Community Foundation endowment fund passes $3.5 million | SierraSun.com
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Community Foundation endowment fund passes $3.5 million

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

When philanthropist William Hewlett challenged the Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation to raise $1 million in endowment funds and promised to match those funds dollar for dollar, TTCF President Lisa Dobey said it would take four years.

The foundation has succeeded in raising $1 million two years early and now has an endowment that exceeds $3.5 million.

“Our original plan was to do it in four years and we did it in two,” Dobey said. “I think it’s a real tribute to the community. Our community did this.”

The challenge was met by donations from the local and second homeowner community, dedicated to helping local organizations support others.

“What’s important about meeting this match is the good works we can do in this community,” Dobey said. “Our residents, business leaders and second homeowners understand the value of building an endowment that will benefit our community forever. They are truly creating a legacy for centuries to come.”

To reach the $1 million challenge, TTCF received endowment gifts from 80 people and businesses, ranging from $20 donations to a $300,000 donation, the largest.

Since incorporation in 1998, TTCF has awarded $204,000 in grants and will be awarding $150,000 in grants to the community over the next 12 months from earnings on the unrestricted endowment.

Of the gifts the foundation received over the past two years, local, full-time residents donated 63 percent and second homeowners donated 37 percent.

Donors contribute to the foundation in three primary ways: to the unrestricted endowment fund, to an advised fund where the donor can suggest organizations to receive grants, or a field of interest fund such as the environment, arts, animal welfare or critical human needs.

The goal of the foundation is to match the philanthropic interests of donors with charitable needs in the community to enhance the quality of life in the Truckee-Tahoe region. Dobey said she spends a lot of time talking with local non-profit organizations to assess their needs and wish lists to best serve the community. Her job is to know what the needs are in the community.

“We have an obligation to the donor that their money is being used well,” Dobey said. “The incredible talent that is here in the non-profit community is awesome. The amount of work that gets done with limited resources in this community is inspiring.”

Dobey said the next step is to encourage people to think about planned giving – including the foundation in their wills or trust documents.

“My sense is an incredible amount of charitable dollars go off the mountain,” Dobey said. An easy way to keep charitable dollars in the community would be to include the foundation in wills and trusts.

TTCF recently received a $150,000 grant from The California Endowment, and Dobey said $90,000 of those funds will be available for re-granting into the community for health-related activities.

Dobey said the foundation will be targeting service delivery through Family Resource Centers, a move that has been materializing in this community recently.

“It’s really important that we join in on efforts that are already happening in this community, “Dobey said. “We are hoping to look at things on more of a regional basis. I think we could play a role in bringing together all of the people talking about similar issues all over the region.”

She also hopes the foundation will be able to be a catalyst to bring other monies into the community to help support the incredible efforts of those working to serve their community.

For information about the Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation, call 587-1776.


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