Know yourself, know your giving

With so many amazing causes requesting donations, how are you supposed to choose? When saying yes to one means saying no to so many others, how are you supposed to decide? When you know what matters most to you, it’s easier to know which causes you want to support.

While it may not seem like all of these questions are relevant to your charitable giving style, being able to answer them will help better define what’s important to you. And that’s the first step in identifying what you want your charitable legacy to be. Continue reading “Know yourself, know your giving”

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 Giving Wisely?

Think critically about how and why you give

CFT’s GiveWisely series was created as a way to assist donors in developing their own approach to their personal philanthropy—by thinking strategically and learning from a group of like-minded peers.

GiveWisely offers participants an opportunity to look deeper into what motivates them to give, so they leave the class with a clearer idea of which issues they want to support, the knowledge of how they can go about doing so, and the ability to say “yes” or “no” powerfully, depending on whether an opportunity is aligned with their own focus. Continue reading “Are You Giving Wisely?”

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!”

Impact in the Wake of Tragedy

On July 7th as we were all devastated by the violence downtown and the loss of lives of our dedicated police force. Early in the morning of the 8th, Communities Foundation of Texas staff were at work to find the best way to respond and be impactful in our community.  Quickly we were able to:

  • Open CFT’s fund for disaster relief and recovery to receive outside contributions and grants for middle to long-term support. CFT’s intention in these instances is to encourage all contributions for immediate support, but to also provide a place for people to support recovery and healing after the immediate needs are met. We ask “What will the community need to get beyond the initial damage and destruction?” Many donors and CFT fund holders have given money to support the long-term healing and community unity work needed to be not only whole, but better.
  • Quickly provide the online giving form and support for WFAA to seek contributions for the Assist the Officers Foundation. This page went live and was broadcast by WFAA and the Tegna network across the state and has resulted in more than $300,000 raised for victim support. We are grateful to be a long-time partner with WFAA in all of their charitable outreach.
  • Assist Craig and Kathryn Hall with utilizing their full network to raise dollars for all shooting victims. CFT has had a long relationship with the Halls and when the Halls wanted a quick and efficient way to raise support, they turned to CFT to create a new fund. Their giving page quickly in order to offer a $100,000 match through the family foundation for all contributions raised.

CFT was able to act quickly and with an eye toward the future of our community in our response due to the strong relationships we have developed with donors. The ability to use these strong bonds to be quick, efficient, responsive and timely for our fund holders and our community is critical, and it is the reason we are all proud to be part of CFT.

Steady Your Income and Make a Contribution

There are many considerations your clients face as they approach their retirement years.  They may want to lock in a fixed income or create a hedge against inflation—or both—as well as provide support to charitable organizations that have been meaningful to them.

Charitable Gift Annuity

With a charitable gift annuity, your client can make a contribution to Communities Foundation of Texas that provides fixed payments for life as well as numerous tax advantages.  Following his/her lifetime, the remaining assets can support charitable programs in our community and beyond.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust

A charitable remainder unitrust provides variable income payments.  Your client can fund the trust with cash or other assets and decide on the payout rate, within IRS limits, to your client and/or others.  The trust assents remaining at the end of the beneficiaries’ lifetimes will provide charitable support.

Both of the above vehicles can be “linked” to a donor-advised fund that your client can experience during his/her lifetime.  The balance of the charitable gift annuity and charitable remainder unitrust can flow into the donor’s fund.

What a wonderful way for your clients to support the charitable organizations that they have loved and respected, while also receiving an income and charitable deduction.

If you would like to learn more about how CFT can be of help in creating a philanthropic legacy that can continue for years to come please contact me at gjacobs@cftexas.org or 214-750-4255.

CFT Expanding for Business!

Communities Foundation of Texas has enjoyed a strong partnership with the business community in Dallas and in our region for many years.  The success of the Entrepreneurs for North Texas program of CFT is a striking example of this significant relationship with companies wanting to make a beneficial impact within their communities. Operating as an outsourced community affairs department, Entrepreneurs For North Texas has provided its member companies with the due-diligence and resources to assist them in developing a company culture of good corporate citizenship in a way that is good for their business for over 15 years.  Through these important relationships in the business community, the demand for additional business services has led the leadership of CFT to begin an expansion of these core business services for small, mid-size and large companies serving the North Texas communities.

With the expanded business services, Communities Foundation of Texas can assist your business clients and your companies with starting or growing your company’s giving program. Continue reading “CFT Expanding for Business!”