Learning to Give is working closely with North Texas Giving Day on their 2019 initiative.
"When we were looking for curriculum to support our efforts to build a thriving community for all, we are overjoyed to find Learning to Give as a proven partner providing turn-key curriculum. We are hopeful that young Texans will use the toolkits to builds awareness and support for local charities on North Texas Giving Day and that they will feel empowered to help build a stronger community where they live. To learn more about North Texas Giving Day, please visit www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org. Find NTGD on social using #NTxGivingDay and @NorthTexasGivingDay
--Carol Goglia, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications | Communities Foundation of Texas
What is NTGD? Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day is the region’s annual 18-hour online giving designed to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits and causes they care about in one easy-to-use platform. It’s truly an extravaganza benefitting the 20 counties of North Texas. In ten years, this online event has transformed from an idea to help people give wisely and raise awareness of nonprofits, to a movement that has ignited a broad culture of community-wide giving. During North Texas Giving Day, everyone can be a philanthropist and build a stronger and more vibrant community for all. Since 2009, CFT’s North Texas Giving Day has pumped $240 million into their community. In 2018, $48 million was raised through more than 137,000 gifts benefiting 2,700 nonprofits.
Who is involved? In 2018, as you can see from this clever running of the torch video, people from all 20 counties around the Dallas-Fort Worth area get involved. Givers not only donated money, they also pledged 430,000 volunteer hours. Thousands of people come out to their events every year—including youth! You can see in this highlight video from 2018 that many kids come out to learn about where and how to give back in North Texas. This video from 2017 also shows a dad talking about how he brought his family out to the events and let them talk to the nonprofits exhibiting so their sons could choose where to give back (dad is talking at the 1:50 mark).
Why is it important to connect youth to community? Understanding the power of giving is important for all ages, which is why Communities Foundation of Texas wanted to provide curriculum that would give students the opportunity to practice philanthropy. They are honored to promote lessons, some with the support and guidenace of Learning to Give, that are designed to help young people explore the needs within their communities and identify ways in which they can help – not only on North Texas Giving Day, but throughout the year. Each lesson supports grade-level appropriate skills while focusing on a specific area of need through hands-on activities and research utilizing the North Texas Giving Day website. The site is rich with information about the importance and impact of philanthropy, as well as listings for hundreds of area nonprofits. Lessons also contain art and service-learning components, as well as facts about content-related career paths. They are excited for students to use these lessons and the North Texas Giving Day website and hope they empower students to give back and help build stronger communities both now and in the future.
What are the main North Texas Giving Day giving issue areas? At Communities Foundation of Texas, they believe a thriving community is one where all people have equal access to good jobs, strong relationships, transformational educational opportunities, quality health care and safe neighborhoods. For that reason, they focus much of their giving and service on five main areas:
- Economic Security: Yet North Texas’ poverty is higher than the national average — two out of five households couldn’t stay above the federal poverty level for three full months should they lose their main source of income. Unfortunately, financial insecurity not only destabilizes families, it also erodes the vitality of their region. Communities Foundation of Texas is focused on changing that.
- Education: Similarly, in education: More than 5 million school-aged Texans are enrolled in the state’s public schools, and an additional 1.6 million are enrolled in our higher education system. Unfortunately, 47% of Dallas County kindergarteners failed district assessments conducted within the first 60 days of the start of the school year and 73% of students in Dallas County public schools are economically disadvantaged which has them starting behind. They are committed to changing those odds and ensuring that all Texas students are prepared to be successful in school, work and life.
- Health: North Texas is home to several nationally recognized nonprofit hospitals and health care systems. However, not everyone in their community can access the high-quality care they offer. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 4.5 million Texans are still uninsured — the highest uninsured rate of all 50 states. When needing emergency care, uninsured or underinsured families are dependent on charitable care through Parkland Hospital or nonprofit clinics. In addition to basic care and emergency services for the uninsured, mental health services are also in great need.
- Public Safety: While crime rates have significantly declined in North Texas over the past two decades, still too many of neighbors reside in areas where crime and violence are present and growth opportunities are limited. CFT seeks to make headway on this large issue through a holistic approach that includes both responsive (diversion programs, homeless supports) and preventative approaches (police-community relations, trauma-informed care, behavioral health services).
- Racial Inclusion: Dallas continues to face many obstacles and barriers that limit the upward mobility of residents. Because access to quality schools, health care, well-paying jobs and safe neighborhoods are increasingly interrelated, it is more and more difficult for individuals, especially from communities of color, to overcome barriers to opportunities on their own. CFT seeks to support work that fosters important community conversations as well as creative solutions and strategies needed to help our community move forward together.