• More than 100 charities participating in the fundraising event support environmental and animal welfare.

By Julie Thibodeaux 

If you’ve been wanting to make a donation to your favorite sustainable cause, consider participating in North Texas Giving Day. The Communities of Texas Foundation hosts the fifth annual fundraising event on Sept. 19.

From 7 a.m. to midnight, North Texans are encouraged to donate to local charities online and have their donations of $25 or more amplified with a $1.5 million pool of matching funds and prizes. 

Last year, nearly 38,000 donations were made, adding up to $14.4 million. 

“It’s a way we can get together as a community and support the charities who are doing great work and further their mission,” said Carol Goglia of Communities Foundation of Texas. 

Charities must have been pre-certified by Aug. 31 to be included among the options. More than 1,000 nonprofits from North Texas are eligible to receive donations this year. Of these, more than 40 organizations focus on environmental issues, including groups with state-wide recognition such as Texas Campaign for the Environment, Earth Day Dallas and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Lesser known nonprofits like Friends of Northaven Trail and Twelve Hills Nature Center can also be found on the roster. 

“This is our first time participating in North Texas Giving Day,” said Marcie Haley of the Twelve Hills Nature Center. “Donations will go a long way in helping with the basic costs of running this unique urban preserve…We're also really excited about the possibilities of getting Twelve Hills name out to a wider audience.” 

In addition, around 70 of the nonprofits address animal welfare issues, including two that have been in the news this year: In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue, the big cat sanctuary in Wylie, which has been dealing with an outbreak of canine distemper that has killed 7 big cats, and the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, which garnered national attention for taking in 11 bears rescued from a roadside zoo. 

Food-centric charities like Grow North Texas and White Rock Local Market can also be found on the list.

Besides matching funds, prizes will be awarded, including $10,000 for the most donors to both large and small organizations, and $5,000 to the largest increase in donors from last year. A bonus prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the nonprofits receiving the 1,929th and 2013th donations. In addition, 17 $1,000 prizes will be drawn randomly hourly. This year, a drawing will be held among Tarrant County nonprofits for a $10,000 grant.

While most donors will be donating online, donations can be made in person at Communities Foundation of Texas donation station, located at 5500 Caruth Haven Lane in Dallas. Local food trucks will be onsite from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there will be entertainment throughout the day.

[Editor's Note: Although the Memnosyne Institute, creator of Green Source DFW, is not participating in North Texas Giving Day this year, you are welcome to donate to the nonprofit here!]

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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Contact her at Julie@greensourcedfw.org. See jthibodeaux.com.