadline for this scholarship is approaching quickly – July 7, 2017!


#NTxGivingDay has Kicked Off!

North Texas Giving Day may be 3 months away, but we’ve already kicked into high gear at Communities Foundation of Texas! The North Texas Giving Day kickoffs got started in Denton County, and we continued the North Texas Giving Day Road Show in Fort Worth and Dallas before closing it out in McKinney. Hundreds of nonprofits were represented and the #NTxGivingDay spirit was in the air!

Three women holding a large picture frame while another woman takes their picture.North Texas Giving Day isn’t an exciting day for just for nonprofits, though. Each year Communities Foundation of Texas donors go all in for Giving Day. Last year, over 630 grants were made out of 140 CFT Donor-Advised Funds! These donors gave almost $4 million to nonprofits all over North Texas – that’s over 10% of all donations made on North Texas Giving Day!

With donors like this in the future, it’s no wonder North Texas nonprofits are excited and ready to kick off #NTxGivingDay 2017!



Want to be a part of the #NTxGivingDay fun? Contact me at or 214.750.4251, for information on how Communities Foundation of Texas can help your money go farther on North Texas Giving Day!

Are you a nonprofit who wants to get involved? Register today at!


Dallas Loose Dogs Initiative

Earlier today, Communities Foundation of Texas, in partnership with other local funders, was proud to announce a significant grant from the W. W. Caruth Jr. Foundation at CFT to support an aggressive spay/neuter initiative to dramatically reduce the number of loose dogs across southern Dallas.

This important public safety initiative was featured on the front page and in an editorial in today’s Dallas Morning News:

“The loose dog situation in southern Dallas plagues our citizens on a daily basis, reducing their quality of life by limiting their ability to have full enjoyment of their neighborhoods and causing them to fear for their safety and the safety of their children,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “This initiative is a direct response to the calls from the community and the leadership of my southern Dallas colleagues on the City Council to find a solution to this problem. Solving the loose dog emergency will play a key role in creating the GrowSouth ‘Culture of Clean’ in southern Dallas with secure neighborhoods where residents are safe and economic development can thrive. I thank these fine Dallas institutions for once again partnering with the City to improve the lives of our citizens.”

“We believe strongly in making southern Dallas a safer community for both people and pets,” said Monica Egert Smith, senior director of strategic philanthropy at CFT. “Communities Foundation of Texas has great confidence in the capacity of the SPCA of Texas to undertake this ambitious spay/neuter effort to increase public safety, a key area of focus for W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at CFT.”

Based on the recommendations of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report issued in August 2016, the coalition will provide approximately 46,000 free surgeries for dogs per year for each of the next three years, with the goal of dramatically reducing the birth rate of dogs and thereby reducing the population of loose dogs in southern Dallas. The total cost of the surge is expected to be approximately $24 million. The three grants will fund activities by SPCA of Texas, the Spay Neuter Network and Operation Kindness. The coalition will be managed by Aaron Asmus of Resourceful Elephant Group, a veteran of spay/neuter surges in other cities.

“This ground-breaking initiative is the most aggressive among any major city in the U.S.,” said Peter Brodsky, chairman of the Dallas Animal Advisory Commission and CFT fund holder. “It’s a smart, data-driven approach that will end a problem that affects humans and animals alike. Spaying and neutering not only increases public safety by decreasing the loose dog population and the number of animal bites, it reduces unnecessary euthanasia. Thanks to the generosity of these three funders, we are more than halfway to our fundraising goal. We look forward to discussions with other local and national funders in the coming months about supporting this effort to fundamentally alter the landscape for humans and animals in our city.”


Beyond the Helper’s High

We all know that giving back feels good, but did you know that it’s actually good for you?

The warm glow that most people feel from giving back actually has a name – the “helpers high.” Indeed, volunteering, donating and offering emotional support to others not only helps those on the receiving end, they have also all been shown to boost the mental and physical health of the giver.

Good for your mental health

Continue reading “Beyond the Helper’s High”

Dallas Dinner Table

On January 16th I was one of about 600 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who were intentionally talking about race relations in Dallas around a stranger’s dinner table.

Dallas Dinner Table is a series of dinners on the evening of Martin Luther King Jr. Day that convenes diverse groups of people, who wouldn’t normally sit down to a meal together, to talk about difficult issues around race relations in Dallas. The dinners happen all over DFW at churches, restaurants and peoples’ homes. With the topic of race relations and equity on many people’s minds right now, this event couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. Continue reading “Dallas Dinner Table”

Educate Texas’ Singapore trip

Educate Texas, through a privately funded grant, recently hosted a delegation of Texas leaders on a learning tour to Singapore, which is regarded as one of the best educational systems in the world. The goal of the week-long excursion was for these Texans to examine and carry back the innovative best practices and ideas to continue to lead, develop and improve Texas’ public education system.

George Tang, managing director of Educate Texas, sat down to tell us some of the things they brought back from Singapore.

Why go halfway around the globe, to Singapore, to explore education?

Continue reading “Educate Texas’ Singapore trip”

Apply to be in the Giving Guide

Each year Communities Foundation of Texas carefully reviews hundreds of nonprofit requests and summarizes recommended projects for our Giving Guide. CFT’s Giving Guide is an online and print resource used by our donors and the community-at-large to make decisions on funding charitable organizations. The Giving Guide becomes a key tool for our donors and their families to use when making decisions on how to make an impact locally. The CFT team uses the Giving Guide to assist donors in narrowing down the thousands of nonprofits in North Texas and finding organizations whose impact areas align with the donor’s focus areas. Continue reading “Apply to be in the Giving Guide”

We’re Here to Talk

With limited resources, we all have to make choices on what to support. Simplifying the giving process is what Communities Foundation of Texas is all about.

At Communities Foundation of Texas, we have giving experts who will sit down with your family or business to talk about your giving goals and help you maximize your giving.  We are happy to help you, just give us a call today and we can set up a free, confidential consultation.

You go to a doctor for medical advice, a lawyer for legal advice, an accountant for tax advice…why not a charitable giving expert for giving advice? That’s why we’re here! We’ll help you navigate the many solicitations you get in the mail and the many ways to help locally, across the nation and beyond—to step back and really make a plan.

Many people want to consider how they will best situate their family as well as how they want to improve the community and leave a legacy. We’ll work together to find the right path for you.

A lot of people work with us all year long, not just at year-end.

We’re here for you and can talk confidentially about your ideas. Contact us today to get started with your giving plan.