About The Boone Family Foundation
Members of the Boone family share a vision of what they would like the world to be. In 2007, Garrett and Cecilia Boone and their three adult children took a huge leap toward creating that world by starting The Boone Family Foundation.
Since then, The Boone Family Foundation has worked to be a resource for social justice. Its goal is to be an innovative funder that tries to promote and support organizations and programs that will make the community a fair and just place for all people. The foundation also works to challenge the status quo, shifting traditions and norms of the community that others may not want to see shifted. It’s had an impact, because it has brought issues to the light of day that haven’t previously been addressed.
In 2008, the foundation made its first grant to Parkland Health and Hospital System for $100,000 for the construction of a women and infant specialty hospital. As the foundation has grown, it has worked strategically to support organizations and causes that will lead to a greater world. The list of organizations it has given grants and gifts to includes The Family Place, Planned Parenthood, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Teach for America, Reading Partners, Teaching Trust and Klyde Warren Park
As The Boone Family Foundation forges ahead, it will continue to seek lasting, long-term systems change by supporting organizations and causes that want to be change agents.
Our Grantmaking Philosophy
The Boone Family Foundation likes to seed new organizations and initiatives that fill gaps of need in its three focus areas. The foundation is willing to be the first funder in new ventures, because we see it as an investment in new leadership.
The foundation considers grants for specific programs or projects, capital projects, general operations, endowment funds and multi-year gifts. We give priority to agencies and programs that:
- Focus on systemic change
- Re-define or re-frame the issues in ways that support and accelerate progress
- Are collaborative in nature so that resources are shared and the impact is multiplied
- Have sound management and are efficient with their use of funds
- Address more than one of our focus areas
We do not consider grants for individuals, deficit financing nor proposals made within a year of an organization’s or entity’s previous request.
The Boone Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications. The grant application is by invitation. Grant application should be submitted using The Common Grant Application, which is available through Communities Foundation of Texas.
Cecilia Guthrie Boone watched her mother, Marie Keene Guthrie, maneuver life with guts and pride in the face of gender bias. Mrs. Guthrie, who raised Cecilia and her two siblings on her own after the death of their father, went from being a high school graduate with a certificate from secretarial school to becoming the first women to be elected to a countywide office in the family’s home state of Kentucky. Through it was a history-making accomplishment for Mrs. Guthrie, her family and her entire community, it came with a world of men who often dismissed her simply because she was a woman.
Mrs. Guthrie’s life, along with Cecilia’s own witness to unconscious discrimination against women that happened while she worked for IBM, inspired Cecilia’s commitment to actively fight for gender equity. Her passion for creating a world with a gender gap that is one day closed for good is the reason The Boone Family Foundation focuses on advancing equity for women and girls as a key focus areas. Cecilia and her husband, Garrett, founded The Boone Family Foundation with their three children in 2007. Cecilia is a member of the foundation’s board.
Cecilia has worked from the grassroots level up to change the lives of women, particularly poor women, for the better. The Dallas Morning News, which selected Cecilia as a 2016 Texan of the Year finalist, called Cecilia a person of “remarkable grace and courage in the face of unwavering opposition from far-right conservatives” and dubbed her work through her family’s foundation to improve women’s health a “game-changer.” Cecilia led the foundation’s efforts to partner with the Harold Simmons Foundation to provide $2 million for long-acting reversible contraception for low-income women who are clients at some Planned Parenthood health centers in North Texas. Prior to this bold step, the high cost of safe and reliable contraception pushed it out of reach for many women with the highest need. “For gender equality to be a reality, women have to be able to control their reproductive systems – to decide when they will have children,” Cecilia told the newspaper. “That’s especially true for poor women.”
Cecilia is the past chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas Action Fund and Annie’s List, a political action committee that recruits, trains and funds progressive female candidates running for statewide offices in Texas. She chaired the successful Dallas Women’s Foundation $30 million fundraising campaign. In addition, she has been on the Harvard-Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and the international Women’s Funding Network board. In Dallas, she is on the advisory boards of Children At Risk, Human Rights Initiative and Dallas Women’s Foundation.
Garrett Boone never considered a career in retailing. He grew up aspiring to become an architect, later opting for a bachelor’s degree in European history from Rice University and a master’s in history from the University of Texas at Austin.
In 1976 Boone and two friends, Dallas architect John Mullen, and Kip Tindell discussed opening a handmade furniture store. After two years, the idea came to Boone for an original retail concept following a visit to a home improvement show in Dallas in January, 1978. They decided to open a retail store offering exceptional, eclectic mix of products devoted to helping people organize and simplify their lives; The Container Store opened in Dallas July 1, 1978.
The Container Store is a FORTUNE magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” 17 years in a row and ranked #1 the first year they applied. Mr. Boone was presented the Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1991 and is a recipient of the National Retail Federation’s 1998 Innovator of the Year Award. In 2006 he was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame and is a 2009 Junior Achievement of Dallas Business Hall of Fame inductee.
Garrett is now Chairman Emeritus of The Container Store, which was sold to a private equity firm in 2007. With proceeds from the sale, he, his wife Cecilia and their three children founded The Boone Family Foundation that same year. Garrett serves as president of the foundation.
Garrett has a strong interest in creating a more sustainable environment, which is the driving force behind The Boone Family Foundation’s efforts to promote environmental stewardship. He co-founded Texas Business for Clean Air (TBCA) Foundation in 2006. The organization promoted ‘clean air is good for business in Texas,’ was the subject of a Robert Redford documentary Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars and earned the 2010 CATEE (clean air through energy efficiency) Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. He also serves as vice-chair of The Trinity Park Conservancy and a board member for Groundwork Dallas. He is involved in helping to create National Park quality environments in the Great Trinity Forest in Dallas. In 2007, the year he and his family founded the foundation, Garrett was named first runner-up for Texan of the Year awarded by The Dallas Morning News because “he rallied businesses to stand up for clean air” and “spoke up at a time when it was neither expedient nor easy.”
Garrett is on the board of TreeHouse, Inc., a retail concept that provides sustainable, healthy, energy efficient solutions for the home. He is associated with Paddling Trails and Bird Count Initiatives and is a member of the advisory board for The Dallas Women’s Foundation. He serves on the National Advisory Board of Honored; is an advocate for public education and served on the Dallas ISD Star Commission to share business best practices with the school district.
Meet Our Staff
Cynthia Yung, Executive Director
Cynthia Yung was a technical sales manager in the telecom industry when she got a call from her father in 2006. He was raising funds to support an elementary school in China he helped build in honor of his father, Cynthia’s grandfather, 20 years earlier. He called Cynthia to ask her to pitch in for a scholarship for the top student at the school. That’s a wonderful idea, Cynthia said to her father, but she suggested scholarships for two students – the top female and the top male. If he agreed, Cynthia would donate the entire amount for the female student’s scholarship. Her father, a man of Chinese tradition who came up when boys were favored over girls in the culture, responded with, “That’s not how things are done.” The school also said there could only be one top student – usually a male. Cynthia’s offer was non-negotiable, so she took it off the table. The following year, however, her father and the school relented. Cynthia funded the first scholarship for a top female student, a young lady named Elly who was the second daughter in a family that could not afford to pay for her education. She wrote Cynthia a thank you letter that laid out how she’d been hopelessly drifting through school until she heard about the scholarship, which gave her a goal and caused her to apply herself to her studies. Cynthia’s support had given Elly an opportunity, but also gave her the belief that she had a chance. People need both, Cynthia says.
Through more than a decade of volunteer work, service on nonprofit boards and, now, a career in the nonprofit arena, Cynthia has stood firm on issues of equity, inclusion and parity. Her passion for creating a world where everyone — no matter their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic class or other personally defining characteristics — motivated her to leave a 17-year career in telecommunications and become the executive director of The Boone Family Foundation. In her role, she oversees a $5 million annual budget and works to support organizations that focus on advancing equity for women and girls, improving quality of life for children and promoting environmental stewardship. “I worked in an industry that introduced cell phones when no one believed in cell phones, but now they are an everyday tool for life,” Cynthia says. “I couldn’t believe we could make so much of a difference with technology, but not with the hardest problems in the world. I wanted to be a person who brought change to life in areas that matter.”
Cynthia’s pursuit of her personal mission to open doors of opportunity for others extends beyond her formal career duties. She is a 2018 Public Voices Fellow through the OpEd Project, through which she has written blog posts for Ms. magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Texas Tribune’s Trib Talk. She is founding chair of the Orchid Giving Circle – Asian Women Caring and Sharing, a fund at the Dallas Women’s Foundation supported by 35+ women committed to raising funds for community grants that serve Asians in North Texas. She serves on advisory boards for the Commit Partnership Leadership Council, Best in Class and Raise Your Texas. She is a member of the 2010 class of Leadership Dallas, The Dallas Assembly and Dallas Summit. She also has served on steering committees for the Hurricane Harvey KIDS Fund, Zero to Five Funders Collaborative, the Commit Partnership Early Childhood Network, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Centers for Dallas, and advisory boards for The Real Estate Council Community Fund and Austin College GO Forum. She was recognized by Women’s eNews in 2016 as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st century and by SMU Women’s Symposium in 2017 with a Profiles in Leadership Award.
Interview with SAP on building inclusive and skilled workforce / Forward Thinker’s Podcast
Kayse Paul, Grants Administrator
Kayse Paul has served as Grants Administrator of The Boone Family Foundation since 2012. She has worked 45 years in the education, juvenile justice, accounting, investment and electrical parts industries. Kayse enjoyed volunteering at her son’s school and various non-profit organizations. She lives with her husband of 50+ years and loves to knit when they are not traveling, attending Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers games and spending time with her two grandchildren.