Skip to main content

What's Next?

What's Next?

John & Veletta Lill put plans in place to give back to the community

What's next? is the question former Dallas City Council member Veletta Forsythe-Lill and her husband John asked as they reviewed their financial goals. Approaching a milestone birthday and thankful to have accomplished some bigger goals like funding their son’s college education, Veletta started thinking about how she could sustain the legacy of the community she had helped build. While she has invested a significant amount of time in the community, it was important to her that she invest financially in its future as well.

As Veletta and John started their estate planning process , they came to Communities Foundation of Texas for assistance with their planned giving.

“CFT is an outgrowth of giving to the community through the Community Chest, and it feels communally owned,” says Lill. “I wanted to set up a fund with CFT because I had a personal relationship with the foundation through my work on nonprofit boards and admire its work.”

The Lills worked with CFT to set up a donor-advised fund that is an extension of their lifetime giving. Putting the donor-advised fund as a beneficiary in their will allows them to continue to contribute to the community even after they are gone and incorporates many of their current passions. For Veletta, passions include the arts and community health. For John, an airline pilot, they hope to invest in a new generation of pilots.

Veletta’s advice to others on estate planning: “It’s never too early to start. And, it’s important to review your plans as you have course-corrections in your life. You want to make sure they reflect your current lifestyle and goals.”

For assistance in developing a giving strategy that is consistent with your charitable goals, contact Carolyn Newham, Senior Director of Donor Relations and Services, Communities Foundation of Texas at 214-750-4146.

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.

Legacy Matters

Legacy Matters

Lange family supports their passions long after their lifetime through CFT


One of the things that matters most to us in building a thriving community is growing community giving over the long term. CFT’s Live Oak Society was established in 2018 to recognize individuals and families who have created a legacy with CFT through a planned gift in their will or estate to their donor-advised fund or to support CFT’s discretionary grantmaking. To date, more than 70 individuals and couples have joined CFT’s Live Oak Society.

Love Matters

Love Matters

Allyson Bohannon Goldman Memorial Fund at CFT honors a heart for service


In 2020, Jody Goldman and Steve and Sharon Bohannon established the Allyson Bohannon Goldman Memorial Fund at CFT. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Allyson Bohannon Goldman passed away unexpectedly at age 30 from a postpartum blood clot seven weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Caroline. “In her 30 years, she left an indelible mark on those who knew her. In addition to being a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, she lived a life of service to others,” said Sharon Bohannon, Allyson’s mother.

Education Matters

Education Matters

CFT's Educate Texas reimagines learning environments


In the United States, 65% of future jobs will require higher education, but only 39% of Texans have earned a college degree or workforce credential. To help prepare students for college and career pathways, Educate Texas’ Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs bring together state agencies and school districts to strengthen instruction and academics in K-12 schools and build relationships with industry experts.

Generosity Matters

Generosity Matters

Bhatia Family Foundation supports CFT's NTX Giving Day in a big way


CFT’s North Texas Giving Day–the largest community-uniting, generosity-raising giving event in the nation – is a time for celebration, joy, and GIVING! Each September, thousands of nonprofits (this year, more than 3,300!) are supported by the givers in the North Texas region–and friends from around the world–who prioritize lifting the life-changing work done by incredible North Texas organizations every single day. This year, NTX Giving Day marked its 13th annual celebration and broke another record, raising $66 million by way of more than 100,000 donors!

Partnership Matters

Partnership Matters

CFT's philanthropic consulting connects donors to nonprofits


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.