VNA’s 5th Annual Power Of Pie Order Deadline Extended To Saturday

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

Once again VNA is coming to the rescue. With Thanksgiving dinner menus in countdown mode, they’re helping to solve the problem of dessert with their 5th Annual Power of Pie.

For a mere $25, hosts/hostesses can order a pecan or pumpkin pie cooked up by top-notch operations and chefs like Empire Baking Company, Oddfellows, The Ritz-Carlton, The Adolphus Hotel, Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, Knife, Dessert Dreams, Ida Claire, Bisous Bisous Patisserie, La Duni, Norma’s Café, Fairmont Hotel, The Ranch Las Colinas, Pink Apron Pastry, Haute Sweets, Mansion on Turtle Creek, El Centro College, Brownwen Weber Frosted Art Bakery and Studio, Collin College Institute of Hospitality, Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Park Central, Wolfgang Puck, Crossroads Diner, Society Bakery and Central Market.

There’s also the lighter-than-air Zero Calorie Pie. According to Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow, a couple of folks, who bought “Zero Calorie Pies” last year, showed up expecting to get one. Wrong. The Zero Calorie Pie is simply a way to make a $25 donation.

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

Katherine Krause (File photo)

Proceeds from the pie-athong will benefit VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs

Pie pickups will take place on Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22.

Due to the fact that the VNA team is bound and determined to accommodate all and beat last year’s total, VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause reported that they’re extending the order deadline to Saturday. So, order online now! And why not get one of each?

A Gentle Reminder: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Grant Application Deadline Nears

The clock is ticking and there are a heck of a lot of nonprofit types who are hard at work to meet the Tuesday, October 17, deadline. That’s when the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball applications are due.  

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker are making no exception. The forms have to be physically in the CCB offices by high noon… not 12:01 p.m. No email applications will be accepted. FYI: If you decide to mail the application, it won’t matter what the postmark is. If it ain’t in the CCB office by noon, it ain’t gonna make the cut.

It’s well worth the hard work. Since 1953, CCB has provided $131,244,558 for Dallas children’s charities. If you need proof, check with any of the past beneficiaries.

So, stop reading and get back to filling out those dang forms. And if you’ve put it all off until the last minute, the form is available here.

The 2018 beneficiaries will be selected Thursday, February 1.

Gentle Reminder: Crystal Charity Ball 2018 Charity Selections Are Now Available Online

Any Dallas County children’s nonprofit dreaming of qualifying for the Crystal Charity Ball grants should check out the CBB website. The applications for the 2018 grants are available online now.

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

According to 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker, the timeline for this year’s grant process is

  • Wednesday, September 20, at 9 a.m. — Orientation meeting for prospective applicants. Attendance is not mandatory, but strong encouraged.
  • Tuesday, October 17, noon — Applications “must be mailed or hand-delivered to the CCB office. No email applications will be accepted.
  • Thursday, February 1 — 2018 beneficiaries will be selected.

To qualify for a grant, the organizations must

  • serve children in Dallas County
  • have had a 501 (c) 3 designation for at least three years
  • have provided services in Dallas County for at least three year

Since 1952, CCB has provided more than $137M to more than 100 children’s charities, so why not take the opportunity to land one of the grants?

2018 Crystal Charity Ball Selection Process Plans Announced

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

In between applications of sunscreen and ripping open Amazon Prime Day purchases, think ahead to 2018. Believe it or not, it’s just around the calendar corner.

Need a for instance? The 2018 Crystal Charity Ball selection process. 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson has provided the rundown of dates for nonprofits to participate:

  • Friday, September 1, 2017 — Applications for the 2018 grants will be available online. Why the early warning? That gives Dallas County children’s charity brain trusts enough time to decide if they want to take the first step in vying for funding and the stamp of approval by the 65-year-old organization. To qualify for consideration, the charity must
    • Serve children in Dallas County
    • Have had a 501 (c) 3 designation for at least three years
    • Have provided services in Dallas County for at least three years
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. — For newcomers and returnees, there will be “a brief prospective application orientation at Communities Foundation of Texas.” No, it’s “not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.”
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at noon — Hard-copy applications must be in the Crystal Charity Ball office, 3838 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite L 150, by noon. Remember, that’s noon for hard-copy applications and no excuses.
  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 — The selection of 2018 beneficiaries will be made.

If you’re weighing whether or not to try out, check with past recipients. Since 1952, more than 100 children’s charities have received more than $137M.

The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon Registration Deadline Approaches

How about a marathon that requires absolutely no sunscreen, sunglasses or sweating? That’s exactly what the Dallas Film Society and Studio Movie Grill have on “The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon” agenda for Sunday, July 16, at Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley.

First Annual Movie Madness Marathon*

Guests will watch four movies — “Despicable Me 3,” “Spider Man – Homecoming,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Baby Driver” — continuously starting at 11 a.m. with the goal of raising funds for the various DFS programs (DFS Summer Film Camp, DFS College Intern Program, DFS High School Roundtable Education Program, Dallas International Film Festival and DFS Premiere Film Screening, to mention a few).

Here’s the plan. Each moviegoer registers here to “secure a seat” in the marathon. The registration fee is $25. Then, besides OD-ing on popcorn, they’ll be asked to get friends, family and anyone they can convince to donate money for a minimum goal of $500.

According to organizers, you’ll be asked during registration “if you want to use your name or create a fun, movie-themed team name. This is how donors will find you. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a link you can share on social media and send via email to friends and family asking them to make a pledge to support you.”

The problem is that the deadline for registering is today! Holy Batman yipes!  But you just know the DFS folks know how to make room for movie lovers, so go ahead and send your registration in pronto.

Oh, and, yes, for those who wonder, there will be bathroom breaks between movies.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Film Society

Business Council For The Arts Is Calling All Art Heroes For Obelisk Awards

Each year the Business Council for the Arts presents its Obelisk Awards at a luncheon to “honor businesses, business leaders, arts/cultural leaders and nonprofit organizations who have significantly advanced arts and culture in North Texas.”

Event Co-Chairs Thai-lan Tran and Steven Roth have just announced that nominations are now open.

Exactly what does it take to be a nominee? Here’s a breakdown of the requirements for your consideration:

For Businesses:

  • The New Initiatives Award recognizes businesses for supporting an innovative arts/cultural program created within the past three years. Awards are given to one large, medium and small business each.
  • The Arts Partnerships Award recognizes businesses that have provided sustained support to an arts/cultural organization for three or more years. Awards are given to one large, medium and small business each. A business may only win the Arts Partnership Award once every two years.
  • The Arts Education Award recognizes one outstanding business for its support of arts education programs.

For Individual Business Leaders:

  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award recognizes long-term leadership and commitment to arts/culture by a business executive (president, CEO, partner).
  • The Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award recognizes outstanding board leadership and commitment by a graduate of the Leadership Arts Institute.

For Individual Arts/Cultural Leaders:

  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award recognizes an arts leader who has consistently demonstrated vision, impact, innovation, and successful alignment with business and community partners throughout their tenure.

For Nonprofit Arts/Cultural Organizations:

  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award is given by Neiman Marcus to recognize one outstanding nonprofit organization for a project or program that has enhanced the community through partnership with a business.

Larry Glasgow (File photo)

According to BCA Board of Directors Chair Larry Glasgow, “For more than a quarter century, the Obelisk Awards have been the symbol of excellence recognizing support of the arts in our community.  Past recipients include visionaries who represent diverse industries, each one making a unique contribution to our cultural vibrancy and quality of life. With the exponential growth of the arts in North Texas, we believe that this year’s nominations will include long-time arts supporters as well as the new and innovative.”

The awardees will be celebrated at the 29th annual Obelisk Awards luncheon at Belo Mansion on Wednesday, November 15.

The deadline for nomination submissions is Wednesday, June 21. That’s less than a month away, so put on those thinking caps and make the world know about an art hero.  Here’s a link for the nomination form.

Good Friday Closures And Tax Deadlines Are Providing Some Confusion

Just a simple reminder that while Good Friday (aka tomorrow) is not a federal holiday, financial markets and some schools will be closed. Most banks, post offices and government offices will remain open, as will the Arboretum, the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Museum of Art. 

Here Comes Easter To Texas (File photo)

BTW, due to the infamous April 15th Tax Day falling on Saturday, the deadline for submitting taxes is Tuesday, April 18. Whoa! Sure, the deadline couldn’t fall on Easter Sunday, but why not Monday? Is the government being generous with deadlines? No. The reason is that the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day that is usually celebrated on April 16. This year the 16th falls on Sunday, so Monday will be considered a holiday the same way federal holidays are.

Confused? Don’t worry. Just get those taxes filed or warm up those extensions!

Time Is Running Out for Laura Grace Caregiver Award Nominations

The Senior Source*

The clock is ticking for The Senior Source‘s 2nd Annual Laura Grace Caregiver Award nominations. The deadline for nominations of people “who care for, or has cared for, an aging loved one and has gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care” is Friday, March 31. Yipes!


Here are the requirements for nominations:

  • The recipient must be able to attend the event on Thursday, April 13, at The Kessler Theater. (Two complimentary tickets will be provided.)
  • Neither paid, professional caregivers nor individuals who self-nominate are eligible for the award.
  • Nominee must reside within the greater Dallas area.

The award recipient will be notified on Friday, April 7, of their being selected.

The award will be presented during Jub Jam, benefiting The Senior Source and presented by Sportsradio 1310 “The Ticket.”

Submit your nomination(s) here. As for Jub Jam, it’s sold out. But you know the drill. For a nice check, sponsorship just might be yours.

*  Graphic courtesy of The Senior Source

It’s Time To Submit Your Nominee For The 88th Linz Award

Debbie Branson (File photo)

Debbie Branson (File photo)

You know tons of people. Now you’ve got a challenge. You’ve got to go through that endless list of folks and find at least one “whose civic or humanitarian efforts have created the greatest benefits to the City of Dallas.”

The reason? It’s time to nominate the 88th Linz Awardee. The deadline for submitting your nominee(s) is Tuesday, November 1 (aka All Saints Day).

Benefiting the Community Service Fund of the Junior League of Dallas, the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 8, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. And you just know you’re gonna want to be there to see your nominee(s) accept their award from last year’s recipient Debbie Branson. Betcha the awardee will even do a shout-out to you for putting their name(s) in the hat.

For your convenience, here’s a link to the nomination form.

A Gentle Reminder: Crystal Charity Ball Charity Selection Orientation Is Tuesday, As In Tomorrow

Attention, campers! Any nonprofit benefiting children had better plan on being at Communities Foundation of Texas Tuesday morning. It’s the Crystal Charity Ball’s Selection Orientation Session that starts at 8:30 a.m.

Lisa Longino (File photo)

Lisa Longino (File photo)

According to Grant Selection Chair Lisa Longino, attendance is certainly not mandatory, but this gathering provides insight and tips on how to apply for the 2017 grants.

And while Monday, October 31 (aka Halloween), may seem like many high school football games away, it’s the deadline for submitting applications for the grants.

Prospective agencies must meet three basic requirements:

  • to serve children in Dallas County,
  • have had a 501 (c)(3) tax designation for at least three years and
  • must have provided services in Dallas Country for at least three years.

It was just a couple of years ago that North Texas Food Bank President/CEO Jan Pruitt warned her team that if they wanted to submit an application, it was a daunting experience. Still she added that receiving one was like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. BTW, her team did submit an application for a 2015 grant and received $750,000 for their efforts.

Applications are now available here, but be smart and attend the meeting. Who knows what tidbits will be shared!

Warm Up Your Nominating Brain Cells For CNM Connect’s “A Night Of Light” Awards

It used to be known as The Center for Nonprofit Management, but that seemed like an awful long name. So, a couple of years ago it had a “name lift” and became CNM Connect. Despite the name tightening, its mission stayed right on course — “to strengthen community by connecting and engaging nonprofits and other stakeholders through leadership, management expertise and outcomes technology.  In addition to providing executive recruiting, seminars, certificate programs and consulting services, CNM is expanding its offerings to meet the needs of today’s nonprofit.”

CNM Connect*

CNM Connect*

One of the annual highlights for local nonprofits is CNM Connect’s “A Night Of Light Awards,” at which time individuals and organizations serving North Texas nonprofits are recognized and awarded. This year’s by-invitation-only event presented by Atmos Energy will take place on Thursday, November 17, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center with WFAA’s Ron Corning emceeing.

A Night of Light*

A Night of Light*

Now, it’s just about time for  nominations to be submitted for the five following categories

  • Nonprofit of the Year,
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year,
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year,
  • Robert Miller Nonprofit Communicator of the Year and
  • Partner of the Year.

After submitting the nomination form, “an independent panel of judges” review the candidates and select three finalists in each category in September.

All the finalists receive a $2,500-scholarship toward CNM services such as education training or consulting. But each of the category’s winners is also presented with a $5,000 cash award. Nice!

According to CNM President/CEO Tina Weinfurther, “We all have an interest in strong communities. Corporations, foundations, and other stakeholders provide generous support with time and resources while nonprofits are on the front lines working to address growing community needs. A Night of Light recognizes those nonprofits focused on outcomes and best practices to drive even greater impact and positive change to North Texas. We are truly grateful for all that they do.”

Since its first presentation in 2001, more than $425,000 in cash awards have been presented to 85 organizations.

Nominations forms will be available Monday, and have to be received by Friday, August 19. So, get those thinking caps on and figure out who and what you’re gonna nominate.

* Graphics provided by CNM Connect

Communities Foundation Of Texas Kicks Off Its Letter Of Inquiry Application Process For 2016 Giving Guide

Between the stock market and oil dropping, there are a lot of frowns making the rounds. So, how about something to make smiles? It comes from Communities Foundation of Texas officially kicking off the 2016 Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process. Applications are available online for DFW nonprofits to submit information that will be reviewed and considered for including in the foundation’s annual Giving Guide. It’s a nifty way for CFT to provide “information submitted by nonprofits with their fund holders whose interests align with their specific areas of focus.” What makes it even better is that the “Giving Guide” is available to any- and everyone in North Texas.

Communities Foundation of Texas logo*

Communities Foundation of Texas*

To be eligible, the organizations must

  • Have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the Internal Revenue Service that has been active for two years.
  • Have a North Texas Giving Day Profile which can be created at
  • At least 50% of the population served must be residents of Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin or Rockwall counties.

More than 400 nonprofits are vetted by CFT before being shared with donors.

Interested? Here is a timeline for the process:

  • January: 2016 LOI process information and application are available on the CFT website.
  • Wednesday, March 2: Informational workshops at CFT offices (5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, 75225) for agencies interested in learning more about the LOI process. You may attend either the morning session (9-11 a.m.) or the afternoon session (1-3 p.m.). Attendance at the free workshops is completely optional. REGISTER NOW for the workshops.
  • Friday, April 1: Deadline to submit LOIs to [email protected] or at CFT offices (5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, 75225) by 5 p.m. (CST). You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Saturday, December 31: All agencies notified about grants funded out of CFT’s discretionary funds.

Did you catch that last date? It seems that CFT has “discretionary funds” that will be provided for “a limited number of requests submitted through the LOI process.” The areas that are considered for these funds include

  • Financial education for widows
  • Education and training of student nurses
  • Medical research related to cancer or heart disease
  • Scholarships for students attending fundamental theology schools
  • Scholarships for blind individuals
  • STEM education for girls
  • Programs that use technology to serve people with barriers to reading due to low vision or learning differences

Just imagine. Not only can your nonprofit be included in the Giving Guide and put before the CFT fundholders, it just might get a surprise gift at the end of the 2016.

* Graphic provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

MySweetWishList: Community Partners Of Dallas Toy Drive

According to Community Partners of Dallas (CPD) President/CEO Paige McDaniel:

“Community Partners of Dallas has just kicked off our annual Toy Drive and I wish for the community to help us once again by providing 2 gifts each to more than 5,500 abused and neglected children in the care of Child Protective Services. CPD is accepting donations of toys through Friday, December 11.”

Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive*

Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive*

“For thousands of abused and neglected children in Dallas County, the holidays are just another day; one more day that they are reminded that no one cares. By supporting Community Partner of Dallas’ Toy Drive, individuals, organizations and companies can grant specific gift requests to children most in need of holiday joy. For many of the children, this might be the only gift they receive, and for some the first gift they have ever been given. Fulfilling these wishes goes beyond just making sure they have a gift to open on Christmas. Your gift shows our kids that someone cares for them.”

“The Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive is unique in that the wishes are brought to the agency by CPS caseworkers on behalf of the children in their care, and those same caseworkers will have the wonderful opportunity to deliver these gifts personally. By supporting the Toy Drive, individuals, organizations and companies will be granting specific gift requests to these children, making them feel special and giving them a holiday they will remember.”

Paige McDaniel, Maria Plankinton and Joanna Clarke*

Paige McDaniel, Maria Plankinton and Joanna Clarke*

“Wish cards can be filled by companies, churches, scout troops, business offices, or individuals. Organizations and individuals can also organize a new toy drive for the undesignated toy collection used to serve additional children who come into CPS care after the wish list deadline and to fill wishes not selected by donors. This year’s most popular wishes include bikes, African American dolls, items from Disney’s “Frozen,” Easy Bake Ovens, boom boxes, riding toys for toddlers, Buzz Lightyear Action Figures, Barbies, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, learning toys for toddlers, like a Vtech Learning Laptop, Dora dolls, MP3 players, LEGO sets, Tonka trucks and Bath and Body Works sets.”

“All gifts should be new and not wrapped. Toys must be delivered to the Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive Warehouse at the Peacock Alley Warehouse located at 2050 Postal Way, Dallas, Texas 75212, no later than 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11. For more information on participating in the Toy Drive, contact Corinne Karp, 214.624.7588 or visit”

– Paige McDaniel, Community Partners of Dallas president/CEO

* Graphic and photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Communities Foundation Of Texas’ 2016 GiveWisely Applications Are Due In One Month

There’s just a month left to submit applications for the 2016 GiveWisely program sponsored by Communities Foundation of Texas. No, it’s not a study on the three wise men. The five-class series provides information for “a relatively small group of donors to sharpen their goals and strategies toward giving.”

The following schedule calls for the classes to run from 7 to 9 p.m.:

  • Session #1 (Wednesday, January 20): Identifying Your Values — What are your core values? How do they show up in your giving- or do they? Discussing values, personal giving statements and charitable budgets.
  • Session #2 (Wednesday, February 17): Pinpointing Your — This session will guide you through further identifying your philanthropic values, goals and legacy- and effectively communicating your giving philosophy with family, friends and the nonprofit community.
  • Session #3 (Wednesday, March 23): Evaluating Effectiveness— Understanding community needs and assessing nonprofits to bring your personal perspective to bear on solving community problems. This session is complemented by the special off-site session, “How to Conduct a Site Visit” on Saturday, April 9.
  • Session #4 (Wednesday, April 13): Philanthropist Panel — Hear from a panel of philanthropists and discuss the challenges, successes and impact of giving.
  • Session #5 (Wednesday, April 29): Beyond the Class: Keeping Focus and Impact in Your Giving — Finalize your personal giving statements and your charitable budget for the year ahead in this workshop session.

According to last year’s GiveWisely participant Christine Allen, “I high recommend this class to anyone who has a heart to make the world a better place, but isn’t sure about the best way to make a personal impact. It’s an exceptional class, extremely well-organized, and every topic leads to valuable discussion. GiveWisely truly helps people hone in on their passions and apply their resources.”

While the series is free, “each member (or participating couple) will make a tax deductible $500 gift to Communities Foundation of Texas, to be directed to the nonprofit of their choosing at the end of the class.”

The deadline for applications is Friday, December 18.

JUST IN: 2016 Dallas International Film Festival Plans Announced Plus Creation Of L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award

Anyone who knew L.M. “Kit” Carson knew a true Texas personality. No, he didn’t chew tobacco. He wasn’t a high-rolling millionaire. He didn’t ride the rodeo circuit or even own a professional sports team.

But the North Texas native embodied a maverick spirit within the film industry that grew over the decades. When others were into big studio productions, Kit was his own man writing, directing, producing and acting. He worked with everyone from Sam Shepard, Dallas’ Wilson brothers (Andrew, Luke and Owen), Wes Anderson, and River Phoenix to Richard Gere. His films ranged from “David Holzman’s Diary”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”, “Breathless” to “Paris, Texas.” Why, he was even once married to the late actress Karen Black and is the father of actor Hunter Carson.

Back in March 2011, Kit was at the Dallas International Film Festival screening his 3 to 5 minute “African Diary,” that had been filmed on a Nokia N93 and N95 cellphone cameras.

His death last October did not end his influence within the film industry, especially for young up-and-comers. This past spring, DIFF honored him by featuring his 1983 film “Breathless” and posthumously awarding him with the Dallas Star Award.

In announcing plans for the 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival (coming in April 2016), the Dallas Film Society has revealed the addition of the “Mavericks category to its programming strand, presented by the L.M. Kit Carson Storyfinders Foundation.” The new program will feature four groundbreaking and cutting edge films that spotlight unique cinematic voices breaking the rules of filmmaking to advance the art form. One Maverick filmmaker will be presented with the inaugural L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award at Dallas Film Society Honors.

According to Hunter, “I truly believe that the art of creating ‘maverick’ films is rarified air. Films that introspectively look at the world in challenging ways deserve to be celebrated.”

The DIFF is accepting submissions for all categories including the Mavericks category:

  • Grand Jury Prizes will be presented for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, Animated Short Film, Student Short Film and Texas Film Competition presented by Panavision.
  • Audience Awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film.
  • Additional programming categories include World Cinema Latino Cinema Showcase, Deep Ellum Sounds (music documentaries), Family Films, and Midnight Specials.

Submission deadlines are as following:

  • Early deadline — Friday, October 16, 2015,
  • Regular deadline — Friday, December 4, 2015 and
  • Late deadline — Friday, December 11, 2015.

The 2016 DIFF will take place Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 24, 2016.

According to DIFF Senior Programmer Sarah Harris, “We can’t wait to get started on selecting films to showcase at the 2016 DIFF and looking forward to highlighting another group of incredible and diverse talent from around the world. We are so excited to celebrate a decade of sharing our love of film with the community and continuing to introduce Dallas to some of the finest work filmmaking has to offer.”

Submissions are open on WithoutABox and Film Freeway. For more information and to submit films, visit Questions can be emailed to [email protected].

Application Deadline For CNM Connect’s A Night Of Light Awards Of Excellence Is This Friday

With deadlines falling right and left, Dallas is far from quiet. Folks are filling out forms lickety-split. The latest deadline is this Friday. Yipes! It’s for the CNM Connects’ (formerly known as the Center for Nonprofit Management) A Night of Light Award of Excellence.

The five categories for which applications can be submitted are:

  • Nonprofit of the Year – Presented to the nonprofit organization that has best implemented a program/project clearly focused on advancing its mission to address a community need.
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year – Presented to the nonprofit CEO/executive director who has best demonstrated exemplary leadership and vision.
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year – Presented to the board chairperson or board member who has best contributed to the long-term impact of the nonprofit that he or she serves and whose leadership exhibits best practices in nonprofit governance.
  • Robert Miller (File photo)

    Robert Miller (File photo)

    Nonprofit Communicator of the Year, in Honor of Robert Miller – Presented to the nonprofit organization that has best used a communications program/campaign to successfully advance its mission.

  • Corporation of the Year – Presented to the corporation that best models good corporate citizenship and socially responsible partnerships.

And it’s well worth the time and effort to get that application in. The honoree not only receives a $5,000 cash award but also a $2,500 scholarship toward CNM services.

The awards will be announced at A Night of Light 2015 on Thursday, November 12, at Sixty Five Hundred.

Since being created in 2001, CNM Connect “has awarded $400,000 in cash awards to 80 organizations.”

BTW, please note that the word “winner” was not used in this post because all nonprofits are winners every day of the year.

United Way’s GroundFloor Is Accepting Applications For Its Innovative Mentoring Program

Tis the season for applications to be filed for potential assistance, whether it’s financial or a hand up. The latest call for applications comes from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas for its GroundFloor program.

Having been established in 2013, it got up and running thanks to “seed investment from AT&T, Ernst & Young and generous donations.”

Exactly what is GroundFloor? No, it’s not a program to teach folks how to fix elevators. Rather it offers “social innovation endeavors that would typically not be eligible for a grant through United Way’s competitive Community Impact Fund process, as a result of the early stage of their business.”

That all sounds sort of heady. To put it simply, it’s a three-part program that includes

  1. financial capital for seed and early-stage ventures;
  2. human capital from our world-class mentors representing leaders in the areas of entrepreneurship, academics, public policy and the social sector; and,
  3. social capital through connecting our portfolio companies with resources from over 1,000 corporate partners and over 80 service providers.

According to a United Way spokesperson, UW has invested $300K in GroundFloor fellows with individual fellows receiving gifts ranging from $35,000 to $175,000.

It might help to know past recipients. While the press release reported that “The first GroundFloor Fellows, including Café Momentum, Dallas Teacher Residency, Upswing, and AdvanceNet Labs leveraged their mentoring, support and seed funding investments of $610,000 to raise an additional $3M to fund their impact work,” the very first crop of fellows for 2013-2014 was actually made up of Café Momentum, Dallas Teacher Residency, LiftFund and Spark 101.

Chad Houser (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

According to Café Momentum Executive Director/Chef Chad Houser, “As the first GroundFloor fellow, United Way has been critical in helping us grow this unconventional youth program that everyone told me wouldn’t work.”

And Chad should know since Café Momentum has been a “fellow” twice!

Other fellows for the past couple of years have included

  • 2014-2015: Per Scholas, Upswing, 2ndSaturday and AdvanceNet Labs’ SafeNight
  • 2015-2016: Café Momentum and Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

But back to the GroundFloor process. The selection will be made through a competitive business plan and pitch competition for “promising social ventures focused on solutions that address the issues of education, financial stability and health.”

If selected, the group will receive seed funding, thousands of dollars’ worth of training, mentoring and support that will help them rise to the next level within their industry. Other perks include:

  • One-on-One Mentorship: Mentors have experience in a variety of fields and are paired with Fellows based on need and expertise. Mentoring can range from providing an overall sounding board as a business develops, or more strategic problem-solving in specific areas. Mentors have included Yvonne P. Booker, Trey Bowles, Debra Brennan Tagg, Dana Brown, Christopher Cervantes, Sejal Desai, BJ Fineman, Rick Galloway, Mike Gelhausen, Rick Jackson, Peter Klingman, Selena LaCroix, Robin Minick, Cynthis Nevels, Kimberly O’Neill, Marlon Rollins, Frank Santoni, Jessica Shortall and Bob Wright.
  • Peer Learning: GroundFloor Fellows navigate the Accelerator as a group and benefit by watching and learning from each other. An important component of the program is building a camaraderie with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who can serve as support and a resource in the future.
  • Workshops: GroundFloor Workshops cover a variety of topics that are valuable to early-stage ventures. These topics can include: pitching, marketing, board development, legal structure, social media strategy, accounting, crowdfunding and measuring impact.
  • Financial Capital: Seed money is awarded to give Fellows the runway to get their startups established.
  • Increased Visibility: The social capital of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas helps to shine attention on GroundFloor Fellows through media coverage and participation in community-wide events.
  • GroundFloor Staff: After an initial assessment of an organization, staff will work to establish short and long-term goals and help to achieve them during the 10-month program. Staff strives to provide accountability and create forward momentum for Fellows.

But the catch is that the applications are due in less than a month — Friday, August 21. Here are the deets on how to apply. Now get going, if you want to be a fellow!

JUST IN: Timeline And Requirements For 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries Announced

Christie Carter (File photo)

Christie Carter (File photo)

The 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter and 2016 CCB Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman have just revealed the requirements and time line for the 2016 grants.


  • The agency must serve children in Dallas County.
  • The agency must have had a 501(c)(3) designation for at least three years.
  • The agency must have provided services in Dallas Country for at least three years.


  • Tuesday, September 1, 2015 — Applications are available online or by calling The Crystal Charity Ball office (214.526.5868, Ext. 18).
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 — A brief orientation will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Communities Foundation of Texas. While not required, the meeting is extremely helpful for prospective applying charities to send a representative.
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015 — Completed applications must be received by The Crystal Charity Ball office (3838 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite L150, Dallas 75219) by 4 p.m. No applications will be accepted via email.
  • Thursday, February 4, 2016 — Beneficiaries will be selected.
Jan Pruitt (File photo)

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

While it may seem a bit overwhelming for first timers and even CCB vets, becoming a CCB beneficiary results in even more than the financial reward. It was just a year ago that North Texas Food Bank Executive Director Jan Pruitt warned her staff when they approached her about applying for a grant. Did they know what they were undertaking? She told them it a thorough process, but the validation by CCB was priceless. Thanks to their efforts, NTFB is a 2015 beneficiary and will receive $750,000 for its Food 4 Kids Backpack program.

So, get on board. Get the application. Get to the orientation meeting. Get that application in before 4 p.m. on October 28th. The Dallas kids are depending upon you to get it.

A Gentle Reminder: 2016 Chi Omega Market Deadline

The applications for the 2016 Chi Omega Christmas Market beneficiaries are due Tuesday…like tomorrow!

Here are the criteria to qualify for consideration:

  • Applicants must not have received Chi Omega Christmas Market funds from the previous two markets (2014 or 2015) with the exception of Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, the national philanthropy of Chi Omega.
  • Organization must include Dallas County in their service area.
  • Organization must be operating under a 501(c)3 determination.
  • Projects and programs must address needs in the areas of health, education, civic, arts or welfare.

After review, the Chi O’s will notify the applicants “of their status by mail after Monday, November 23, 2015.”

Hustle, hustle!

Chi Omega Christmas Market Plans Revealed For Interested 2016 Beneficiaries And 2015 Fundraiser

Any nonprofit wanting money, think Christmas now. The Dallas-area Chi Omega Alumnae want you! They have issued a shout-out for those wishing to be considered as beneficiaries for the 2016 Chi Omega Christmas Market.

Chi Omega Christmas Market (File photo)

Chi Omega Christmas Market (File photo)

But better get hustling because applications are due Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

Here’s the criteria to qualify for consideration:

  • Applicants must not have received Chi Omega Christmas Market funds from the previous two markets (2014 or 2015) with the exception of Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, the national philanthropy of Chi Omega.
  • Organization must include Dallas County in their service area.
  • Organization must be operating under a 501(c)3 determination.
  • Projects and programs must address needs in the areas of health, education, civic, arts or welfare.

After review, the Chi O’s will notify the applicants “of their status by mail after Monday, November 23, 2015.”

Remember this application process is for the 2016 market, not for 2015. That’s already a done deal with the 2015 beneficiaries being Association for Independent Living, Attitudes & Attire, AVANCE-Dallas Inc., Camp Summit, Dallas Services Low Vision Clinic, DME Exchange of Dallas, Hope Cottage, Jonathan’s Place, Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas®, ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship and Chi Omega Educational Corporation and Collegiate Scholarships. The goal is to distribute $210,000 among the 11 nonprofits.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the upcoming Christmas Market — Chi Omega Candy Christmas — Co-Chairs Amanda Escobedo and Amy McAleavey have arranged for it to return to Fair Park’s Centennial Hall from Wednesday, November 18, to Saturday, November 21. Tickets for the Wednesday preview party and Thursday’s “First Call Shopping” will get the holder re-admittance for the rest of the market’s run.

Executives In Action Grant Deadline Approaches

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

Executives in Action wants to help “nonprofits in the areas of children and family, culture and humanities, education, health and well-being and social services.” Since its beginning, EIA has provided “nearly 700 executives to generate an investment of over $5.2M of human resource capital in the North Texas community.”

EIA is accepting applications from area nonprofits for “grants.” Those grants don’t mean money. Rather it means the finalists will receive support from EIA from senior executives, who provide their expertise for the nonprofits to achieve their goals.

The program is the brainchild of Ashlee and Chris Kleinert and has resulted in 270 nonprofit projects to tap area brain trusts.

The only problem is the deadline. It’s Friday, May 8! Luckily, the application is a snap. So, click here and apply.

Cindy And Bill Ward Provide A $25,000 Match Offer To Raise Funds For Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park seems to be the busiest place in Dallas. Morning, noon and night people, kids and pooches are enjoying Dallas’ latest and only over-the-freeway park. While it’s free for the walking, it still depends on money to maintain and improve it. That’s why the “i heart park” campaign was created.

Klyde Warren Park*

Klyde Warren Park*

The goal is to raise $50,000 by Friday, May 15. To help accomplish….and maybe even surpass this goal… Cindy and Bill Ward have issued a $25,000 matching challenge. For every dollar donated, the Wards will match it.

According to Cindy, “Klyde Warren Park has created new life and energy for our city, and it’s now time for us – the community – to give back. Bill and I have believed in this park from the beginning, and we are excited to see the community continue to come together to support our new town square through ‘i heart the park.’”

Just think. With the $25,000 already raised, this matching challenge just could result in $75,000 being provided. But remember. The deadline is May 15. So, skip that second cup of java and donate. Every penny donated ends up being two pennies going to award-winning Klyde Warren Park.

* Photo credit: Thomas McConnell

Attorneys Serving The Community’s Dena DeNooyer Stroh Makes A Shout-Out For Beneficiary Applications

Attorneys Serving the Community*

Attorneys Serving the Community*

Last year’s Attorneys Serving the Community Chair Dena DeNooyer Stroh just sent great news. She’s now heading up the ASC’s Charity Selection Committee (CSC). That’s not only good news for Dena and ASC, but it’s also a boon for area nonprofits that benefit women, children and families.

You see Dena is reaching out for nonprofits to submit for the ASC’s 2015-2016 beneficiary.

Interested? Sure! It’s simple. Just fill out the Beneficiary Application Form.

According to Dena, “The CSC will review all applications received and determine which organizations should receive site visits by CSC members. The CSC will select three finalists that make a presentation to ASC members at the charity selection meeting (usually in July), which concludes with ASC members selecting the next beneficiary.  The ASC membership tends to select nonprofits that ASC can take to the next level (like a non-profit incubator, in the words of one ASC member).”

Past recipients have included The Nurse-Family Partnership Program of the YWCA, AVANCE-Dallas, Trinity River Mission, Hope’s Door, The Foundation for the Education of Young Women (n/k/a Young Women Preparatory Network and Helping Restore Ability.

Dena added that “Recently, ASC has netted around $200,000 for the selected beneficiary through networking events, ASC’s Heart and Sole 5k and fun run (this year’s on February 14!), a silent auction and the annual luncheon.”

The catch? There’s a “strict application deadline of [Friday] February 13, 2015, by 4:00 p.m.” And you know, attorneys are sticklers for deadlines. So, get hustling.

* Graphic courtesy of Attorneys Serving the Community

Deadline Looms For Come-Rain-Or-Shine “A Wagon Holds Promise” Parade To Break The Guinness World Record

While the northeast is plowing through this week’s blizzard, North Texas has been enjoying spring-like weather. So, what the heck happened to winter? It just took a couple of days off. But a smidgen of it is returning this weekend complete with a dose of rain.

That’s good news and something to think about. The good news is that it will alleviate the drought in these parts a bit, so program your sprinklers to relax for the next few days.

A Wagon Holds Promise*

A Wagon Holds Promise*

The “something to think about” is Community Partners of Dallas’ “A Wagon Holds Promise” parade on Saturday. Sure, it may be damp, but the weather-guessers think it will be light in the morning when the parade takes place. And what’s rain compared to raising funds to help Dallas County’s abused and neglected children.

So far, more than 450 folks have signed up to participate, including 250 adults and kiddos to pull the little red wagons. Because of the overwhelming response, the CPD-ers, who like to go over the top every time, have extended the sign-up deadline until 5 p.m. today. Tickets are free, but absolutely required. So don’t dawdle, because they need a headcount.

Red wagons wait their turn to parade

Red wagons wait their turn to parade

BTW, if you “rent” a wagon for $50, it’s a twofer bonus. Not only does the money go to CPD, but the wagon is put into the CPD Christmas toy drive.

Even if you have your own wagon, you still have to register to be part of the world-record-breaking event.

The celeb du jour will be the Guinness World Record representative, who will be doing a wagon count to verify that a world record has been set.

As for the rain, it’ll be a perfect opportunity to dress yourself and the kids in yellow slickers, cute galoshes and amazing umbrellas.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the parade commences at 11 a.m. come rain or shine. And afterwards, there will food to celebrate thanks to Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe. Yum!

* Graphic and photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas