2023 Annual Report

As we reflect on our 70th anniversary year, we look with hope to the future, while giving gratitude to those who have made our past and present impact possible. Over our history, more than $2.5 billion in cumulative grants have been made to nonprofits through CFT. With all we do, we seek to achieve our vision of a thriving community for all. We work to make our mission and vision a reality by growing community giving, expanding community impact, and advancing community equity.

Because of Givers like you — and through the outstanding work of our staff and Board — CFT continues to grow in giving and in impact. 2023 was another impactful year for both gifts and grants, with $152 million in gifts received and $154 million in grants distributed to nonprofits.

In September, CFT’s 15th annual North Texas Giving Day raised $63.9 million for more than 3,200 local nonprofits, which brings the total dollars raised through North Texas Giving Day to more than $566 million.

This year’s annual report features a timeline look back at CFT’s historic growth in giving and uplifts the passions of our partners, showcasing a few recent collaborative efforts with our charitable fund holders, nonprofit grantees, and Educate Texas initiative. We thank you for your support and welcome your continued partnership in the decades ahead.

Since 1953, CFT has worked side by side with caring donors, committed nonprofits, philanthropy-focused businesses, and civic leaders as a committed partner in building thriving communities. Over the past 70 years, CFT has built a legacy of responsible stewardship by investing charitable funds wisely to grow and amplify impact.

Behind these numbers are many caring people who are purposeful in how they give back to our community and show up for the causes that they care about.

While the foundation has certainly evolved, our commitment has remained the same: to be a trusted partner to our donors and fund holders, working to deliver lasting change to better our communities. With this commitment in mind, we seek to continue to grow and scale our impact to meet the evolving needs of North Texas.

1953 – CFT is founded as the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund

1955 – First six-figure major gift, valued at $325,000, is given by Pearl C. Anderson

1981 – Communities Foundation of Texas assumes its current name to reflect a broader community interest

1990 – W.W. Caruth, Jr. leaves $400M to CFT in his estate, establishing the largest charitable fund at CFT to date

2001 – $500M milestone in cumulative grants given to nonprofits from CFT

2009 – CFT raises $4M for 100 local nonprofits in its first annual North Texas Giving Day, which now raises $60M+ annually

2014 – CFT grants a record $100M+ to nonprofits in one year

2020 – CFT celebrates $2B+ milestone in cumulative grantmaking to nonprofits  

2022 – CFT grants record $166M to nonprofits in one year, receives record $205M in gifts

2023 – CFT’s North Texas Giving Day reaches cumulative total of $560M+ raised for regional nonprofits


in cumulative grants to nonprofits made through CFT


managed by CFT for individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits

5,000+ GRANTS

awarded annually to nonprofits through CFT funds, including an average of $16M in grants from CFT’s W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund

In 2023, we gave gratitude to retiring President and CEO Dave Scullin, and welcomed incoming President and CEO Wayne White. Wayne took the helm on July 31, following Dave’s spring retirement. 

While the search for CFT’s next CEO was underway, Frank Risch, former CFT Board Chair and longtime community and business leader, served as Special Advisor to Board Chair Richie Butler.

“The path to this decision spanned many states and ZIP codes, and ultimately resulted in the successful recruitment of a talented leader to join our North Texas community as CFT’s next President and CEO,” said Richie.

Since joining CFT, Wayne has been focused on listening to and learning from staff, the Board, and our community.

Read about Dave’s legacy of leadership at CFTexas.org/CelebratingDave and learn more about Wayne at CFTexas.org/MeetWayne

“CFT’s extensive progress has been a collective effort through our amazing staff and dynamic Board of Trustees, in collaboration with our many partners. CFT is uniquely positioned to build on this momentum, driving greater impact.”


“To join such a well-established and impactful organization and to have the opportunity to build on the achievements of the past 70 years through this role is a true honor, and one that I take very seriously.”


Jake and Charlyn Plunk first learned about CFT through their support of local nonprofits on North Texas Giving Day, and established their donor-advised fund, The Plunk Family Fund at CFT in 2020.

Jake and Charlyn met at Texas Tech University while studying engineering and are passionate about education — especially STEM. Witnessing their parents’ generosity and being the recipient of generosity through college scholarships was what inspired them to want to help others together as a family as soon as they had the opportunity to do so.

“As parents, we’ve seen firsthand the difference that education can make in a young person’s life. Without the educational opportunities we had at Texas Tech, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Charlyn.

Jake and Charlyn both give back to Texas Tech through service on advisory boards and councils, and they’ve also established the Gleeson Plunk Engineering Scholarship at Texas Tech to support engineering students, many of them first generation college students.

Charlyn, who was one of the founders of Sci-Tech Discovery Center, remembers attending board and committee meetings for various nonprofits with a little one in tow. Fast forward to present day, and the Plunks continue to further their family legacy of generosity, involving their three adult children in their giving. During the holidays, they continue to volunteer together as a family at local nonprofits.

Since starting their fund at CFT, they also give their children the opportunity to recommend grants from their fund. “It’s been really meaningful to see which nonprofits they choose each year,” said Charlyn. They’ve also invited Charlyn’s parents to join when they volunteer, which has allowed their children to witness multiple generations giving back to causes near to their hearts. Some of the organizations they’ve supported together include Emily’s Place, Feed My Starving Children, the North Texas Food Bank, Operation Kindness, and Prestonwood Pregnancy Center.

Charlyn continues to lead by example in support of her passion cause areas. She serves on the boards of Sci-Tech Discovery Center and the Treasured Vessels Foundation, and also serves as the STEM Advisory Chair for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. This spring, she’ll serve as the Gala Chair for the inaugural Special Forces Foundation gala.

One thing that’s streamlined their giving is their fund at CFT. “From a convenience and an ease factor, it’s been great for us,” said Jake.

“Having CFT as a partner for our charitable giving fund has been extremely helpful, as has joining a community that surrounds us with other charitably minded people. We have all of our giving information in one easy-to-access place now. We’ve had such a great experience, and are looking forward to getting even more involved through CFT.”


Chuck and Joannie Hensley have partnered with CFT since 2009, and currently have a donor-advised fund and a scholarship fund at CFT. 

The Hensleys have been enjoying retirement for more than a decade and have spent a lot of their free time giving back to others through their shared and individual passions. Chuck and Joannie both grew up in Oklahoma, reconnected after college, and have been married for more than 50 years, with two adult children. Before retirement, Joannie was a teacher and Chuck worked in financial services.

In addition to supporting local nonprofits and their church through their family fund at CFT, the Hensleys established a scholarship fund in their name at Oklahoma State University, their alma mater. They’ve also been long-time supporters of the American Indian College Fund, where Chuck served on the board.

“We’re extremely grateful for what we’ve been given and want to help others as much as we can. In 1969, I was blessed with a $250 loan from a bank and a job connection through a friend that helped kickstart my career in Dallas,” said Chuck, who recalls not knowing anyone when he first moved to town. “We want to leave a legacy here in Dallas because this city is one of the reasons we’ve had such success in life. We caught some big breaks and want to pay it forward.”

In addition to their shared passion for education, Joannie has a heart for animals, having volunteered with a local rescue for more than two decades. Chuck also volunteered as a youth football coach, and still keeps in touch with some of those he coached fifty years ago. 

The Joan H. Hensley Scholarship Fund will be funded through their estate plan to provide scholarships to North Texas high school graduates seeking a degree or credential at an accredited trade or vocational school or community college.

“We’re focused on supporting motivated students who need the most help in obtaining a career or credential that will enable them to be successful in the workplace. As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand that you can really make a difference if you give someone a chance.”


Local nonprofits Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL) and The Commit Partnership have teamed up to align on a shared vision to cut in half the number of children living in poverty in Dallas County, while doubling the number of young adults attaining a living wage by 2040.

Together, they launched an innovative community investment plan, Opportunity 2040, to increase economic mobility, leveraging philanthropy to unlock significant public funding to accelerate positive outcomes via systemic change in support of young people across Dallas County.

Central to the Opportunity 2040 plan are the use of robust data insights, human-centered design principles, community engagement, systems-level thinking, and targeted, sustained philanthropic support to improve the impact of public programs and funding, particularly for the region’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods and students.

“We’re tackling this issue with the intentionality, endurance, and seriousness it deserves,” said Alan Cohen, founder and CEO of CPAL. “To achieve our goal of putting 150,000 local youth on a path to economic mobility, we recognized up front that this work requires creating a stack of reinforcing supports at the same time, for a long time. And it will take each of us, from the neighborhood level to the institution level, working together to make it happen.”

The effort will be co-managed by Commit and CPAL, and has received $120 million in commitments so far toward its $170 million five-year goal, including $50 million from Blue Meridian Partners, a national philanthropic collaborative, and a $2 million grant over five years from CFT’s W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund. CFT is committed to making additional aligned grant investments of up to $8 million over the same time horizon to nonprofit partners in support of Opportunity 2040’s goals.

“This collaboration aligns with our Caruth Fund’s priority areas of education, health, and public safety. It was important that we come alongside as a partner,” said Wende Burton, CFT’s chief philanthropy officer.

“This is a collective, comprehensive effort to create both strong schools and strong communities across Dallas County. Our challenges with economic mobility are far too big for any one of us to solve alone. We believe that with both robust data continually guiding our actions and strong partnership at the center, Dallas County can deliver the broad opportunity that every one of our children deserves.”


This year marked the 15th anniversary of CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. Together, our community of givers has fueled this incredible generosity movement, generating more than $566 million in impact for nonprofits since its inception in 2009.

North Texas Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation. But even bigger than that — it serves as a day of unity and hope. As nonprofits fill in the gaps for critical needs, North Texas Giving Day amplifies stories, uplifts impact, and welcomes each person to share their care for the community. Challenging the alarming recent national trends of charitable giving decreasing for the first time in years, $63.9 million was raised in September through 97,132 donors benefiting 3,249 local nonprofits. Our community has once again proven that incredible things can happen when we come together to give a little and help a lot.

CFT has invested millions of dollars over the past 15 years to ensure that North Texas Giving Day is building capacity for our nonprofits and our community as we seek to improve the quality of life across North Texas. To continue our look to the future, CFT launched a new Leadership Innovation Fund supporting research and development to ensure we can continue to build capacity through this groundswell of giving.

“The evolution and growth of the North Texas nonprofit community has inspired me for years. CFT’s North Texas Giving Day is a powerful tool to empower nonprofits, dream big together, and build a thriving community.”


Educate TexasBest In Class (BIC) Coalition, a collaborative effort powered by CFT and The Commit Partnership, united over 50 partner organizations to ensure all students can access effective and diverse educators. For seven years, the collaboration focused on implementing comprehensive programs to attract, prepare, develop, and retain high-quality educators within Texas schools. Their mission culminates with innovative, long-lasting solutions enabling more Texas schools to adopt and sustain vital programs toward this goal. 

This pioneering endeavor yielded the expansion of the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program from Dallas ISD to 14 districts and 58 campuses statewide. ACE placed highly effective educators in underperforming schools, benefiting 100,000 students across the state.

ACE schools achieved first-year growth in Math performance, and campuses consistently surpassed state and non-ACE peer averages in Math and Reading STAAR performance. ACE schools also exhibited smaller declines in learning during the challenging COVID-19 period. 

ACE campuses across the state saw positive impact on their students’ STAAR scores during support.


On average, during COVID-19, ACE campuses saw smaller declines in learning loss compared to non-ACE campuses in Dallas County.


55% of campuses supported through ACE saw at least one letter grade increase from time of implementation to 2022.


58 campuses supported across 14 districts. 125,245 students have been supported across these campuses since 2015.

Senior Officer of the Leadership Academy Network, Priscila Dilley, worked with the BIC Coalition to bring the ACE school model to Fort Worth ISD campuses. Dilley views investing in quality educators as a powerful means to uplift and empower underserved communities. 

In 2019, the Texas Legislature, catalyzed by the success of ACE and strategic compensation initiatives in North Texas, passed HB3, which allotted $1 billion for statewide implementation of the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), creating viable avenues for exceptional teachers to earn competitive salaries, acknowledging and incentivizing excellence in the teaching profession. BIC actively assisted school districts in implementing TIA, helping secure and allocate $120 million since 2021. 

Since then, the number of TIA-designated teachers has increased yearly, with 5,090 designations in fiscal year 2023. This support extended to 30 school districts across 18 counties, benefiting more than 600,000 students statewide. Best In Class TIA support helped districts draw down over $50 million in FY23 alone

Teacher Incentive Allotment By the Numbers


Districts awarded over $120 million since FY21. There was an 85% increase in drawdown available to campuses supported from FY21 to FY23.  


5,090 teachers were designated in FY23. This represents a nearly 70% increase in teachers designated in FY23 in comparison to FY21. 


30 districts across 18 different counties throughout the state received support that served over $600,000 students in 2022.

Furthermore, BIC recognized the vital role of nurturing and developing teachers in shaping students’ futures. They successfully innovated the TIA and ACE models and codified them into policy and regulations.

In doing so, they created an ecosystem of providers that continue supporting TIA and ACE programs across the state, even as the formal BIC program concludes. By taking this action, the effort has paved the way for more students to succeed. The BIC Coalition, under the dedicated leadership of CFT and The Commit Partnership, made a significant impact on education in Texas.

Though the formal program concluded at the end of 2022-23, its legacy of fostering effective educators and sustaining essential programs will be reshaped in our new Teaching and Leading portfolio, ensuring a brighter future for students across the state.

“The people standing in front of the students are the most impactful resource. When you have the right people in front of kids, the kids can do anything.”


2023 Financial Highlights

Investment Managers

Aberdeen Asset Management, PLC
Alphadyne Asset Management, LP
BNY Mellon Cash Investment Strategies
Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Inc.
Burgundy Asset Management Ltd.
Calvert Research and Management

Dimensional Fund Advisors
Disciplined Growth Investors, Inc.
Freshford Capital Management, LLC
GQG Partners, LLC
Lazard Asset Management
Loomis, Sayles & Company, LP
Parametric Portfolio Associates, LLC

Renaissance Technologies, LLC
State Street Global Advisors
Trinity Street Asset Management
Two Sigma Advisers, LP
Western Asset Management Company


Financials for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2023

Total Assets:

Total Grants Paid:

Total Gifts Received:

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Cumulative Grants:

ASSETS (in millions, unaudited)
2023 COMPOSITION OF ASSETS (in millions, unaudited)
GIFTS (in millions, unaudited)
2023 COMPOSITION OF GIFTS (in millions, unaudited)
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2023 COMPOSITION OF GRANTS (in millions, unaudited)

For a list of named funds at CFT and to review the annual independent audit report and the related audited consolidated financial statements with footnotes, please click here.

Our Team

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