Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO Plans March Retirement

David Scullin will continue his leadership role through March 3 to facilitate the transition, while the board begins a national search for a new president and CEO. Efforts are underway to select an executive recruitment firm partner.

Here's a by-the-numbers look at CFT's impact during Scullin's six-year tenure at the helm of the nonprofit.

David Scullin, Communities Foundation of Texas president and CEO, announced his plans to retire in March, following a distinguished tenure leading the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation.

Scullin, who has helmed the organization for six years, says it’s been a “true honor to lead CFT.”

He’s proud of what the nonprofit has achieved toward building a better community and strengthening Texas education.

Crediting the CFT team and its partners, Scullin said, “Our extensive progress has been a collective effort through our amazing staff and our dynamic board of trustees, in collaboration with our many partners.”

With his retirement, Scullin says the nonprofit is “uniquely well-positioned” to build on its momentum to drive even “greater impact across our community, our state, and on behalf of Texas students.”

Scullin joined the foundation as president and CEO in January 2017 after a 40-year career with two major global firms, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen, where he was a strategic advisor to Fortune 500 clients with an extensive network in the North Texas community and beyond.

Boosting the power of philanthropy in North Texas

Alfreda Norman, chair of CFT’s board of trustees, thanks Scullin for his service to the organization.

“We extend sincere gratitude to Dave for his incredible service and leadership to CFT and our community. We congratulate him on a renowned and influential career and know that his profound impact on this organization and our work in the North Texas region will be apparent for many years to come,” Norman said in a statement.

CFT said that Scullin will continue his leadership role through March 3 to facilitate the transition, while the board begins a national search for a new president and CEO. Board Chair-Elect Richie Butler has been named chair of the search committee, and efforts are underway to select an executive recruitment firm partner.

“Dave has presided over a period of unprecedented growth and transformation at Communities Foundation of Texas. We are deeply grateful for his leadership, dedication, and vision, and for what he has done to boost the power of philanthropy across our region,” Butler said in a statement.

‘A place where talent thrives’

During Scullin’s tenure as president and CEO, Community Foundation of Texas has substantially increased in scale and effectiveness, the organization says.

As a “hallmark priority,” Scullin established CFT as “A Place Where Talent Thrives,” focused on the attraction, development, and retention of outstanding employee leaders to maximize its community impact.

“Dave’s leadership has inspired staff to add their own unique value across their various areas of expertise in alignment with our vision of a thriving community for all,” Norman said in his statement. “The result has been growth—not only in giving and grantmaking, but CFT’s impact has also become more meaningful, measurable, and enduring.”

Impact by the numbers

The organization said Scullin’s impact is shown by key organizational accomplishments under his leadership:

Annual gifts received saw a 118% increase to over $205 million in 2022. And grantmaking to nonprofits grew by 57% to reach a record high of more than $165 million in the same year

In response to stakeholder services demand, CFT’s annual program and services operations, particularly Educate Texas, have tripled to $51 million and staff has grown by 76% to 139 employees, making CFT one of the largest and most impactful of nearly 800 community foundations across the country.

From March 2020 to March 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, CFT mobilized more than $375 million for nonprofits in collaboration and leadership with donors and partner funding organizations. This was primarily accomplished through North Texas Cares (a collaborative of 30+ partners), three Giving Days, gifts from CFT’s donor-advised fund holders, and the deployment of nine separate COVID-19 relief funds.

North Texas Giving Day has become the nation’s largest single day of community-wide giving; this year pumping $62.6 million into more than 3,000 local nonprofits, from 94,000 donors in North Texas, plus all 50 states and over 40 countries. This result represents a 69% increase over the past six years and brings the total dollars raised for our community through North Texas Giving Day to more than $500 million.

CFT significantly expanded and accelerated the impact of its consultancy and advocacy initiative, Educate Texas, as a trusted change agent to strengthen K12 and higher education in Texas. Educate Texas is focused on increasing academic achievement and educational equity by leading programs, policy, and partnerships to reach over 2.5 million students statewide across 400 campuses and 250+ school districts, colleges and universities with its innovative work concentrated on the goal of increasing the number of students earning a degree or credentials toward a living wage.

Advancing equity in the community

Scullin broadened CFT’s strategic plan to incorporate the need to advance equity across the community. He launched a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, which established a DEI framework, including the appointment of a Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer as a direct report, to ensure equity would become embedded in all of CFT’s work and externally in the community.

Communities Foundation of Texas’ mission is to improve the lives of everyone in the community by investing in their health, wealth, living, and learning, CFT said.

To accomplish that, CFT works to grow community giving, expand community impact, and advance community equity.

CFT manages over 1,200 charitable funds and has awarded more than $2.4 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.  

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