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CFT Reaches $2 Billion In Cumulative Grantmaking

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CFT Reaches $2 Billion In Cumulative Grantmaking

Landmark figure reached with the help of countless individuals, businesses and others both public and private since founding of North Texas institution in 1953

DALLAS – February 11, 2020 – Celebrating 67 years of leadership in grantmaking and philanthropy, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), one of the largest grantmakers in the state, has officially surpassed the $2 billion threshold in cumulative giving.

“This grantmaking milestone signifies the enthusiasm of North Texans for philanthropy as CFT enters a new decade,” says Dave Scullin, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. “We know the challenges facing our community are complex. Because no one organization can solve all the issues alone, CFT serves as a hub for philanthropy, convening those looking to make a positive impact in their community.”

Read the Dallas Morning news coverage of this milestone here.

CFT manages more than 1,000 charitable funds for individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. Addressing a diverse array of needs that have a direct impact on quality of life, CFT has worked on issues ranging from education, economic security, health, social services, disaster relief, racial equity, the arts and more.

Since reaching the $1 billion grantmaking mark in 2009, CFT has granted to 10,430 nonprofits. Almost 80% of the grants have benefitted the 20 counties of North Texas with the balance supporting grantees across Texas, the US and internationally.

Below is a breakdown of the latest $1 billion in grantmaking by issue area:

  • Education: 26%
  • Health & Scientific Research: 19%
  • Other: 14%
  • Religious Activities: 11%
  • Housing & Human Services: 11%
  • Arts & Culture: 9%
  • Community Improvement: 6%
  • Youth & Recreation: 4%

A thriving community does not exist without a thriving education system, so it’s no surprise that education ranks at the top of Communities Foundation of Texas’ areas of focus. Seeded in 2004 by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, CFT’s statewide education initiative, Educate Texas, has granted more than $80 million towards improving student outcomes across the state and has aligned more than $450 million in public and private investments to benefit over one million first-generation, low-income students across Texas.  Throughout the years, CFT has continued to think bigger to improve our students’ and our state’s future. Hence, CFT’s Educate Texas efforts have expanded to enable educational leaders and policymakers to enhance Texas public and higher education systems.

Because a community won’t thrive without thriving families, CFT has focused on building the economic security of working families across North Texas. Since 2012, CFT has driven efforts to build the capacity of 75 local nonprofits through multiple learning cohorts like CFT’s Data-Driven Decision-Making Institute and Collin County Nonprofit Leadership Institute. Additionally, through the 16 agencies in CFT’s Working Families Success Network, 7,886 individuals have been helped along the path of economic security.

The $2 billion cumulative grantmaking also includes distributions from CFT’s North Texas Giving Day effort, one of the nation’s first and largest online communitywide giving events, benefitting 3,000 local nonprofits and enrolling 100,000 donors. Since 2009, North Texas Giving Day has become the nation’s single most powerful day of community-wide giving, cumulatively granting more than $290 million to over 3,000 nonprofits from more than 100,000 donors.

Another significant source of grantmaking from CFT is more than $200 million from CFT’s largest endowment, the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund, which was left to Communities Foundation of Texas upon Will Caruth’s death in 1990. Created to support innovative, high-impact solutions in and across the areas of education, health, and public safety, CFT acts as the custodian of the generous fund and directs its impact on issues where these target areas intersect.

More than 40% of CFT’s latest $1 billion in grantmaking comes from the 800 funds it manages for individuals, families and businesses. CFT and its fund holders have invested in many of the landmarks of our region. For example, the Meyerson Center, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Klyde Warren Park and Richardson’s Eisemann Center for Performing Arts were all significantly funded through CFT. Similarly, CFT provided a strong source of support for the newly reimagined Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum that opened this year.

CFT CEO Dave Scullin remarked on both the legacy and future upon reaching the historic $2 billion milestone in cumulative grantmaking.

Each day, our staff and board at Communities Foundation of Texas have the privilege of carrying out our mission to build a thriving community for all in North Texas and beyond. We've had an extraordinary history with much to be proud of, yet given the ongoing needs in our community, there is much to be done. We look forward to partnering with more difference makers working side by side to strengthen our community for many years to come.

- Dave Scullin, President and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas.

In addition to headquarters office on Caruth Haven Lane in Dallas, Communities Foundation of Texas has expanded its footprint to offices in Collin County, Austin, Harlingen and Palacios, as much of its work has implications far outside of North Texas, and even at the national and international level.

Other key takeaways and figures in Communities Foundation of Texas reaching this historic level in grantmaking:

  • CFT leverages the collective power of more than 1,000 charitable funds and has made more than $2 billion in charitable grants since 1953.
  • 2014 marked the first year that CFT surpassed $100 million in grantmaking in a single year.
  • 2019 was the largest single year of grantmaking at $118 million.
  • $11 million raised for natural and man-made disaster relief efforts through CFT responding to events such as the recent tornadoes as well as the West explosion, Garland tornadoes, Hurricane Harvey, Ebola, Dallas 7/7 police shootings and others.
  • CFT manages 68 scholarship funds and has distributed $11 million to 1,636 scholarship recipients.  One family alone has funded 151 scholarships since 2006.
  • CFT’s Caruth Fund has cumulatively granted over $200 million since 1997. In 2019, CFT announced its largest set of Caruth grantees in a single year (35 grantees, $11 million). Funds are meant to address community’s challenges holistically and work across sectors of education, health, and public safety to build enduring solutions.
  • CFT’s investment in social services is significant, including almost $8 million to the North Texas Food Bank since 2009.
  • CFT has seeded important projects like the planning grants for UNT’s Dallas campus, the conception of the Perot Museum and The Senior Source’s Elder Financial Safety Center.
  • From 2010 to 2019, CFT has almost doubled the amount of grants made (4,736 grants in 2010 to 8,837 grants in 2019).
  • From 1953-2009, CFT made its first billion dollars in grantmaking, with the second billion granted since 2009.

Communities Foundation of Texas will make 2020 a year of acknowledging the charitable-minded businesses, people, and organizations that made this landmark number a reality. A private event will be held in recognition of the collective achievement this evening.

For more information, please visit: cftexas.org as well as their historical timeline at cftexashistory.org.

About Communities Foundation of Texas

Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works with individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and private foundations to build thriving communities locally and across the state through a variety of charitable funds and strategic initiatives. The foundation professionally manages 1,000 charitable funds and runs several key initiatives like Educate Texas, North Texas Giving Day, Working Families Success Network of North Texas, Best in Class and the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFT. CFT has awarded over $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

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