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Collaboration Matters

Five health-focused nonprofits partner with CFT to create a community of practice


Vaccine Community of Practice members Zoie Jackson, Lisa Rose, Tobi Jackson, Ivaylo Vasilev, Soraya Mbaoua, Leticia Tudòn, and Yolande Pengetnze

North Star Values: Collaboration and Effectiveness

To address community needs during the COVID-19 public health crisis, CFT launched a funding opportunity for organizations addressing vaccine hesitancy, aiming to reduce transmission of the virus in urban and rural communities. We also wanted to help nonprofits build community trust and learn if culturally relevant, grassroots approaches to vaccine education and deployment could make a difference in these communities.

We made a combined $2 million investment in five nonprofits working to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: The ConcilioFort Worth SPARCProject UnityTexas Health Resources, and Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Meals on Wheels. In addition, we stretched the potential impact of these grants by creating a learning community for the organizations who received the grant funding. We connected the grantees with MyPHI, a North Texas data analytics organization, to form the Vaccine Community of Practice. Its goals are to use data to drive the actions each organization takes to address vaccine hesitancy, and then bring education and vaccines to North Texas communities.

Creating the Vaccine Community of Practice allowed us, as grant makers, to see beyond incremental outcomes of a single program. We were able to recognize pivotal impact, which for us was an investment in several organizations working toward one goal. It maximized our investment so that the dollars work more efficiently, allowing the grantees to identify overlapping efforts while leveraging the individual expertise of each organization. The organizations learned key points about their targeted populations, including the leading reasons for vaccine hesitancy, with one of the top reasons being possible side effects. They also discovered the recommendations most likely to convince people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

We have met with the grantees and MyPHI several times to discuss the work, learnings, and progress of the initiatives. As of late October, the organizations reported reaching more than 50,000 people in communities with high rates of vaccine hesitancy with education about how COVID-19 vaccines work, and their efficacy and effectiveness. Through the programs we funded, the organizations have vaccinated more than 5,700 people. Equally as important as these numbers are the connections the organizations have made with the communities they serve.

This story was originally featured in our 2021 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.

A Passion for Opportunity

A Passion for Opportunity

Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund at CFT provides educational opportunities for paraplegic and quadriplegic students in Texas


Established after a tragic automobile accident that left the late Kristofer Robinson paralyzed from the neck down, the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund at CFT was created to support the education of paraplegic or quadriplegic individuals. One recent scholarship recipient of the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund is Nathan McClintock.

A Passion for Education

A Passion for Education

Om & Shanti Funds at CFT provides scholarships and opportunities to students


For the Sethis, giving back is a family affair. Parvesh and Jeet Sethi have two charitable funds at CFT: the Om & Shanti Scholarship Fund and the Om & Shanti Fund, a donor-advised fund. Both their family fund and their scholarship fund are centered around providing educational opportunities for students.

A Passion for Community

A Passion for Community

Mary Anne Sammons Cree leaves legacy of giving through CFT's Live Oak Legacy Society


Mary Anne Sammons Cree had a passion for our North Texas community. She spent her life giving back in support of the causes that mattered most to her—the performing and visual arts, museums, education, and nature.

A Passion for the Arts

A Passion for the Arts

Cece Smith Lacy and Ford Lacy fund new works from arts organizations through their fund at CFT


As Cece Smith Lacy and Ford Lacy began their estate planning process, they came to Communities Foundation of Texas for assistance with their planned giving. During their research, they learned about donor-advised funds and decided to open the Cece Smith Lacy and John Ford Lacy Fund at CFT to support their giving during their lifetime.

A Passion for Giving

A Passion for Giving

CFT’s NTX Giving Day becomes an annual celebration for the Ngo family


Joylynn Huynh-Ngo’s children haven’t quite made it out of elementary school, but they know a thing or two about whipping up batches of boba tea, cookies, and lemonade, and sharing their creations with and for the community.

Inclusion Matters

Inclusion Matters

CFT launches #IAMPEARL FUND in honor of Pearl C. Anderson


CFT’s first six-figure gift came from an African American woman named Pearl C. Anderson. Pearl grew up in rural Louisiana during the days of racial segregation and was prohibited from going to school until the age of 12, when a school for Black children was finally built a few miles from her home.