Perot Foundation Gives $15M to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Giving Tuesday saw a lot of good done for nonprofits across North Texas yesterday. But one donation was truly eye-opening: a $15 million gift from the Perot Foundation to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The donation was the largest single investment in the nonprofit’s 98-year history.

“Our family has valued and supported the mission of United Way for more than 50 years,” Carolyn Perot Rathjen, VP and executive director of the Perot Foundation, said in a statement. “This investment is a testament to the meaningful impact United Way and its trusted network of community impact partners create. We hope this gift inspires others to join us in advancing United Way’s Aspire United 2030 goals on this Giving Tuesday.” 

The local United Way organization said the gift will enable it to accelerate its work with community impact partners “to drive measurable progress toward the Aspire United 2030 community goals focused on education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity.”

Achieving the Aspire United 2030 goals for North Texas will mean “more students graduating high school on a path to success in college or career, more families achieving financial stability, and more North Texans having the access and resources to live longer, healthier lives,” United Way said.

Gift will be ‘catalytic for our community’

Summer Meals kickoff. [Photo: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas]

“This extraordinary investment will be catalytic for our community, not only for the size of the commitment but equally important for how United Way is structured to leverage it,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “With carefully researched goals for our region and strategic partners who are deeply invested in achieving them, we are uniquely positioned to create transformative change across our North Texas communities.”

Sampson said the Perot gift will help drive the programs of 144 community impact partners, ranging from “long-standing proven impact providers” to grassroots organizations bringing “bold new strategies to our community’s most pervasive challenges in education, income and health.”

“United, we can do more,” Sampson added. “With this investment we are harnessing the power of many to directly address systemic barriers and advance racial equity that will change lives for generations to come.” 

50 years of support from Perot family

L to R: Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Nancy Perot, the late Ross Perot Sr., Margot Perot, Ross Perot Jr., Suzanne Perot McGee, and Katherine Perot Reeves. [Photo: UT Southwestern]

The Perot family has supported United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and invested in creating opportunities for all North Texans for the last 50 years, the nonprofit said.

Under the leadership of the late Ross Perot, who died in 2019, employee giving campaigns at both EDS and Perot Systems supported United Way efforts to drive impact throughout the region.

Margot Perot was the second chair of United Way’s Tocqueville Society in 1987, following the chairmanship of her longtime friend, Ruth Sharp Altshuler, in 1986.

All five children of Ross and Margot Perot are members of the Tocqueville Society. Yesterday’s $15 million gift adds to investments in annual campaigns and other special investments the family has made over the years, United Way said.

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