Philanthropist Lyda Hill pulls off a $2.2 million surprise on Dallas nonprofits
by Holly Haber | December 24, 2018
Nonprofit executives attending what they thought was a “pitch day” for Lyda Hill Philanthropies were surprised and thrilled to discover $110,000 checks taped underneath their chairs.
The $2.2 million distribution on Dec. 10 supports infrastructure and discretionary needs at 20 charities, including repairing stucco and showers at Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support and fixing up ChildCareGroup’s playground.
The other beneficiaries were: Attitudes and Attire, Bonton Farms, Bridge Breast Network, Commit Partnership, Dallas CASA, Dallas Historical Society, Educational First Steps, Equest, Family Gateway, Family Place, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, Nexus Recovery Center, Paul Quinn College, Solar Preparatory School for Girls, Trinity River Mission, VNA and Vogel Alcove.
“We said, let’s invite 20 agencies that we think are doing wonderful work in the community to apply for an infrastructure grant for up to $100,000,” explained Lyda Hill Philanthropies president Nicole Small.
“We vetted them,” she continued. “Some of them we called and said, ‘You didn’t ask for enough money.’ That’s something they don’t hear very often.”
She invited them to discuss their applications at a breakfast meeting at Maplewood private social club.
“We told them they would pitch in order, and the order number was under their chair,” Small explained. “One by one they opened it and saw the check.”
The extra $10,000 was added for discretionary needs, she noted.
“We need to remember that nonprofits can’t do their work if they’re not resourced with the things most businesses enjoy, like people and technology,” Small said.
Lyda Hill Philanthropies is a new umbrella that encompasses Lyda Hill Foundation and Hill’s personal giving, Small explained.
She also is CEO of LH Capital, formerly known as LH Holdings.
“We figure out how to use Lyda’s capital to do the most good in the world,” Small said. “We can invest in companies that are doing good, too.”
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