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Reflecting on 14 Years of Wende Burton’s Impact

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Reflecting on 14 Years of Wende Burton’s Impact

Celebrating Wende's CFT Career

If you’ve been a partner or grantee of CFT’s during the past decade, it’s likely that you’ve connected with Wende Burton, CFT’s Chief Philanthropy Officer. After fourteen years of dedicated service and leadership, Wende will be departing Communities Foundation of Texas for her next chapter in nonprofit consulting. Our hearts are heavy, but we hope you will join us in celebrating the tremendous impact she leaves across our community and at CFT.

Wende joined CFT as a consultant in January 2010 to help implement the organization’s new strategic plan and was then hired as a full-time employee in November 2010. Wende worked closely with the North Texas Giving Day team for her first few years at CFT, getting the program off the ground and activating collaborations with nonprofits. She also supported CFT’s initial partnership with Entrepreneurs for North Texas and played an integral role in bringing that work in-house, which eventually transitioned into CFT for Business in 2017.

For many years, Wende led CFT’s grantmaking and capacity building focus on economic security and economic mobility, where she helped design and implement programs, learning networks, and capacity building cohorts, such as the Working Families Success (WFS) Network of North Texas and the Data Driven Decision-Making (D3) Institute. She built and strengthened relationships with peer funders and community partners that resulted in new philanthropic funding, including creation and development of KERA’s One Crisis Away series, a child savings account program in Lancaster and Richardson ISD, and the first regional financial coaching institute.

In 2022, she was promoted to Chief Philanthropy Officer and took the helm of the Philanthropy Department, leading the grantmaking team responsible for driving CFT’s discretionary grantmaking processes and community impact, including the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund, which averages $16M in grants annually.

Wende has long been a “go-to” both internally and in the community for understanding and responding to community needs when it comes to disaster relief and philanthropy. From March 2020 – March 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped oversee CFT’s mobilization of more than $375 million for nonprofits in collaboration and leadership with donors and partner funding organizations, including co-leading the North Texas Cares funding collaborative, which granted $63 million across 1,000+ nonprofits through 45 funders. Most recently, she helped activate support, funding, and resources for the Uvalde and Allen communities in the wake of mass shootings.

We are grateful for the many contributions Wende has made at CFT over the last fourteen years, and she will be missed. We wish her the best as she continues to serve our nonprofit community in a new capacity.


“It has been an honor and one of the great joys of my life to work at CFT in service to my community these past 14 years. CFT will always have a place in my heart, and I will especially miss collaborating with my amazing colleagues on a day-to-day basis. I am excited to see what the future brings and to welcome new adventures – both for me and for CFT. I will miss engaging with our nonprofit partners, peer funders, and donors who work so hard to make a daily impact on the lives of our fellow North Texans. It has been a genuine privilege to learn and serve alongside each of you, as a member of CFT.”

“I am looking forward to continuing our collaborations and partnerships in the next chapter of my career through my consulting work and in continued service on nonprofit boards and committees. I remain committed to the success of North Texas, for CFT, for our nonprofits, and for our community.”

Wende Burton, CFT’s Chief Philanthropy Officer


“We extend our deepest appreciation to Wende Burton for all that she has done for CFT, our colleagues, our community, our nonprofit partners, donors, and peer funders. Wende’s impact across our history will be felt for decades to come, especially when reflecting on CFT’s expansive leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters that have affected our community. She created a lasting legacy of support for our focus on economic security and was integral in the creation and success of many of our strategies. We are grateful that Wende will stay connected to CFT beyond her time as a colleague and that she will continue to serve our nonprofit community.”

– Wayne White, CFT’s President and CEO 

Wayne White
Wayne White
President & CEO

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