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Partnership Matters

CFT's philanthropic consulting connects donors to nonprofits


Beacon Hill Preparatory Institite President/Founder Charnella Derry, Campus Manager Neyssa Shockley, Campus Instructor Barbara Daniels, with School Principal Umoja Turner

North Star Values: Partnership and Sustainability

One of the services that CFT provides to individuals, families, and businesses is philanthropic consulting. We recently helped connect a family, who prefers to keep their generosity anonymous, to nonprofits working in the cause areas that matter most to them: literacy and economic mobility.

The donors were referred to CFT by their professional advisor. CFT’s charge was to recommend high-impact nonprofits for their funding consideration that they could support with meaningful multiyear grants that would help the organizations scale and grow.

“The value that CFT brings is in working with so many nonprofits closely. We’re able to align with the goals of the donors and recommend vetted nonprofits that are best positioned to do specific types of work and make an impact long-term,” said Galen Smith, CFT’s senior officer of community philanthropy.

CFT’s philanthropy department works to develop lists of potential nonprofit grant recipients, then dives deeper to identify specific funding opportunities that align with donor giving priorities. In this instance, we were able to share with the donors what was needed for the organizations under consideration to enhance their capacity and sustainability for the long-term. These recent donors ultimately selected three nonprofits that aligned with their goals to increase literacy and economic mobility: Beacon Hill Preparatory InstituteReading Partners, and Year Up.

“These grants are really changing the trajectory for the selected organizations in a positive way, helping them scale and position themselves in a really strong place,” said Smith. “With these multiyear grants, the donors will continue to receive administrative support and annual grant reports from CFT to ensure the promised impact is realized. We steward philanthropic consulting grants with the same level of care as we do for our competitive grant processes from our discretionary funds.”

The multiyear grant to Reading Partners is helping them expand their comprehensive literacy tutoring model from 17 to 20 schools, and the funding for Year Up is focused on scaling their programming, in alignment with statewide 60x30 goals that CFT’s Educate Texas also works toward. Grants from CFT’s W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund helped launch the national Year Up program here in Dallas initially.

Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute received capacity building funding to support sustainable growth. “This was the largest grant we’ve ever received,” said Charnella Derry, president and founder of Beacon Hill. “We had outgrown our current database technology and are being asked to increase our literacy and math tutoring and support, so we need to grow and scale outside of our current Dallas ISD funding, as our work is being requested by other school districts. This funding allowed us to build out our operations team, add program managers, and expand our technology. It’s enabling us to take the time to focus and make our growth sustainable. It’s one thing to grow, but to be able to intentionally plan our infrastructure in partnership with experts and consultants to sustain that growth over the next three years is an incredible opportunity.”

In addition to strategic, large-scale philanthropic consulting, CFT offers a values-based giving program for individuals, families, and businesses called GiveWisely that helps givers determine what matters most to them. Customized sessions are offered year-round. Learn more at CFTexas.org/GiveWisely.


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

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