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Letter from Brent


A NEW YEAR BRINGS a new look for CFT with our new logo and newsletter format. These represent much more than cosmetic changes. We’ve taken a fresh look at who we are and how our image reflects us. CFT remains the solid, stable, trusted partner that we have been for 59 years, but you told us that our old look didn’t capture our forward momentum. The new look is an expression of what we stand for and strive to achieve every day. The overlapping  ribbons in the logo represent the way CFT brings together donors and nonprofits, and the color and motion capture the spirit and vitality of the foundation.

In this issue, we’re thrilled to announce the election of our newest trustee, Senator Florence Shapiro. We look forward to benefiting from the breadth and depth of her experience. On the opposite page you will see the results of a recent study about financial assets in North Texas and how those results will shape our grantmaking. In this and the next few issues, we will dedicate an entire page to our Community Impact Grants, which focus on the working poor and at-risk middle school youth.

Finally, while we’re on a roll, we are proud to unveil the new name of the Texas High School Project. Now known as Educate Texas, this public/private initiative has far surpassed its initial goals to improve Texas high schools. It has extended to include middle schools, districts, community colleges, technical schools and regional universities. Through these collaborative efforts, more Texas kids are graduating prepared for life.

Thank you for being part of the life of CFT. Together, we are making tomorrow better.

CFT remains the solid, stable, trusted partner that we have been for 59 years

President and CEO

Partner Perspective: North Texas Food Bank

Jan Pruitt, CEO of North Texas Food Bank, shares her perspective on CFT’s role in the community.

When I think about CFT, I think about a kitchen table. In a home, you bring your problems and you bring your resources to solve those problems to the kitchen table. For our community, CFT is just like that.


It’s not only the money on the table, it really is the ideas, the strategy, the initiatives, looking at it from all different sides and bringing the expertise and the people together that could solve that problem.

One thing you can say about Communities Foundation is you know that they’re here. They’re rock solid; they’re here every day. And they’re here for advice; they’re here for bringing resources together; they’re here for just bringing the right people in the room so you can figure out what the next step is.

Save the Date

Nonprofit Workshop: Letter of Inquiry Process. 
How to apply to be included in our online Giving Guide, 3–4pm

Nonprofit Workshop: How to Use the
Assets & Opportunities Profile to Better
Serve the Working Poor, 1:30–4:30pm

Cause-minded Conversation: Breakfast with
Brent. Join us for casual conversation as president and CEO Brent Christopher shares new ways CFT is working to power local philanthropy. 8–9am RSVP to Kelly Donohue

Nonprofit deadline for letter of inquiry process

Cause-minded Conversation: West Dallas Spotlight. The landscape of West Dallas is not what it used to be. Learn about the collaborative efforts among the organizations re-energizing this area of our community. 4–5pm RSVP to Kelly Donohue

Professional Seminar: 2012 Trends and Implications in Estate and Charitable Planning. 7:30–11:15am. Details at right.

Catholic Charities Bus Tour. Site visit to local agencies sponsored by Catholic Charities. Join CFT staff to look at local programs in action. 9am

For more information:
email or call 214.750.4222


featuring Jonathan Ackerman

FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS, Jonathan Ackerman has developed considerable experience in the areas of charitable gift planning, tax-exempt organizations, charitable solicitations laws, federal taxation, estate planning and probate, and IRS practice and procedure. Jonathan represents donors and tax-exempt organizations on a national basis. His advice is often sought by families who desire to integrate philanthropy into their financial and estate planning, and he also represents these clients regarding legislative and regulatory tax matters at all levels of government.

MAY 8, 2012
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
$75/person registration fee includes continental breakfast
Seating is limited
CLE/CPE/CFP 3-hour credit pending

To register, click here.

Unprecedented Donations

On 2011 North Texas Giving Day

IN WHAT PROVED TO BE A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR, North Texans made more than 13,500 donations worth $10.7 million through DonorBridge on North Texas Giving Day held September 15, 2011. More than 600 North Texas nonprofits received these gifts, including funds from $1 million in matching and prize money.

Matching and prize funders included: Communities Foundation of Texas, Community Foundation of North Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Energy Future Holdings, Frac Tech Services, Lyda Hill, Hoblitzelle Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, The Rees-Jones Foundation, The Sid Richardson Foundation, The Simmons Family Foundation Advised Fund of the Dallas Foundation and an anonymous donor. WFAA was the exclusive TV media sponsor.

Building the CFT Team

Philip Adams joins CFT as a senior accounts payable administrator.
Claire Bufe is the marketing and communications manager.
Sejal Desai is EFNT’s community involvement strategist.
Denise Devora joins Educate Texas as an associate program officer for T-STEM.
Stephanie Fox is CFT’smajor gifts officer.
Kelty Garbee is an associate program officer for teacher effectiveness with Educate Texas.
Sarah Monning is CFT’s new donor services director.
Carolyn Newham joins CFT as fund administration manager.
Lisa Pearrow joins CFT as the executive assistant to philanthropy and W.W. Caruth Foundation.

In Memoriam
Roberta Ripke, 1945–2012

Roberta Ripke served as the executive director of Palacios Area Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas for 25 years. In her long career in service to her Gulf Coast community, “Bert” was known for her passion and persistence as well as her deep knowledge of the Palacios community, its history and its needs.

CFT also misses the following friends and supporters who cared deeply about their community:

Louis Beecherl
John Biggers
Robert Blumenthal
William Clements
Jerry Cunningham
Kenneth Good
Nancy Hamon
Jane Hamilton
Jerome Haynes
Anne Herrscher
Max Hulse
Douglas Maclay
John Merrick
Samuel Mitchell
Alvira Moch
Sue Rose
Harmon Schepps
Jerry Stover
Cyril Wagner
W. Robert Wigley Jr.
Howard Wolf
Julius Wolfram
Charles Wyly



Board & Officer List

CFT Board of Trustees
Frederick B. Hegi Jr., Chairman
Frank A. Risch, Vice Chairman

James E. Bass
Becky Bright
Jeanne T. Cox
Judith W. Gibbs
Jack M. Kinnebrew
Bobby B. Lyle
John McStay
Harold Montgomery
Carlos González Peña
Hon. Florence Shapiro
Karen L. Shuford
Terdema L. Ussery II

Joseph M. “Jody” Grant, Ph.D., Immediate Past Chairman
Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Chairman’s Circle

Legal Counsel
Kathryn G. Henkel, General Counsel, K&L Gates
Vester T. Hughes Jr., Senior Tax Counsel, K&L Gates



Brent E. Christopher, President and Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth W. Bull, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jeverley R. Cook, Ph.D., Executive Director, W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation
John Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Educate Texas
Sarah C. Nelson, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Susan Swan Smith, Chief Relationship Officer
George Tang, Chief Operating Officer, Educate Texas

Setting an Example:  Generational Hands-on Service from the Scripps Family

Setting an Example: Generational Hands-on Service from the Scripps Family

 Intentional Giving: The Power of Giving Back

Intentional Giving: The Power of Giving Back

Making Tomorrow Better: CFT Launches Community Impact Grantmaking in 2012

Making Tomorrow Better: CFT Launches Community Impact Grantmaking in 2012

Educate Texas: THSP's New Name Represents Growing Organization

Educate Texas: THSP's New Name Represents Growing Organization

Corporate Profile: ITKO

Corporate Profile: ITKO

Her Dream Lives On

Her Dream Lives On

Pearl Anderson’s Fund from 1955 still supports the community today