Last week, our Shawn Shinneman chatted with Matthew Randazzo, the head of the Dallas Foundation. That’s the first community foundation ever established in Texas, which helps connect donors to the nonprofits that match their preferred causes. If you missed it, read it here. Today is North Texas Giving Day, which is sort of like a hyperdrive version of Randazzo’s day job. It’s run by the Communities Foundation of Texas. You give to your favorite local charity, and that charity then becomes eligible for matching funds and various bonus donations. Your dollar is no longer just a dollar.
Right now, just after 10:45 a.m., the live ticker shows that somewhere around $15 million has already been given to Dallas-area nonprofits. Last year, a record $48 million was donated. I think there is a new giving record every year. You don’t want to see that stop, do you?
I’m going to excerpt a piece of that Randazzo interview, which helps sum up a bit why this day is so important for our nonprofits.
As a sector, community philanthropy—for the past several generations—has operated largely as a nonprofit bank or a philanthropic back office for well-intentioned, high-net-worth individuals who want to quote-unquote do good in their community. Increasingly, the 21st century model of community philanthropy and what we’re leaning into is how do we hold, on equal grounds, donor impact and donor intent with community impact.
So a big part of our role is to really understand some of the on-the-ground realities. One in three kids in this community live in poverty. There are between 3,000 and 6,000 kids every single night who don’t have a safe place to lay their head, who are couch surfing, in hotels, in cars, or in homeless shelters. We know that if you are low-income or are a student of color, your access to youth mental health services is critically low and it just sets those kiddos on a trajectory to not be able to reach their full potential.
Those are the sorts of organizations you can help.
The Child Poverty Action Lab, set up by former Mayor Mike Rawlings, does a lot of research work to figure out how to help poor kids and better understand their needs. Others do great work helping domestic violence survivors, like Genesis. You can type in a cause to find nonprofits that do work in whatever sphere you’re passionate about. There are schools and clinics and all sorts of organizations you can donate to. Usually, Tim Rogers hops in here, mentions his wife does PR for North Texas Giving Day, and then starts a fight between Cistercian and St. Mark’s. But he’s out of town. And I have no alliances to either, except maybe St. Mark’s, because I’m writing about one of their many graduates.
So I’m just going to stay with the heavy and impactful stuff, like child poverty. But you can honestly give wherever you see fit. This is just a reminder that today is the day to do so. Head here for more.