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The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving

Linda and Bob Buford donate art to CFT to use proceeds for charitable good

 When Linda and Bob Buford purchased a contemporary painting in New York 27 years ago, little did they realize it would produce so many rewards. The large painting by abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, with its active brush strokes and vibrant yellows and blues, captured the spirit of the bright, sunny landscapes of the South of France. Along with another work by the same artist, the painting hung in the Bufords’ guest bedroom where Bob often read and admired the two favorites from their art collection.

Last summer, the Bufords’ insurance agent requested that the couple get a new appraisal of the Mitchell paintings. “The appraisal came back at 50 times what we paid for those two pictures in 1981,” Bob said. “We were stunned!”

With the new appraisal, the Bufords began to think of the paintings more as an investment that had appreciated than as beautiful artwork, and they worried about how light and humidity might affect their value. One night over dinner, Bob said to Linda, “Let’s give the paintings to your donor-advised fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.  If CFT can sell the art at auction, then you’ll be able to recommend more grants for the causes you care about.” Linda readily agreed. And she added, “Wouldn’t it be fun to go to the auction and see what happens?”

The Bufords donated the paintings to CFT, which handled the details necessary for selling the paintings at the fall contemporary art auction at Sotheby’s. That included working on details of the consignment agreement, insuring the paintings and arranging for them to be transported to New York by mid-August in order to be photographed for Sotheby’s art catalog. The auction house devoted a two-page spread to the larger Mitchell painting.

Despite turmoil in the financial markets, the fall art auction season remained strong, aided by a weak dollar and expanding wealth from developing nations. The Bufords treated themselves to a trip to New York and attended the auction. Needless to say, they were delighted when there was a great deal of interest during bidding for the paintings.

The Bufords’ donation of the art has left them much to look forward to in the future. One is the empty wall in their house, which they plan to fill with the work of an emerging artist. Even better is knowing the two paintings provided philanthropic dollars to Linda’s donor-advised fund at CFT. “I’m excited about the opportunities I’ll have to recommend grants to charitable organizations I care about,” she said. “We enjoyed the paintings for many years, and now we can experience more joy by using their value to help others.”

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.

Leaving Legacies of Love: The Cole Wehunt Fund

Leaving Legacies of Love: The Cole Wehunt Fund

Parents honor late son's legacy through fund at CFT


“Cole inspired giving. He was such a generous person. We wanted to give back to our community because North Texas was Cole’s home and where he thrived growing up,” said Kay.

Inspiring Giving From Generation to Generation

Inspiring Giving From Generation to Generation

The Fallen Family Fund at CFT supports Freedom Day


“It’s been the greatest gift,” said Nancy. “I feel like what granddad gave us was an opportunity – an opportunity to make a difference and to explore within ourselves something he had already figured out: lifting up the people around you is what matters most. He knew that the fund could bring good to others but also to us as we practiced generosity together.”

Spurring Social Innovation

Spurring Social Innovation

Across Public Safety, Education & Health Through CFT's Caruth Fund


“Our new approach to Caruth grantmaking seeks to increase access for organizations of different sizes, both within and across our priority issue areas of education, health, and public safety, and their intersections,” said Nadine Dechausay, Community Philanthropy Director. “We’re providing funding not only to projects that are fully implemented or expanding, but also to projects in initial development that we believe will be transformational for our community.”

Raising the Bar of Generosity

Raising the Bar of Generosity

CFT's North Texas Giving Day Rallies 100,000 People to Give Back


In 2019, CFT’s North Texas Giving Day raised $50 million benefiting nearly 3,000 local nonprofits, bringing the eleven-year total to over $290 million for our community. North Texas Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation and this year more than 169,000 gifts poured in from 50 states and 25 countries.

We're Furthering Family Values

We're Furthering Family Values

Involving our children in our charitable giving plans beyond our lifetime from the very beginning!


“GiveWisely gave us an opportunity to come together around giving. We learned a lot about our kids and their unique and overlapping passions by going through the values-based exercises. It was a great experience to bond us in ways we hadn’t thought of before, and have us focus as a family on causes we care about,” said Ann. “There are many worthy causes, so being able to focus and know what’s most important to us as a family and being able to align that with the charitable giving we do has been really meaningful.”

Investing In Our Neighbors

Investing In Our Neighbors

"CFT was the perfect avenue for us to dig deep to make a difference in Collin County."


“There has been tremendous economic opportunity, but it’s important that each of our neighbors has an opportunity to come along on Collin County’s journey of growth. There are a lot of challenges and quiet needs here that many people don’t see,” noted Brian.

We're Building Bridges to Opportunity

We're Building Bridges to Opportunity

Giving life-changing scholarships to students enrolled in Bishop Lynch High School and beyond.


“We’re giving good, solid kids who earn Bs and Cs a leg up with this scholarship. It’s not only life-changing for them, it’s life-changing for me in my involvement,” said son Michael. “Our role was just planting the seed in each recipient to show that we believe in their ability, and the students have done all the rest,” said Jackie.

Engaging Employees for Good

Engaging Employees for Good

We're growing employee engagement and volunteer programs one business at a time.


“We value the tremendous expertise of the CFT4B team in growing our program, sharing best practices and connecting us to opportunities we didn’t even know existed. In addition to providing custom volunteer projects, they helped us create an engaging volunteer fair and a nonprofit board leadership training program for employees...”

Uplifting the Underrepresented

Uplifting the Underrepresented

Ross & Rebecca were both largely inspired by their families, particularly their mothers, to give of our time, talent and treasure.


Ross and Rebecca Anthony are tremendously intentional about their charitable giving, and have partnered with CFT in a variety of ways to align their values with their personal giving strategies.

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.

Inspiring Students and Uplifting Educators

Inspiring Students and Uplifting Educators

Carter Creech creates lasting impact in his hometown through CFT


Since 2005, Carter Creech has partnered with CFT on his charitable giving as he’s looked to “think bigger,” leading by example to encourage others.

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.

Working Side by Side to Simplify a Donor's Life

Working Side by Side to Simplify a Donor's Life

Beverly Brown finds joy converting family foundation to CFT fund


Beverly Brown is a fifth-generation native Texan with a quick smile, who grew up in Farmers Branch. As a child, she would often accompany her mom to area charities where they volunteered to help others who were homeless or hungry. Those early lessons have fueled Beverly’s heart for giving back through active volunteerism, board leadership and donor support.