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Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy

September 17, 2020

Cohort graduates award $50,000 to three local nonprofits: Southern Dallas Link, Miles of Freedom, and At Last


CFT’s Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy (ELP) is a nine-month program with a mission to engage, educate, and connect North Texas young leaders in taking an active role in building thriving communities for all, and to strengthen the philanthropic impact of the next generation of leaders in North Texas. The program launched in September 2018 and annually accepts applications each spring from young leaders age 25 to 40 who are interested in learning about strategic giving, grantmaking, and philanthropy.

"This group of young philanthropists was tremendously dedicated, enthusiastic, and engaged in grantmaking, especially as the program had to make an online pivot in recent months. We are committed to walking alongside the growing number of young professionals looking for opportunities to create positive change in their communities."
-Dave Scullin, President and CEO

Through a guided exploration of community issues, and after hearing from a variety of community leaders, philanthropists, and nonprofits, the 2019–2020 cohort worked together to identify their priority issue areas. They selected economic opportunity, with an emphasis on financial education/ coaching, job/skill training, and/or affordable housing; and education, with an emphasis on early childhood, parental/familial support, and community school models. The group also chose a collective set of guiding values: effectiveness and sustainability with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


In May 2020, 65 young leaders graduated from the program after having the opportunity to collectively grant $50,000 to area nonprofit(s) of their choosing. They selected three local nonprofits for funding: Southern Dallas Link ($35,000 to expand transportation fleet), Miles of Freedom ($10,000 for workforce programming), and At Last! ($5,000 for after-school counseling programs). The $50,000 in grants from this year’s cohort will have a significant impact in addressing the priority areas the group chose as their focus.

Learn more about our ELP program here

Read the Fall Impact Magazine Here

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