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”

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”

2016 Year In Review

What a year!

2016 has been a big year for Communities Foundation of Texas! We had a record-breaking North Texas Giving Day, once again helping pump millions of dollars into the nonprofits of our area. We’ve had talks given by nationally-recognized financial experts and an NPR science correspondent.

Between Freedom Day, our annual Family Service Project and year-round volunteer projects, CFT and partner companies have given over 6300 volunteer hours back to the community.

Continue reading “2016 Year In Review”

Are you the drop of water that will change the tide?

On December 15th, Communities Foundation of Texas was lucky enough to host a talk by Shankar Ventantam, NPR’s social science correspondent and the host of the Hidden Brain podcast. His talk, Hidden Bias, Hidden Harm, was about unconscious bias and its effects on us as individuals and as a community. Unconscious biases are biases that we are unaware of and which happen outside of our control, and usually, our knowledge.

Shankar said that most people, when they think about bias, think of overt racism, sexism, or homophobia. These are conscious biases – those that have a big effect, that you can point to how they clearly favor one kind of person over another. By contrast, the role of unconscious bias seems very mundane suggests Shankar. However, he argues, these are the biases of which we should be most concerned. Continue reading “Are you the drop of water that will change the tide?”

Announcing David J. Scullin as New President and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas

Scullin to continue CFT’s philanthropic leadership in North Texas and beyond

The board of trustees of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), one of the largest community foundations in the nation, is pleased to announce that David J. Scullin will become its new president and chief executive officer, starting in January 2017. Scullin replaces Brent E. Christopher, who led CFT for nearly eleven years.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, I am thrilled to welcome Dave Scullin, as the new president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas,” said Frank Risch, board chair of CFT. “Dave is known for his seasoned leadership, strategic acumen, financial expertise and his ability to build relationships. We look forward to his leadership which we believe will bring CFT to even higher levels of achievement in developing philanthropy within our North Texas community.” Continue reading “Announcing David J. Scullin as New President and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas”

North Texas Giving Day Sets New Record!

Day of Fundraising Benefits 2,518 Local Nonprofits

The eighth annual North Texas Giving Day has raised the largest amount in the event’s history for the fifth year in a row, and the largest amount for a single online community “Giving Day” in the nation. Nonprofit organizations and supporters celebrated the 18-hour day of fundraising with community-wide Donation Station events in Dallas, Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth and McKinney featuring performances by “The Voice” finalist Luke Wade, Oaktopia’s Texas Gentlemen, and nonprofits as well as children’s activities and much more.

The astounding $37 million raised for 2,518 nonprofits from more than 142,700 donations exceeded last year’s totals of $33.1 million and 118,000 donations. This is the first time in the event’s eight-year history that all participating nonprofits received a gift. Donations poured in from all 50 states and 39 countries at a rate of nearly $34,500 per minute. Continue reading “North Texas Giving Day Sets New Record!”

GIVEWISELY Sparks New Approaches to Philanthropy

GIVEWISELY IS A ONE-OF-A-KIND INITIATIVE of Communities Foundation of Texas that teaches
donors the ins and outs of philanthropy and how to develop their own unique approach to charitable giving. This series of classes and workshops is open to donors of all ages.

When CFT fund holder Gigi Gartner was in the class, she had just finished an event announcing recipients of the Common Cents Scholarship fund that she leads now, thanks to her mother, Louise, passing the torch. “GiveWisely gave me the opportunity to think about how I will build on my mother’s community impact and continue to create my own.”

Participants met for five sessions that explored various ways of defining their own values and giving style, and the class culminated with them each outlining their personal giving statements and charitable budgets. GiveWisely classes offer donors a unique chance to learn from experts, share conversations, and create a custom giving plan in a warm,confidential environment. Gartner closed, “I highly recommend CFT’s GiveWisely class for those who want to learn how to structure more powerful giving.”