How To Give Wisely

New series teaches Dallas philanthropists how to give more powerfully

New series teaches Dallas philanthropists how to give more powerfully

In a town where philanthropy is plentiful, Communities Foundation of Texas is now offering a way for Dallas donors to powerfully and personally connect to their gifts. During this new five-class series, appropriately called GiveWisely, people can take a step back and discuss the challenges and opportunities to give in our community as well as clarify their core values to create a clear giving strategy.

With a successful pilot program under its belt, the CFT team is excited to see the benefits of the series already take shape in the community with cases like that of Gini Florer, a pilot participant who was in search of a way to help children with special needs after a stroke in utero left her newborn son, John Lawson, with severe brain damage.

The GiveWisely series helped to inspire her family to provide support to other families with similar life circumstances by sharpening their personal giving strategy — one that reflects the lessons learned through their unique experiences with their son. Through the class, they decided to give to Rays of Light, a nonprofit providing childcare support for parents of special needs children.

Upon finishing the series, participants will have defined their values, created a personalized giving statement, and established a strategic giving plan and budget. Although a $500 tax-deductible contribution is requested of each participant (or participating couple), it will be given as a charitable gift to the nonprofit of their choice at the end of the class.

To help guide participants, Communities Foundations of Texas is bringing in Sharna Goldseker, executive director of 21/64, a nonprofit consulting practice specializing in next generation and multigenerational engagement in philanthropy and family enterprise. Goldseker is the co-author of #NextGenDonors, an innovative study of high-capacity next generation donors in the United States, and trains other advisors on 21/64’s approach.

Here’s a preview of the schedule (classes are from 7-9 pm and include dinner):

  • Session #1: Identifying Your Values (Wednesday, January 21, 2015)
  • Session #2: Pinpointing Your Passions (Wednesday, February 18, 2015)
  • Session #3: Evaluating Effectiveness (Wednesday, March 25, 2015)
  • Session #4: NexGen Philanthropist Panel (Wednesday, April 15, 2015) 
  • Session #5: Beyond the Class: Keeping Focus and Impact in Your Giving (Wednesday, April 29, 2015)

Those interested in GiveWisely must submit an application, and the ideal person (or couple) for the series currently donates at least $10,000 per year to charity. The ideal candidate is looking to add more focus, structure and enjoyment to their giving and has until January 2 to apply.

Communities Foundation of Texas
Communities Foundation of Texas is hosting a new series called GiveWisely to help people create a powerful strategy for giving. Photo courtesy of Communities Foundation of Texas
Gini Florer and her son John Lawson
GiveWisely pilot program participant Gini Florer and her son, John Lawson. Photo courtesy of Communities Foundation of Texas