Funder Spotlight: Communities Foundation of Texas

Funder Spotlight: Communities Foundation of Texas

First3Years recently received a generous $25,000 grant from Communities Foundation of Texas to our Just Beginning program supporting teen fathers interacting with the juvenile justice system. We sat down with Monica Egert Smith, Senior Director of Strategic Philanthropy at the Foundation to talk about their support to the program.

“Providing the financial support is the easy part. Organizations like First3Years are doing the hard work. So we’re pleased to support the Just Beginning program, and especially proud to support this type of project where no one else is stepping up to try to tackle.” – Monica Egert Smith, Senior Director of Strategic Philanthropy, Communities Foundation of Texas

The Communities Foundation of Texas has been an important supporter to First3Years and our Just Beginning program supporting young men in their roles as fathers. Thank you! What are you most proud of, that we’ve achieved together?

As it relates to our grant to Just Beginning, what makes me proudest is that this is a high-need challenge no one is addressing. It is a difficult to work with young fathers who are involved within the criminal justice system, providing parenting skills and the additional skills they need to be good dads—in the system, and after their release. First3Years has taken on this challenge, and providing huge impact and benefits for the fathers and children through the program.

How has investing in First3Years helped to further the mission of CFT?

At Communities Foundation of Texas, we’re always looking for unique, innovative solutions to address our communities’ most difficult challenges. This grant aligns with that. We support collaborative projects and organizations that have capacity to implement programs. With partners like Café Momentum and Youth With Faces, we feel strongly in First3Years’ leadership, and their ability to measure and evaluate effectiveness, and impact.

We are thrilled to work together. We focus on funding issues related to poverty and education, giving the best chance for children in their education, in their careers. This grant gets to the root of both.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the Communities Foundation of Texas, your giving, and work?

At Communities Foundation of Texas, we exist to enhance the experience and impact of giving. We do this by working with individuals, families, corporations, to give them the tools they need to have the largest impact with their dollars. We rely on our nonprofit partners, and match donors with good opportunities to support programs that will have a lasting impact on our community.


Communities Foundation of Texas helps donors get the most from their giving and connects them with community needs. CFT has managed charitable funds for families, companies and foundations since 1953. Our history and commitment is rooted deep in the heart of giving.