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At Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), our charge is to put giving to work. CFT professionally manages more than 1,000 charitable funds for families, companies, foundations and nonprofits and has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. We believe that where giving thrives, communities thrive, too.

CFT’s Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy program seeks to educate, engage, and broaden the philanthropic impact of the next generation of leaders in North Texas. CFT believes that educating and guiding highly engaged community-minded professionals will ensure that our region’s legacy of generosity continues to thrive and grow.

Applications are open now closed for our 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Cohort.

Who should apply:

  • Leaders ages 25-40 interested in learning, engaging, and broadening their impact through philanthropy and strategic giving

What you can expect out of the program:

  • Monthly meetings from September - May (time and location varies: held during breakfast, lunch, or happy hour, will need to attend at least 6 out of 9 of the sessions to participate in grantmaking)
  • Engaging speakers and hands-on learning
  • Visits to a variety of effective nonprofit organizations in Dallas
  • Optional volunteerism and networking opportunities
  • A better understanding of community needs and the ability to assess nonprofits to assist you in determining which causes and organizations are a good fit for your philanthropy and strategic giving

Topics we will cover:

  • Key community issues (education, health, social services, etc.)
  • Finding and evaluating effective nonprofits
  • Ways to give and engage
  • Board leadership and training
  • Funding organizations (includes site visits)
  • Creating a personal giving plan and more!

View a sample syllabus from our 2018-2019 cohort here


2018-2019 Cohort

CFT’s inaugural 9-month cohort kicked off in September 2018 in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. Thanks to an anonymous funder, cohort participants will deploy $50,000 in CFT grant awards to support a nonprofit(s) of the group’s choosing. 

View photos from the 2018-2019 cohort:



Questions? Contact Tina Lin, Strategic Initiatives Officer, at or 214-346-5504.

We sincerely appreciate the generous funding provided by an anonymous funder to support the launch of the ELP program.

Special Thanks to our Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Steering Committee: 
Aline Bass, Megan Bowdon, Jennifer Lan, Noble Modu, Gunnar Rawlings, Tucker Robinson, DeVaughdric Ross, Jose Manuel Santoyo, Sally Sha, David Shields, and Lucas Shelton

Where giving thrives, communities thrive too.

Side by side, we can build a thriving community for all.

Learn more about our community impact