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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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Communities Foundation of Texas Launches GiveWisely Series
Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT)

November, 2014

NextGen Philanthropists to Learn Strategies for Giving Well

Have you thought about why you give? Or how you could give better? Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) announced that it is now accepting applications for its unique new concept: GiveWisely. Rather than focusing on specific areas for philanthropy, GiveWisely will give donors a chance to sharpen their overall approach to their personal giving—thinking strategically and learning from a group of like-minded peers. 

My father used to say, 'You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.' How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life. Lee Iacocca

To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter. Aristotle

“When people become more active in supporting the causes they care about, often they share with us the difficulties of determining where their charitable dollars should go,said Brent Christopher, CFT’s president and chief executive officer. “Sometimes it’s overwhelming to navigate the landscape of competing charitable needs.” 

This past spring CFT ran a pilot of the program; participants each coming with their own giving story and rationale for joining the class. One of the participants was Gini Florer.

Following a stroke in utero that left her son with his brain severely damaged, Gini Florer became a champion for children with special needs. Grateful for the caregivers in their life, Gini and her husband, John, were inspired to provide support to other families with similar life circumstances. The GiveWisely series at Communities Foundation of Texas helped the Florers sharpen their personal giving strategy—one that reflects the lessons learned through their unique experiences with their son, John Lawson. Through the class, they decided to give to Rays of Light, a nonprofit providing childcare support for parents of special needs children.

“The GiveWisely program at CFT gave us invaluable tools and advice to help us achieve our goals to support children in need,” says Gini.

Like her GiveWisely classmates, Gini felt both the obligation to give back and the underlying pressure to give well. She and her classmates came to GiveWisely because they shared the same challenges:

  • Developing a clear, thoughtful plan around giving;
  • Evaluating community needs (including how to say no to a request and feel okay about it); and
  • Evaluating nonprofit effectiveness and which projects are a good investment.

“The next generation of donors wants to develop their own unique approach to personal giving, but they still need guidance in thinking strategically so they can develop a clear, thoughtful plan around giving, whether as an individual, couple or family,” said Elizabeth Liser, CFT’s director of donor services, who leads the class.

To apply for the inaugural GiveWisely class, visit  Applications are due January 2, 2015.  Should you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Liser at 214-750-4234 or at

About Communities Foundation of Texas

As the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. CFT is committed to serving and understanding donor needs, expertly handling complex gifts, wisely managing charitable funds, and leveraging its community knowledge to increase charitable impact. The foundation professionally manages more than 900 charitable funds for families, companies, foundations and nonprofits and has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.


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