Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT)

North Texas community leaders explore investment and impact opportunities in the areas of health equity, wellness, and public safety 

"We were so grateful to have Event Garde, and Aaron with facilitating our Community Conversations. We were able to have two very diverse groups come together and wrestle with big topics and develop a series of recommendations for CFT to consider as potential areas for future investment. All in a few short hours. And was done with mutual respect, where everyone had a voice and was able to be heard, plus they made new friends and connections! We would absolutely use this process and Event Garde again the future."

- Wende Burton, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Benefit Summary

  • Engaged in a stakeholder mapping exercise, resulting in 19 organizations/entities and 20 attendees/delegates for both the health equity and wellness convening and the public safety convening.
  • Collected and summarized critical insights from community leaders prior to each facilitated session to identify a starting place for discussion.
  • Facilitated two, three-hour workshops to explore the context, desired victory, current reality, and recommended investments for each focus area.
  • Identified a total of seven health equity and wellness priorities and seven public safety priorities based on community feedback and consensus building.



CFT wanted to define a strategic focus for two key funding areas: (1) health equity and wellness and (2) public safety. About every five years, CFT revisits its strategy to ensure investments it makes in the community are impactful, measurable, equitable, and create opportunities for all people in North Texas to live healthy lives. Rather than trying to facilitate these discussions internally, CFT desired the expertise of an external, impartial, and Technology of Participation (ToP) certified facilitator.


In addition to ensuring a diverse cross-section of affected individuals were invited to participate in the workshops, Event Garde developed a short survey to help participants reflect on the pre-reading and prime themselves for the in-person discussion. Takeaways were formatted, shared with participants, and served as the foundation for each session. The in-person facilitations primarily focused on exploring the current landscape, brainstorming ideas, finding alignment, gaining consensus, and prioritizing options.


As a result of Event Garde’s design plan and facilitation techniques, important community input was heard, key funding recommendations were identified, and ideas were rank ordered based on anticipated impact. Additionally, pictures of work product were taken, comprehensive documentation was formatted, and the staff were ultimately armed with the data needed to present strategic and community-informed funding recommendations to the CFT Board of Trustees for consideration, approval, and action.