Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman is dissolving his foundation and committing $1M from it to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Unite Forever campaign. The campaign, an effort launched 14 months ago to bolster North Texas education, income, and health, has attracted more than $35M toward its $100M goal so far.
The money from Troy’s foundation will establish United Way’s first-ever donor-advised fund, the Troy Aikman Foundation Fund in the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas. With donor-advised funds, donors are able to make irrevocable contributions and then recommend grants from the fund to qualified charities over time.
“The world is changing rapidly. And so are we,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Providing more, and more meaningful, opportunities for donor engagement for social impact is [United Way’s] mission. Donor-advised funds are a promising vehicle for us. We are in conversation with others and hope this effort … will inspire more.”
Troy echoed Jennifer, saying, “I’m proud of this partnership, and hope my commitment will be a catalyst for others to invest in brighter futures for the next generation.”
An NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Emmy-nominated broadcaster, Troy established The Troy Aikman Foundation for Children in 1992. Its activities over the years have included creating colorful recreation areas in children’s hospitals called Aikman’s End Zones. These interactive playrooms feature state-of-the-art home theaters and computers networked to other children’s hospitals. In 1997 Troy won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, in part for his support of children’s causes.
Troy has a long history with United Way, having appeared in a public service announcement for the agency during his playing days with the Cowboys. He joined the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas board of directors this year, after serving on the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas board from 2012-2015. He’s also served as co-chair of the $25,000 Aikman/Staubach level of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society, and as co-chair of the United Way’s 90th Anniversary Celebration alongside Charlotte Jones Anderson.
“Troy is one of the nation’s most respected figures in the business of sports, and certainly one of Dallas’ most beloved citizens,” said Jennifer. “He is actively committed to the causes he champions, and his catalytic gift will unite this community in creating secure futures for generations to come.”