Today marks the 11th North Texas Giving Day, a program that empowers everyone to be a philanthropist and give back to the charitable organizations and causes they care about most, with support amplified through additional funding from the Communities Foundation of Texas. As communities around the world continue to deal with the effects of the global pandemic, the program reminds us of all the good being done by organizations and individuals in our own community to help those in need.
Started in 2009 as an online platform to help others give wisely, North Texas Giving Day has erupted over the last 11 years, creating a culture of community-wide giving. It raised approximately $4 million in its first year from 6,500 gifts to 345 nonprofit organizations. In 2019 alone, over $50 million was raised through 102,000 donors benefiting 3,000 local nonprofits. In the combined 11-year history, over $290 million has been given to the community through North Texas Giving Day. Unsurprisingly, it is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation.
North Texas Giving Day has played an important role in building a stronger and more vibrant community over the last 11 years, but the pandemic has created new challenges for individuals and nonprofits across the community, make this year’s Giving Day especially important.
While there are many great organizations and causes to support in the North Texas area, the following highlights some of the nonprofits Highland has supported that are advancing our community in number of different ways:
Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep is a private, independent Catholic high school located in the Pleasant Grove area of Southeast Dallas. Part of the Cristo Rey Network, the school employs a revolutionary model of college preparatory high school curriculum accessible to those of limited financial resources. Through a Corporate Work Study Program, students work to earn the majority of their tuition, while gaining real-world experience. Cristo Rey’s job partners include some of Dallas’s most prominent companies whose involvement not only advances the lives of the students, but also helps strengthen Dallas’s future workforce. With Highland’s support, Cristo Rey is making a number of major improvements to its campus to accommodate its growth and reach more students. This includes building a new innovation center and gymnasium, which will be unveiled later this year.
The Dallas Zoological Society (Dallas Zoo), the largest zoological park in Texas, has become a staple in the Dallas community over its 130-year history. Home to over 430 different species, the Dallas Zoo engages and educates visitors, while seeking to create a better world for animals. Since 2015, Highland has been a signature partner of the Dallas Zoo and the presenting sponsor of the zoo’s membership program.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is committed to developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. It does this through its three impact centers: domestic excellence, global leadership, and its engagement agenda. Highland has been a longtime supporter of the Bush Center and serves as the presenting sponsor of the Engage Series, presented by Highland Capital Management, which draws renowned speakers to Dallas (doing so virtually these days) for discussions on a range of important topics.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science promotes science and education in the Dallas community through hands-on exhibits, educator resources, unique films, and other special programming that engages audiences of all ages. Since 2012, Highland has supported the Perot Museum’s educational programming, special exhibitions, and community engagement initiatives.