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Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

A conversation with Ray and Linda Pekowski

Q: The two of you are noted Texas entrepreneurs and your business mission has been to help people perform at a higher level. How has that driven plans for ensuring your charitable legacy?

A: We’ve been very blessed as a company and as a family and wanted to pass on those blessings. At our annual family meeting, we sat down with the kids and our business consultant to plan the next steps for our business and to hear our children’s expectations for the future. We decided to keep our company in the family rather than selling it, and needed to update our estate plan.
Out of that planning, we elected to leave 50 percent of our assets to charity. We spoke with Eric, our estate planner, and told him we were thinking about setting up a foundation to manage our charitable giving. Eric listened and advised, and we learned that running a foundation is similar to running a business. As an alternative, Eric brought up partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas to establish a donor-advised fund, which works similarly but without the administrative burden of a private foundation. Establishing the Pekowski Charitable Fund at CFT gave us an easy and effective way to give now and through our estate.

Q: What did you find most beneficial in working with CFT on your charitable legacy and giving? How are you including your children and grandchildren in your legacy?

A: CFT guided us every step of the way. They recommended we participate in their GiveWisely course and attend a nonprofit site visit with their staff. We brought our children to that and it was very helpful in choosing the charities we wanted to donate to as a family. At our most recent family meeting, our children presented what they learned in GiveWisely, and we talked about the gifts we’ve made in the past year. We also brought the values card activity we did with CFT staff to our family meeting and talked about what values matter most to each of us. We’ve been holding family meetings since 1999, and in the past few years have begun to include the grandchildren. The youngest is 6 and the oldest is 15, and they’re having fun helping to select the nonprofits we support. We talk and pray about stewardship and share with them stories about our lives and about giving. We continue to stress the importance of our family legacy, and we feel confident that they want to continue that legacy of giving.
Giving Education

Giving Education

Educate Texas: Transforming Education Through Quality Educators


Educate Texas‘ Best In Class (BIC) Coalition, a collaborative effort powered by CFT and The Commit Partnership, united over 50 partner organizations to ensure all students can access effective and diverse educators.

Giving Impact

Giving Impact

Celebrating $566M and 15 Years of CFT's North Texas Giving Day


This year marked the 15th anniversary of CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. Together, our community of givers has fueled this incredible generosity movement, generating more than $566 million in impact for nonprofits since its inception in 2009.

Giving Legacy

Giving Legacy

The Plunk Family Fund Inspires Generosity


Jake and Charlyn Plunk first learned about CFT through their support of local nonprofits on North Texas Giving Day, and established their donor-advised fund, The Plunk Family Fund at CFT in 2020.

Giving Opportunity

Giving Opportunity

Chuck and Joan Hensley Family Fund and Joan H. Hensley Scholarship Fund


Chuck and Joannie Hensley have partnered with CFT since 2009, and currently have a donor-advised fund and a scholarship fund at CFT.

Giving Partnership

Giving Partnership

Opportunity 2040 Launches to Increase Economic Mobility in Dallas County


Local nonprofits Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL) and The Commit Partnership have teamed up to align on a shared vision to cut in half the number of children living in poverty in Dallas County, while doubling the number of young adults attaining a living wage by 2040.

Leaving Legacies of Love: Future Newlyweds Rise to the Occasion

Leaving Legacies of Love: Future Newlyweds Rise to the Occasion

Newlyweds open a charitable giving fund for their guests to make a charitable donation in lieu of a gift.


“We were so excited to tell our parents about our charitable fund. They are deeply proud of our choice. The response from our friends and family has been extremely positive,” said Sarah.