STORY BY KACIE FREDERICK. PHOTOS BY JAN OSBORN.
Dallas Doing Good has the privilege of partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas’ (CFT) North Texas Giving Day. Since 2009, NTx Giving Day has mobilized thousands of nonprofits that help the greater Texas community. The event has become the largest community giving day in the nation, which has been bolstered by the amazing donors. This year’s NTx Giving Day will be held on September 22, 2022. Early giving kicked off on September 1. As we look forward to the big day, Dallas Doing Good is highlighting five dedicated donors who have contributed to NTx Giving Day over the years.
Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld, committed citizens to North Texas, believe in fostering the arts and LGBTQIA+ communities in and around Dallas. Together and individually, they volunteer and donate to various nonprofits, and as a couple, have chaired successful fundraising galas such as the 2021 Dallas Symphony Gala, the 2019 Dallas Theater Center Gala, and the 2017 Dallas Summer Musicals Gala (now Broadway Dallas).
“I think first and foremost you have to have a passion for the nonprofit whether or not it’s for a gala,” says Smith. “You have to contribute before asking others to give. You also can’t discount the work of the staff. We may be the front facing people for the event, but having a great staff is key to having a great event. For me, and I think for us, it’s important to remember that it’s not about the chairs. It’s about the organization.”
Smith is the director of Giving and Volunteering for Texas Instruments (TI) and is the executive director of the TI Foundation. He currently serves on several charity boards including the Dallas Assembly, Dallas Education Foundation, Dallas Theater Center, The Arts Community Alliance (TACA), and the SMU Dedman College Executive Board. Von Wupperfeld serves on the boards of Resource Center, the third largest LGBTQ+ community center in the nation in terms of budget, and is a board member of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
“What I love about Dallas,” shares von Wupperfeld, “is how networked it is. Everyone knows someone. And there’s a willingness here to help each other out. It’s so gratifying–that connection and how willing people are to extend themselves to take part in that. It’s gratifying knowing I can be someone that will help, or that can ask for help.”
Both Smith and von Wupperfeld strongly believe in NTxGD as a means to aid our Texas community. Through Dallas’ collaborative efforts, it’s a day that pushes Dallas to be better. As one of the main attractions to NTxGD is that some nonprofits have donor’s dollars matched, Smith and von Wupperfeld agree that NTxGD helps to rally folks together to make our neighborhoods a better place to live, work, and play. Choosing to give locally is vital as, although Smith and von Wupperfeld do give to global charities, they acknowledge the need in our very own backyards.
“Being engaged in the community feels good and is nice to do,” says von Wupperfeld. “I love getting out and meeting people–the clients and other volunteers. That’s what makes NTxGD so great, it makes our community a great place to live. So whether you can give $5 or $50,000: do something. And if you can’t give, volunteer.”
“There is a real need right now. And what I’ve learned over the years is that it’s better to give than to receive. In talking about NTxGD, I would encourage folks to give what they can, even if it is just $5, especially when it’s matched. That $5 really does go a long way. Times are tough right now, for human services and for the arts. I hope folks consider and remember to do what they can for NTxGD.”
North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed by the Communities Foundation of Texas. North Texas Giving Day was inspired to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits. To donate to a local nonprofit that fuels your passion, please visit: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/search?orgScope=on.