Donor Story: Chris Huckabee

Huckabee – an architecture, engineering and management firm in Fort Worth – is dedicated to building community.

“The vision statement of our firm outlines the basis of giving back to the communities that we serve,” said CEO Chris Huckabee. “It’s a core philosophy of our firm.”

November 18, 2011. Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Portraits of principles at Huckabee Architects includinng CEO Chris Huckabeeat the corporate offices. (Photo Ralph Lauer)

Huckabee’s parents laid the philanthropic foundation in his life and put an emphasis on giving locally.

“Personally, I believe that we are blessed with success and that we have a duty to serve others,” said Huckabee. “It’s our responsibility to help. There really isn’t a better thing to do with our success except to share it with others.”

As the Huckabee firm grew, its level of giving became more significant. Chris Huckabee said it also became challenging to manage. After considering a private foundation – and the effort and cost associated with it – the firm was introduced to the North Texas Community Foundation.

In January 2005, the Huckabee Board of Directors set up the Huckabee Community Excellence Fund, a donor advised fund.

“The marriage has been perfect,” said Huckabee. “Our firm gets to focus our efforts on giving, while the Foundation takes care of all the details.“

Establishment of the Excellence Fund has helped ingrain a culture of giving throughout the firm.

Huckabee said that after the first year, his staff – which was included in the advising process – was so energized that they asked for more funds.

“We decided to increase our commitment level, but only if we could get every staff member to give as well,” he explained. “The matching program was a huge success and increased our giving in year two by $75,000.”