Giving Season: Give Back Tahoe has raised more than $1 million for nonprofits in past five years

It’s giving season in the Truckee-Tahoe area and several local causes and nonprofits have received early holiday gifts in the form of more than $200,000 raised by 857 donors, thus far.

The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation is celebrating 20 years of helping to meet the challenges of the region and is closing the year out with its fifth annual Give Back Tahoe Giving Season.

“We love doing the Giving Season,” said Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Communications Manager Ashley Cooper. “We just want to shine a light on the nonprofits and all the work they do. With all of our effort, a lot of new donors come to the table and it’s been a really successful program so far.”

Give Back Tahoe, which has raised more than $1 million for local nonprofits, runs though the end of the month. Last year’s $501,820 stands as the most money raised in Give Back Tahoe’s five years.

Since its inception in 1998, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants and scholarships.

Earlier this week, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation announced the winners of the program’s final round of Challenge Grants. The friendly competition gives local nonprofits a chance to win additional funds from Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation donors and Give Back Tahoe business sponsors through grants, which encourage people to donate more in order to give their nonprofit a greater chance of winning $1,000 or more in prizes.

“Rather than being a campaign of competitions, it has really been a campaign that has brought our nonprofits together in celebration of all our missions to serve this region,” said Cooper.

show of support

One of this year’s winners, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, raised $33,838 — the most by any organization, thus far. Mountain Area Preservation also had the most unique gifts of $25 or more in the medium organization category to win an additional $1,750 from a Challenge Grant.

“We’re a 31-year-old environmental advocacy organization,” said Executive Director Alexis Ollar. “The success of Give Back Tahoe really illustrates the support, not only locally but regionally, for our work over the last three decades, and the importance of environmental advocacy.”

Founded in 1987, the group’s stated mission is to preserve the Truckee-Tahoe region’s mountain character and the natural environment for present and future generations. The preservation foundation also secured a $20,000 matching grant from 10 other donors, bringing the foundation’s total to $55,588 for the event.

“It really illustrates the importance of our work in the face of our changing environment, and the fact that we have a large group of local and regional supporters that want to see us succeed and continue our advocacy,” said Ollar.

The event is among the largest Mountain Area Preservation Foundation is involved with, coming behind the nonprofit’s main fundraising event the annual Sierra Forage Dinner. For more information, visit


Achieve Tahoe took the top prize out of the large organizations, and raised $13,739. For more than a decade, Achieve Tahoe has been dedicated to providing affordable physical and recreational activities for people who have disabilities. The nonprofit offers ski and snowboard lessons in the winter and sports programs in the summer.

“We at Achieve Tahoe are absolutely thrilled to have won the Give Back Tahoe contests! We are so grateful for all the kind donations from the community and the generous support from the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, who made this all happen,” said Deidre Kennelly, development director at Achieve Tahoe. “The best thing about this contest is that we’ve been able to raise additional funding that will provide children, adults and veterans with disabilities the experience of skiing down the slopes of the Sierras, paddling on Donner Lake, and so much more.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Achieve Tahoe or participating in the nonprofit’s programs can visit or call 530-581-4161 for more information.

Other winners included: Lake Tahoe Dance Collective in the small organization category with $10,200 raised; Truckee-Tahoe Swim Team, Inc. with $3,770 raised for second in the small organization category; Truckee Roundhouse with second out of the medium organizations with $5,836 raised; and Family Resource Center of Truckee with $8,5757 raised for second in large organization category.

Since its inception in 1998, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants and scholarships.

For a full list of winners and to donate to Give Back Tahoe, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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