The Dallas Morning News Charities announced in mid-November the start of its annual campaign to raise money for 25 nonprofit organizations fighting hunger and homelessness across North Texas. Financial contributions will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2014, with 100 percent of donations given directly to agencies that provide shelter, food, emergency assistance, clothing, job skills training and counseling. Campaign raised more than $1 million for local organizations last year.
Since the program was introduced in 1986, The Dallas Morning News Charities has distributed more than $24 million locally, including $1.1 million from more than 1,900 donors during the 2012-2013 campaign.
“With the help of thousands of North Texas residents, The Dallas Morning News has remained steadfast in our commitment to help those who need it most in our community,” said Bob Mong, editor and chairman of the Dallas Morning News Charities board of directors. “Our goal is to surpass last year’s number of donors and total donations, so every little bit counts and can mean a world of difference to those in need.”
Lifestyle Frisco had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Mr. Mong and his responses reflect the larger purpose and attitude of giving that permeates the Dallas Morning News…
- How do the donations TDMN Charities make reflect on the company/employees there?
“The Dallas Morning News charities campaign reminds employees and the public that our company is community minded. Our employees especially take pride in the fact that 100 percent of all donations go directly to the agencies selected for our campaign. We handle all administrative costs.”
- According to the release, this is the second straight year the campaign has exceeded $1 million in its donations. How are you able to get such great participation?
“Over the 28 years we have run the campaign, we have been able to gradually build participation. The first years of the campaign usually came in well below $1 million, so it is very gratifying that in the last decade or so that we usually exceed the million dollar mark. The campaign is supported by a wide array of people from all walks of life, hoping to make our community better. It’s quite inspiring. I make sure to sign every letter to each donor personally. We have a great history of giving at The Dallas Morning News, and we are thankful for every donation.”
- How does TDMN select which nonprofits to give to?
“Nonprofit agencies apply each June to receive funding from the annual campaign. Recipients are selected based on a variety of factors, such as quality of services, coverage area and other important aspects. We are obviously not experts in the field, so we rely on the great folks at the Communities Foundation of Texas to help us make the selections each year. The CFT knows how to evaluate the applicants, ask the right questions, and look for the most effective practices. They are just plain good, and they do a wonderful job helping us each year.”
- What kind of feedback, both from employees who give and the organizations who receive, have you gotten in the past?
“I always write personal notes to employees who give, just to reinforce to them how much we value their gifts. I even see letters from former employees who have moved out of town. As for the organizations, the feedback is ovwhelmingly positive. The Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan heads up the Stewpot, one of our longest standing recipients. He is a great innovator who loves his work and makes a huge difference in the community. The fact that someone as accomplished as he speaks highly of our charities campaign tells me we are doing something right.”
- Why is giving back to the community important to The Dallas Morning News?
“We have been in this community for nearly 130 years, and it is the community that has supported us all these many years. So isn’t right that we give back as often as we can? We certainly think so. And our annual charities campaign is just one way we do that. It’s very much like any person; it is always best to have a purpose larger than yourself. The same goes for a company like The Dallas Morning News.”
Recipients of the 2013-2014 giving program include:
- Allen Community Outreach, Duncanville Outreach Ministry, Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid
- Arlington Life Shelter, Family Gateway, Our Calling
- Assistance Center of Collin County, Food Pantry Our Daily Bread of Denton
- Austin Street Center, Frisco Family Services Center, The Promise House
- Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Sharing the Bread in Cedar Hill
- City House of Plano, LifeLine Shelter of Grand Prairie, Sharing Life Outreach
- Community Center: Network of Community Ministries The Stewpot
- Community Lifeline Center, North Texas Food Bank, White Rock Center for Hope
- Crossroads Dallas Life Foundation
Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to:
The Dallas Morning News Charities
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, TX 75225
Donations also can be made online at charities.dallasnews.com. The Dallas Morning News Charities will make a disbursement to each organization on Dec. 31, 2013 and again on Feb. 15, 2014.
Nonprofit agencies apply each June to receive funding from The Dallas Morning News Charities. Recipients are selected based on the quality of services provided, geographic area of coverage, board and volunteer involvement and the organization’s fiscal management, with an emphasis on shelters, emergency services and rehabilitative programs.
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News is Texas’ leading newspaper and the flagship newspaper subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation. It has received nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its portfolio of print and digital products reaches an average daily audience of more than 1.1 million people and includes online news and information sites; iPhone, Android and iPad apps; Al Día, the leading Spanish-language publication in North Texas; neighborsgo, a consumer-generated community news outlet; and Briefing, the free, home-delivered quick-read.