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Your Guide to Simplified Complex Giving

Did you know Communities Foundation of Texas can accept a wide range of gifts, even real estate, art and antiques?

While assets that are most tax advantageous to give may be complex, your charitable giving doesn’t have to be. 

Prior to Peggy and David Rockefeller’s record-breaking art auction this spring, Communities Foundation of Texas held an event in partnership with Christie’s and Bessemer Trust that shared the story behind the Rockefeller family’s philanthropy and highlighted ways to give complex assets, such as art, to charity.

The Rockefeller collection of 1,500 items brought in $832.6 million—the highest ever for a private collection at auction. All of the estate’s proceeds from what is now the most significant charitable auction in history will be directed to charity. In a statement, David Rockefeller, Jr. said: “The auction exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Christie’s and our family had a shared financial goal of raising more than $500 million in estate proceeds for the 12 philanthropies our parents cared about so deeply, and it has been both humbling and deeply gratifying to see a sale total that reaches so far beyond that. These funds will provide very meaningful support to important institutions and foundations devoted to scientific research and higher education, support for the arts, foreign policy, and the conservation of coastal and agricultural lands.”

 “We love helping people think creatively to find ways to give that make the most sense for them with the resources and assets they have," says Carolyn Newham, Senior Director of Donor Relations at CFT. "We have the expertise to find the right way to make these work for each individual, family or business.”

The following are a few examples of complex gifts Communities Foundation of Texas has accepted:

Real Estate to Real Impact

A local CPA recommended that his client partner with CFT when the client was looking into how a property here in Dallas could help fund their philanthropy.
Working with the client, CFT was able to accept and place a percentage of the business into a donor-advised fund where it will produce income that can be used for grantmaking to nonprofits. In the event that the business is sold, that sale will further add to their charitable impact and legacy. CFT works with each scenario to provide the best outcome for the client and the advisor in order 
to maximize the client’s tax benefits while fueling the client’s philanthropy.

The Art of Giving

Longtime friends of CFT, Linda Buford and her late husband Bob Buford were stunned when two contemporary paintings they owned were appraised 
at 50 times what they had paid for the paintings when originally purchased in 1981.

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. They decided to gift the paintings to Linda’s donor-advised fund at CFT so that CFT could sell the art at auction and Linda could recommend more grants to their favorite charitable causes.

The Bufords donated the paintings to CFT, and CFT handled the details necessary for selling the paintings at a fall contemporary art auction in New York, which Bob and Linda attended. CFT negotiated details of the consignment agreement, insured the paintings and arranged for them to be transported to New York in order to be photographed for the auction catalog.

“We enjoyed the paintings for many years, and for the past few years we’ve been able to experience more joy by using their value to help others,” said Linda.

New Uses for Antiques

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your favorite possessions beyond your lifetime? What about gifting those of high value to charity? Creating provisions in your estate can be an impactful way to further your philanthropic passions long beyond your lifetime, and CFT can often be the perfect partner to facilitate this on your behalf.

One of CFT’s donors has been a longtime collector. She has a collection of antiques that are very meaningful to her and wants to keep these items that bring her joy with her during her life. But beyond her lifetime, she will use these cherished assets to create her charitable legacy.

For her, that means supporting her favorite animal causes. She has created a provision in her estate plan stipulating that proceeds from the sale of her collection will support animals in need for years to come through a named fund at CFT. CFT is honored to support her passions on her behalf long into the future.

Learn more at www.cftexas.org/assets or contact Geri Jacobs, Director of Charitable Gift Planning, at gjacobs@cftexas.org or 214-750-4226.

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.

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