More than 3,000 nonprofit organizations in 20 counties are counting on Texans' generosity as North Texas Giving Day begins at 6 a.m. on Sept. 19. The 18-hour online giving campaign has become a Texas tradition over the last decade.
"Each year, we are blown away by the generosity of the North Texas community. Each year it is hard to imagine that our neighbors will give more than they did the year before and yet, North Texas Giving Day continues to grow in dollars raised – and more importantly – in the number of people giving," Susan Swan Smith, Chief Giving Day Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas, said.
At the stroke of midnight, Communities Foundation of Texas hopes to have surpassed last year's $48 million raised and inspired a record number of donations.
"A successful North Texas Giving Day looks like a community-wide movement. We want North Texas Giving Day to build the power and spirit of giving across every neighborhood in North Texas. On Giving Day everyone is a philanthropist; we want everyone to know that their gift matters," Smith said. "We want to top the amazing $48 million raised last year, we're also working very hard to reach the 100,000-donor mark. That would be more than a 20% increase and clear evidence that we are making inroads across the region for the good of the community."
New to North Texas Giving Day this year is a Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-aligned curriculum for students, parents and teachers to find out about community needs.
"It is a wonderful way to learn about needs in our community, the nonprofits that address those needs, their works and even potential career paths. We know anecdotally that northtexasgivingday.org has been used informally by parents, teachers and troop leaders for years. Developing a formal curriculum has been a passion project of our teammate, Carol Goglia. Working with Big Thought and Learning to Give, she brought it to fruition a year earlier than we expected," Smith said.
Nearly 350 arts, cultural and humanities nonprofits are looking for financial support on September 19 and many of them are hoping their "super fans" will help them meet their fundraising goals. Last year, Communities Foundation of Texas launched FUNdraising pages, allowing individuals to set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages on behalf of their favorite nonprofits. Last year, 1,800 FUNdraising pages raised more than $700,000.
"What delighted us most was that 2/3 of the donors that came through FUNdraising pages were new to North Texas Giving Day – clear evidence that people were engaging their networks and introducing North Texas Giving Day and their selected nonprofit to new people," Smith said.
AIR (Arts Incubator of Richardson) reaped the benefits of a FUNdraising page last year. "Last year's page definitely had an impact as the one page we had was set up by someone who is also a social media expert with a broad network of friends and associates. It was awesome," Kitty Goddard, President of AIR, said.
AIR, a network devoted to nurturing artists, hopes to raise $10,000 to reach an institutional milestone: a permanent facility. "We are getting closer to securing a space to call home and that $10,000 would definitely help jump-start the initial upfront costs surrounding hiring professional resources to assist with all the issues associated with retrofitting a building," Goddard said.
Nonprofit organizations can also enlist volunteers through North Texas Giving Day. "People desire to give their time as well as their treasure. We wanted to capture that impulse by giving donors an opportunity to pledge service hours and by giving them opportunities to do hands-on projects around North Texas Giving Day," Smith said.
For the three years Soul Rep Theatre Company has participated in North Texas Giving Day, the Dallas theater company has met or surpassed its fundraising goal. The company's ambition is to reach a larger audience to support the operating costs of its 13th season.
"North Texas Giving Day is different in that it allows you to reach a larger pool of donors (to widen the net) utilizing and leveraging online fundraising strategies. The North Texas Giving Day model also walks organizations through the process, offering free classes, workshops, tips, and live counseling to help an organization utilize their resources (even if limited) in order to have a successful campaign," Tonya Holloway, Soul Rep Theatre Company's co-founder, said.
Volunteers are vital. "Being a small company, we welcome experienced volunteers to serve on our Board of Trustees to help shape Soul Rep's present and future; we welcome volunteers to support our productions as stagehands, ushers, and box office support; and we welcome volunteers to support our stewardship and marketing efforts," Holloway said.
TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) recently announced $220,000 in grants for seven new works and four artists residencies. TACA launched its New Works Fund to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance, and theater in Dallas County.
The seven 2019 New Works Fund grantees are:
• Cry Havoc Theater Co. - $25,000
H2O, by Mara Richards Bim
• Dallas Children's Theater - $25,000
Last Stop on Market Street, by Gloria Bond Clunie, Matt de la Peña, vickie washington, M. Denise Lee, and Robyn Flatt
• Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $15,000
Negotiating Dialogues, by Carmen Menza, Mark Menza, Eric Farrar, Joel Olivas, and musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; as part of the DSO's Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival
• Dallas Theater Center - $20,000
The Supreme Leader, by Don X. Nguyen
• Dark Circles Contemporary Dance - $25,000
PETE: A New Dance Musical, by Joshua L. Peugh
• Junior Players - $15,000
Junior Players Presents: The Aftermath, by Erin Burdette and Michael Federico
• Undermain Theatre - $25,000
He's Born, He's Borne, by David Rabe
The TACA Artist Residency Fund was established in 2015 to support unique artist-community engagement opportunities.
The four 2019 Artist Residency Fund grantees are:
• Avant Chamber Ballet - $15,000
Residency of choreographer and dance artist Jennifer Mabus
• Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas - $10,000
Residency of Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!, Orpheus Chamber Singers, cellist Gayane Manasjan and her string quartet, and storyteller Deecee Cornish
• Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $13,000
Residency of musician and composer Julia Wolfe
• Junior Players - $32,000
Residency of Shelby Doroshow, Shannon Hart, Yolanda Williams
TACA and the arts organizations benefiting from these grants are participating North Texas Giving Day.
Schedule your donation and support your favorite nonprofit on North Texas Giving Day: NorthTexasGivingDay.org