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Intentional Giving

Intentional Giving

Darryl Rose & Melisa Ambers feel the power of giving back

“KNOWING WE WANTED TO GIVE BACK in our community on a more significant level, my initial thought was to start my own foundation,” says Melisa Ambers. “But after we discovered CFT, we realized they have the resources and knowledge to help us make intentional gifts in this community. Why reinvent the wheel?”

Dallas residents Melisa Ambers and Darryl Rose realize there is a smart way to help nonprofits in need. “CFT goes the extra mile to research initiatives and ideas before we step into a specific area,” says Ambers.

The couple brings a creative attitude to raising money and awareness as well. Over the holidays, Melisa and Darryl were looking through the CFT Giving Guide—a resource created for CFT donors to show them specific needs of nonprofits in Dallas. The couple selected an organization from the guide and was able to raise money at a holiday party to benefit Reading and Radio Resources.

Friends and colleagues contributed to the organization’s mission of enriching the lives of children and adults who cannot read for themselves because of learning differences such as dyslexia, limited English proficiency, physical disabilities or vision loss.

As Melisa and Darryl continue their journey with CFT, they hope to educate friends and family on the power of intentional giving.

Ambers notes, “We plan to continue to identify opportunities to tell others how they can give thoughtfully and see the results of their investment. CFT makes it so easy.”

You can't take it with you!

You can't take it with you!

Ford Lacy and Cece Smith Plan Their Community Legacy


"YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU!" is the first thing Ford Lacy said when we asked what spurred him and his wife, Cece Smith, to plan in advance how they would give to charity through their wills.

Learning to Heal

Learning to Heal

Simon Greenstone creates a scholarship fund for those impacted by cancer


“We’re so pleased to have CFT as our partners as we make a real difference in the lives of so many deserving kids” says Simon Greenstone, founding shareholder of the law firm Simon Greenstone Panatier.

Racing Toward a Cure

Racing Toward a Cure

Shelby family furthers pancreatic cancer treatment options


The Shelby Family has made meaningful investments in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer by working with CFT staff and funding clinical trials through donor-advised funds at CFT.

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

A conversation with Ray and Linda Pekowski


“We chose Communities Foundation of Texas as our legacy charity because we love the people there, their stewardship and the ease in working with their team.” - Linda and Ray Pekowski

Where Giving Invests

Where Giving Invests

Cotton Bowl Fund at CFT invests in Friends of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy


“Visiting a college or university is fairly common in middle or upper middle-class homes, but we believe every student should have that opportunity.” — Jay McAuley, Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Foundation

Where Giving Serves

Where Giving Serves

RHSB: CFT Business Fund Holder and Freedom Day Volunteers


“CFT is a valuable and strategic partner that helps RHSB make a meaningful impact and contribution to the community where we live, work and raise our families.” — Doug Jones, Senior Vice President and Principal at RHSB

Where Giving Persists

Where Giving Persists

Grace Jo, North Korean Refugee and Scholarship Recipient


“I believe that education has the power to transform societies." - Grace Jo One of the goals of the George W. Bush Institute is to improve the human condition in North Korea, where 24 million people live under a brutal dictator. When the Bush Institute wanted to establish a scholarship fund to support North Korean refugees, it came to CFT to administer the program by handling the scholarship applications, screening and grants.

Where Giving Grows

Where Giving Grows

Martha Jackson, GiveWisely Graduate and CFT Fund Holder


On the 10th anniversary of her nephew’s passing, Martha found a way to honor him. She set up a donor-advised fund through CFT to help children and youth develop self confidence through art and athletics. But she didn’t stop there. After taking CFT’s GiveWisely class and visiting Family Gateway, which supports homeless families, Martha was inspired to roll up her sleeves and volunteer.

Where Giving Shelters

Where Giving Shelters

Dan and Rebecca Tatsch, Record-Holding North Texas Giving Day Donors


CFT’s North Texas Giving Day is the annual, community-wide fundraising event that has pumped more than $195 million into North Texas charities over the last eight years.

Grandparents Spark New Generation

Grandparents Spark New Generation

Hegi Grandchildren Take Up the Torch of Giving


Grandparents Fred and Jan Hegi are passing on a powerful legacy by empowering their six grandchildren to change lives through The Hegi Grandchildren’s Fund at CFT. The fund not only serves as a charitable resource but as a way to instill the importance of giving in a future generation. Through the fund, each grandchild will be giving $200 every year to a charity of their choice — a responsibility that each of them has agreed to approach thoughtfully.

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Angie Dickson Returns to her Roots


Angie Dickson spent her childhood on her family’s ranch in West Texas. As an adult, she built a successful career in finance, but she felt a strong calling to give back. So she turned to CFT to help establish a fund that could accept gifts for Kids on the Land, a nonprofit that she formed with her mother, Katherine Dickson, and Peggy Maddox. Partnering with local landowners, schools and government organizations, this unique program teaches elementary school children about the natural resources in their own region.

Gifted Musicians

Gifted Musicians

Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation Fund at CFT


In corporate philanthropy, Neiman Marcus has an ear for youth arts education. Research has shown that students receiving arts training graduate at higher rates, score higher on the SAT, are better creative problem solvers and become engaged civic leaders. The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation Fund at CFT was established to strategically invest in organizations providing support for arts education for underserved youth.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

The Sweet Life Fund helps burn victims survive tough times


Scott Sweet was just a second-grader when he was severely burned by a live wire. He spent countless days in the hospital and still remembers the sadness of missed recesses and feeling isolated from his schoolmates. But the care he received made a lasting impression, inspiring him and his wife Cathy to help other children dealing with similar medical crises.

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 Councilmember 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.

Norman Brinker Scholarship at CFT

Norman Brinker Scholarship at CFT

Legendary restaurateur’s legacy of excellence continues to inspire


Norman Brinker’s integrity, entrepreneurship and competitive spirit made him a legend, but it was his generosity and the desire to help raise the skill of others that made him beloved by his family, peers, employees, and the countless lives he touched.