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35th Annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration Co-Chair Benjamin Vann, Greater Dallas Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals President Shawn Wills, Co-Chair Tanya Downing, and Emcee Scott Murray lead the virtual celebration

 Take a moment, click on the names of the five award recipients, and watch their inspiring acceptance speeches at Dallas’ 35th Annual Virtual National Philanthropy Day Celebration, “The Stars of Texas!” 


During this traditional month of giving thanks, the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) honored five award recipients for their selfless service and dedication to others at the organization’s 35th Annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration, held virtually on November 13. This annual event pays tribute to those who change our community—and our world—through their philanthropy. Each of this year’s five award recipients also expressed their gratitude for this honor while sharing their own passions for their work in the community.

National Philanthropy Day was first celebrated nationally in 1986 in the U.S. with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan. The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1985.  AFP Chapters involve more than 28,000 individuals in celebrating philanthropy each year.

During this unprecedented year, area nonprofits, volunteers, funders, foundations, business and community members joined together virtually to honor this city’s finest who give selflessly in support of numerous worthy causes.  In this virtual format, the annual event, which traditionally features pre-recorded acceptance speeches from the award recipients, included live remarks from the Greater Dallas Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals President Shawn Wills, Co-Chairs Tanya Downing and Benjamin Vann as well as longtime event emcee Scott Murray, all live from Murray Media Studios. Texas Capital Bank was recognized for its role as the AFP Dallas chapter sponsor.

Special remarks were provided by John Olajide, president and CEO of Axxess, and chairman of the board of directors of the Dallas Regional Chamber. Olajide shared remarks on the importance of giving back, recognizing the importance of businesses, big and small, who make our city a better and more vibrant place.

The 2020 awardees were honored in five categories and introduced by Emcee Scott Murray:

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Stephanie Brigger, CFRE, nominated by Mary Crowley Cancer Research, has served as vice president of development at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for 17 years and raised millions of dollars, increasing the hospital’s fundraising revenue by 56 percent. She first joined Texas Scottish Rite in 1987, utilizing her background as a registered nurse to lead ambulatory care services.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Natalie Musgrave Dossettnominated by the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD), has been a passionate fundraiser and advocate for multiple nonprofits including the Episcopal School of Dallas, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Dallas Museum of Art (where she served as a docent), the Visiting Nurse Association of Dallas, and RMHD, where she chaired the capital campaign, raising more than $12 million.

Outstanding Corporation Toyota of North Americanominated by the Women’s Business Council Southwest, serves local organizations through a holistic approach. Toyota seeks to expand access to opportunities that improve people’s lives and create tangible, sustainable solutions that address societal challenges. Highlights include a $1 million gift supporting homeless families; $400,000 to Texas Women’s Foundation; $1 million to NTFB; and $135,000 to support growth of women business executives.

Outstanding Foundation the David M. Crowley Foundationnominated by North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), has made an incredible impact on North Texas by providing support for innovative solutions to the problems facing children, economically disadvantaged individuals, and the community at large. Over the 20 years of partnership with NTFB, the foundation has supported capital campaigns, strategic plans, and the establishment of NTFB’s Mobile Pantry program.

Outstanding Philanthropists Mary and Carol Ice, nominated by The Salvation Army of North Texas, inspire others to give financial support and volunteer leadership to many nonprofits. The couple supports The Salvation Army, Flint Hills Discovery Center, The Lyle School of Engineering, and Kansas State University. Additionally, Carl has ensured a legacy of giving from BNSF Railway Corporation, where he is president and CEO.

Celebration Co-Chair Tanya Downing emphasized the importance of organizations and individuals stepping up to positively impact the lives of others especially during the pandemic. “The community has depended on the support, compassion, and commitment of individuals and organizations such as those on this stellar list of award recipients. It is our hope that those who joined us for the event were inspired to go forward and make a difference.”

In her acceptance speech, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Natalie Dossett quoted Margaret Mead who stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), an individual member association, advances philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.  AFP members and affiliates enable people and organizations to better serve diverse communities and society as a whole.  AFP represents 28,248 members in 172 chapters throughout the world.  Visit, call 214-354-8742, or email

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