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National Philanthropy Day Luncheon - Nov. 8 Donna Wilhelm of Preston Hollow Named Outstanding Philanthropist


Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon  The Stars of Texas"  Recognizes Dallas’ Most Extraordinary Philanthropists, Volunteers, and Fundraising Professionals


The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor Preston Hollow Resident Donna Wilhelm as the 2019 Outstanding Philanthropist and North Dallas Resident Cindy Scott, CFRE, as the 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Executive at the 34th annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon “The Stars of Texas.” This annual event is Dallas’ National Philanthropy Day celebration – bringing together area nonprofits, volunteers, funders, foundations, business and community members to honor this city’s finest who give selflessly in support of numerous worthy causes – on Friday, November 8, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Dallas.

Outstanding Philanthropist Donna Wilhelm, nominated by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, is a mission-driven philanthropist who has contributed more than $10 million to local, national, and international organizations, supporting direct capacity building and targeting strategic innovation. With a focus on arts, culture, and education, she has directed significant investments to KERA, TACA, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, The SMU Meadows School of Arts, and the World Affairs Council. Some highlights of her philanthropy work include: founder and initiating donor of KERA’s Art & Seek; a founding donor of the National Center for Arts Research (SMU DataArts); creator of an endowment for a research scholar at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and supporter of diversity scholarships; life trustee and sustainer of new works at Dallas Theater Center; TACA board chair for three years and initiator and funder of the New Works Fund – a stimulant of new works of music, dance, and theater in Dallas County; supporter of the Nasher Sculpture Prize; a founding family of The Dallas Performing Arts Foundation; one of the largest supporters of the World Affairs Council; and a supporter of Connec-Teach, providing educational initiatives dedicated to India’s slum children and other developing countries. Wilhelm has received the TITAS Tom Adams Award, the Bruce Wood Dance inaugural Bruce Award, KERA North Texas Broadcasting recognition awards, and she is a 2016 SMU Meadows at the Meyerson honoree. The publication of her memoir, “A Life of My Own,” is scheduled for release in November 2019. 

“Donna Wilhelm’s generosity, coupled with her understanding of an organization’s needs and her ability to guide and motivate all of an organization’s stakeholders, is what makes her truly unique,” said Jim Falk, CFRE, World Affairs Council. “Known as a change agent, she understands the meaning of philanthropy and is widely respected in Dallas and beyond for her visionary leadership, strategic innovation and unwavering commitment to bold projects that enrich our community.”

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Cindy Scott, CFRE, nominated by Parkland Foundation, has over 30 years of fundraising experience, benefiting the people of Dallas and beyond. In her first 15 professional years, Scott served at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as campaign division director, communications specialist, and director of marketing. As the first female vice president of development, she concluded her tenure at United Way by leading the development team to top the $50 million mark for the first time in the annual campaign. Over a seven-year period as a major gift officer at Children’s Health, she raised millions of dollars for the wePromise expansion campaign, most notably achieving two seven-figure gifts, one for a new pediatric cancer center and one for a family-oriented obesity program. Since joining The Parkland Foundation in 2002, she has served as senior development officer and was an important contributor to the success of the $150 million I Stand for Parkland capital campaign as well as the new Moody Center for Breast Health, which exceeded its $40 million fundraising goal. Additionally, she was instrumental in the creation of the Physician Society to preserve excellence in education, innovation and patient care. For ten years, she has been an active member of the AFP Dallas Chapter and participated in numerous conferences for AFP and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. She has held her Certified Fundraising Executive certification for 10 years. A servant leader, Scott enjoys volunteering with the Boy Scouts, Metrocrest Services, her church, and her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis.

“Since 2011, I’ve enjoyed working with Cindy on two Parkland Foundation initiatives, and she has that rare gift of making every prospective donor feel at ease and their contribution vital to a campaign’s success,” said Joe Dealey, Jr., President, The Joe M. & Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation. “Her professional achievement, personal commitment to the values of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and dedication to the profession make her a worthy recipient of this honor.”

Luncheon Chair Janet Sherlip announces the additional 2019 honorees:

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Michal Powell, nominated by The Salvation Army North Texas Command, is a passionate fundraiser for faith-based, medical, and humanitarian causes.

Outstanding Foundation -- Harry S. Moss Trust, Bank of America N.A., Trustee, nominated by UT Southwestern Medical Center, supports the prevention and cure of heart disease in Texas, particularly in Dallas.

Outstanding Corporation Texas Capital Bank, nominated by Parkland Foundation, is dedicated to helping communities prosper by investing time, talent, and resources while making long-term strategic investments within three areas: education, health/wellness, and community revitalization.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Ashlyn Duy, nominated by Children’s Medical Center Foundation, is a former patient and loyal supporter of Children’s Health who has raised a total of $31,170 in four Red Balloon Children Helping Children Tennis Tournaments, benefiting pediatric cancer research and programs.

The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1985.  Today, more than 500 attend the luncheon which includes AFP members and community leaders.  National Philanthropy Day celebrates the great contributions philanthropy, and those who work in the philanthropic process, make to our community. AFP Chapters involve more than 28,000 individuals in celebrating philanthropy each year. 

The AFP Dallas Chapter sponsor is Texas Capital Bank. Luncheon Sponsors to date are Philanthropy Sponsors ($5,000):  Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center, co-sponsors of the Outstanding Foundation Award; and Community Sponsors ($2,500): Children’s Health; KERA and World Affairs Council, co-sponsors.

The luncheon will be emceed by longtime partner Scott Murray of Murray Media, an in-kind sponsor of the luncheon. Murray Media produces the luncheon videos featuring the accomplishments of each award recipient. 

“National Philanthropy Day is a day to remember and recognize the impact philanthropy – charitable giving, volunteering and engagement – has made in our world,” said Luncheon Chair Janet Sherlip. “This day was first celebrated nationally in 1986 in the U.S. with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan.  We hope you will join us in paying tribute to those who make the city of Dallas such a vibrant philanthropic community.”

Luncheon tickets are $95, $950 for a table of 10, and $1,250 for a premium table of 10.  For tickets and sponsorships, visit or contact Madeleine Crouch at 972-233-9107, ext. 204,


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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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