“As you may know, North Texas Giving Day 2014 raised $26.3 million in support of local nonprofit organizations. It’s remarkable to think about the sheer impact that kind of financial support has on our community.
“I’m here to share a smaller tale. Spark Dallas is a brand new non-profit children’s venue — a place where kids in second grade through high school can interact with the arts, unleash their creativity and fulfill a natural desire for discovery. We participated in Giving Day 2014 for the very first time, using it as an anchor event to stimulate interest and excitement for our first-ever fund raising event. We achieved fabulous results:
- “74 donors total – 53 first-time donors (72%)
- “Individual donations totaling $13,506
- “Bonus Prize from CFT for matching grant – $2500
- “Total revenue from CFT (including bonus funds, matching grant, & prize) – $33,791
“I’m thrilled to say there is more to our story. In the fall of 2014, Spark Dallas had just signed a lease for space but had not yet begun build-out. Today, Spark Dallas occupies 11,000 square feet of built-out space and is open to the public.
“Donations from the community help us serve children in the Metroplex. What is the impact Spark Dallas has on a single child? Here’s an example: In April, we celebrated World Creativity and Innovation Week and invited 24 students from Communities in Schools to experience creative immersion. These students practiced recycled art by designing and painting hubcaps to be installed on our wavy bridge. Spark Dallas opened the week of June 9 and that week, two of these students and one teacher visited Spark Dallas for a second time. The young lady in this photo found her hubcap hanging from our bridge. She shared her pride and joy in a video now posted on YouTube. The exercise of figuring out how to decorate a hubcap will lead to deeper and stronger problem-solving skills as she matures and this boost to her self-esteem will help build her confidence. The perceived risk-taking of exploring the Spark Dallas environment and exercising her creativity provide positive reinforcement that she’ll apply to her next growth opportunity. Repeat visits to Spark Dallas will continue to build self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills and produce the types of experiences that lead to more successful academic performance and stronger career possibilities.
“There’s no doubt that North Texas Giving Day (which will take place on September 17 this year) provides a huge community impact, and the millions of dollars raised are just mind-blowing. Giving Day helped Spark Dallas complete build-out to start serving children, leaving a lasting impact on all of the children who have visited. When you divide the millions of dollars raised into individual stories like ours, you come up with one very popular commercial expression of value… ‘Priceless.’”
-By Beverly Davis, executive director
* Photo credit: Spark Dallas