Keystone Strategy: Making a Measurable Difference
The Dallas Foundation serves as a keystone, the critical link between generous donors and the community and causes they cherish.
Our staff, through the Community Philanthropy and Donor Services Departments, studies challenges facing North Texas and searches constantly for nonprofit agencies that address those issues most efficiently and effectively. When donors want to give, we can help them find agencies poised to make a measurable difference in our community.
We also offer educational events for donors who want to learn more broadly about strategic philanthropy and community needs in North Texas and beyond.
The Dallas Foundation’s Keystone Strategy links donors with the causes they care about. Read our Keystone success stories.
Here For Good Since 1929
For more than 80 years, The Dallas Foundation has been improving life in North Texas. We are the state’s oldest community foundation, a place where donors can find deep local knowledge and administrative help to support their giving, and where nonprofits can find resources they need to serve the community.
A group of the city’s most prominent businessmen established the Dallas Community Trust, our previous incarnation, in June 1929. As members of the “Critics Club,” they’d learned about a new type of institution, called a community foundation. These foundations allowed gifts and bequests from many individuals to be combined into a permanent endowment to benefit the local community. The men decided that Dallas needed such an institution, and the Dallas Community Trust was born.
The trust received its first gift in 1934 from the estate of Sigmund Mayer, a German Jewish immigrant who became a successful retailer in Dallas and East Texas, Mr. Mayer’s bequest started The Dallas Foundation’s Unrestricted Fund. The Foundation awarded its first grant from the fund to the West Dallas Social Center in 1939. The grant was $1,000.
The Dallas Foundation awarded its first $100,000 grant to the Friends of the Dallas Public Library in 1978. About 10 years later, it hired its first full-time employee, Mary M. Jalonick. By the turn of the 21st century, The Dallas Foundation regularly was awarding more than $20 million in grants each year.
Concern for the community, respect for donors, thoughtful giving and careful investing — these core values have guided The Dallas Foundation since 1929. We’ve grown and changed just as Dallas has. But we remain, as always, here for good.