Jennifer Sampson has steered the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as President and CEO for nearly a decade, building relationships and strategic giving pathways to meet critical needs in the Dallas area. When COVID-19 first appeared in Dallas, Jennifer joined with other philanthropy leaders to make collaboration the first priority. The result of that teamwork is North Texas Cares, a grant created for emergency response funds, and North Texas Giving Tuesday Now, a giving day that brings together North Texas Giving Day and Giving Tuesday efforts on May 5. We asked Jennifer about her thoughts on the “new normal” for nonprofits, and what kind of creative problem solving she is seeing in the community.
Susan Swan Smith has an inside view of philanthropic giving in the DFW Metroplex as Chief Giving Officer for North Texas Giving Day. Her role at Communities Foundation of Texas is centered on connection—with nonprofits, foundation leaders, and the generous donors who make it all possible—so when it came time to shift gears and create a new kind of giving opportunity, the North Texas Giving Day team was ready to collaborate. We asked Susan to share her perspective on the new North Texas Giving Tuesday Now, what it means for local causes, and what local take-out is her current favorite.
The Better Block Foundation is a nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. Better Block’s home base is in Bishop Arts, where they house their digital fabrication machines (3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC routers) has had to pivot and display just how adaptive and innovative their team is during the COVID-19 crisis. Last week, Better Block creating 3D printed face shields, (directly inspired by the open-source plans by the team at The Good Mod in Portland), and the response has been incredible. It is inspiring to see the Dallas community and beyond come together to make this happen.