Give Back Tahoe Giving Season


Give Back Tahoe Giving Season: Let’s Give Together

December 3-December 31st

Give to more than 50 local nonprofits! 

For the seventh year, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) is overjoyed to facilitate the Give Back Tahoe (GBT) Giving Season. GBT elevates the missions of our local nonprofits and helps them reach their end-of-year fundraising goals! Every year, hundreds and hundreds of community members join forces to support our amazing local nonprofits on an online portal inspired by #GivingTuesday. It’s not just people who live here either. Nonprofits receive donations from nearly all fifty states and from countries in Europe and Asia! This includes second homeowners, people who have visited here their whole lives or just once, or people who used to call Tahoe-Truckee home. When we all give together, we can see (and measure) what a BIG DIFFERENCE we can make. In fact, in the previous six years, you have helped us raise over $1.7 million dollars! If you love this place, then join us in showing it the love and support it needs and deserves. 

Give Back Tahoe is for EVERYONE. To make it even more fun, TTCF’s donors and Business Sponsors help us host Challenge Grants from December 3-December 17. These friendly competitions award nonprofits with CASH PRIZES! When you give on certain days and in certain amounts, you could see your nonprofit nab up to $1,000 for their mission. There’s a competition for every donor- whether you have $25 to give or $1,000. Just check the event’s leaderboard to see how your nonprofit is performing. To help them win, tell everyone you know to give, too!


2018 Giving Season

Thanks to the generosity of you and other donors in our community, we leveraged $365,064 for over 60 local nonprofits!


  • $365,064 infused into North Tahoe – Truckee. That number includes:
  • $27,563 leveraged in matching grants
  • $15,000 awarded in Challenge Grants raised by TTCF
  • 4 nonprofits raised more than $20,000 each

Through our grantmaking, capacity building, and technical assistance, TTCF has strengthened our local nonprofits for two decades. In the past five years, Give Back Tahoe has raised over $1.7 million for our region. More than raising funds, Give Back Tahoe strengthens nonprofits by exposing their missions to a broader audience and helping them develop their year-end fundraising techniques. This year, we introduced a new web platform that gave more autonomy to our nonprofits. In addition to more direct access to donors and volunteers, nonprofits were able to build out full online profiles, social media campaigns, email marketing campaigns, and could experiment with peer-to-peer fundraising techniques. Through online marketing strategies, nonprofits have created a long term engagement and conversion funnel that will build throughout the year.

TTCF also secured $15,000 in Challenge Grants from generous donors. Challenge Grants award nonprofits and their donors for exemplary fundraising efforts through specific challenges throughout the first two weeks of the Giving Season, November 27th – December 11th. See who won the Challenge Grants on the Leaderboard.

Give Back Tahoe is only possible thanks to the generosity of our Challenge Grant Donors and Business Sponsors. Thank you to our community members who drove the giving even further: Tahoe Donner Giving Fund, Auerbach Engineering Corp., The Bolam Gallery, Eagle Peak Management, Elder Group Tahoe Real Estate, Emerald Bay Wealth Management LLC, Sears Hometown Stores. Learn more about our sponsors here, and be sure to support them!

“We are so grateful for this program! It really rallies people to reach into their pocketbooks to give back to the nonprofits that are meaningful to them. What I really like about your challenge grants is how diverse they are. For people who have the money, $250 creates the opportunity to four-fold their donation. Other folks can make a BIG difference with just $25 – turning $25 into $25 + $1,250! This takes a lot of pressure off of our team financially. I was so impressed with the generosity of our families. TTCF was the catalyst to make that happen. We will now have the ability to offer financial aid scholarships to the community.” -Sandy Hynes, Truckee Tahoe Swim Team

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Give Back Tahoe Giving Season. We have been surprised by the number of kind donations we’ve received from the community and how excited donors got about trying to help us with the challenges! Participating in this event has allowed us to not only raise additional funding to support Achieve Tahoe programs that serve children and adults with disabilities, but to reach out to the local community, thanks to the Foundation’s efforts.” – Deidre Kennelly, Achieve Tahoe


2017 Give Back Tahoe Giving Season


  • $501,820 infused into North Tahoe – Truckee (up from $382,366 in 2016) That number includes:
    • $94,032 leveraged in matching grants
    • $50,000 awarded in Challenge Grants raised by TTCF
    • $2,220 raised at the Give Back Tahoe Variety Show
    • 7 nonprofits raised more than $20,000 each

The Give Back Tahoe Variety Show was a live, telethon style fundraising event that was live-streamed online, on TV, and on the radio and aired on TV four times through December 31st. The live event was an extremely fun and dynamic opportunity to celebrate our community and featured four local performing acts. Nonprofits were also invited to create and perform two minute skits, and they delivered everything from on-stage science experiments to improv dance performances. The Variety Show offered nonprofits an opportunity to strengthen their message, and raised community awareness of our nonprofit sector. To see some of the show for yourself, check out the highlight reel or view the photo album on facebook.

2016 Giving Season Highlights

  • 62 participating nonprofits
  • $382,336 total dollars infused into the North Tahoe – Truckee region
  • 1,217 total gifts donated
  • $62,157 matching gifts leveraged
  • 339 donors gave to a nonprofit for the first time
  • $45,000 in TTCF donor provided Challenge Grants

Thank you to the Riley Family at Sears Hometown Stores for your support in both producing the printed Give Back Tahoe Giving Guide and throughout the whole campaign!

Nonprofit Feedback

“The Challenge Grants helped to excite our donor base and helped us double our year end donations. We leveraged over $36,000 through our matching funds and focusing strategically on the Challenge Grants. This extra money for Headwaters really helps us expand our programs in TTUSD.  We didn’t get as much money as we hoped during the regular grant cycle, but we filled in the gap here and are now able to do all the programs we planned.”– Megan Seifert, Ph.D., Headwaters Science Institute ED

“The Giving Guide’s structure and TTCF’s support made it easy to approach a wider network of potential donors with a straightforward and timely request. We connected with more community members, and some people who hadn’t thought of themselves as philanthropists gave for the first time to help us win a $4,000 Challenge Grant. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity to engage meaningfully with our community.” – Amy Kelley, ED North Tahoe Family Resource Center

“It was so gratifying to see the number of donors and new donors we attracted through the Give Back campaign. What was unexpected was the fun we had in creating compelling stories for our social media, and the excitement we felt in participating in the various challenges. There was a lot of good energy created and we look forward to next year’s campaign” – Georgia Smith, Board Member Family Resource Center of Truckee

You love it here, we love it here. Give Back Tahoe makes it possible to continue living the dream.

Street Level Philanthropy

Give Back Tahoe is a community campaign focusing on street level philanthropy.  People from every sector and age group want to contribute both time and resources to the causes that impassion them.  They don’t want to wait until the perfect time or the perfect bank account to do it, either.  Give Back Tahoe invites everyone to the table to give with their heart and in the ways that suit them.

The seed of Give Back Tahoe was planted in 2013 with the enthusiastic country-wide response to National Giving Day.  Online giving and mass giving demonstrated to people that the act of donating is not reserved for the uber wealthy.  TTCF recognized that while most people had an inherent desire to give back, the ways to do so needed to be made clearer.

TTCF partnered with the Sierra Sun, a local newspaper, to develop a giving campaign that suited Tahoe’s unique culture.  We then invited all eligible local nonprofits to participate, and expanded the campaign from a single day of giving to the six-week holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Give Back Tahoe increased its reach from our relatively small permanent resident population to include the innumerable persons who love to spend their time here and enjoy investing in our community.

The 2014 inaugural Give Back Tahoe Holiday Giving Guide launched with an online giving portal, a comprehensive printed catalogue of participating nonprofits, and regular updates in the Sierra Sun and in social media.  Local nonprofit organizations were able to increase their reach in order to share their missions and projects, and more than $124,000 was channeled into the nonprofit community.

Since then, Give Back Tahoe has been evolving.  It concentrates on the region of North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, and on seven areas of impact. remains the online portal for the Holiday Giving Guide’s giving season, but year round it serves as a directory for the local nonprofit community and volunteer opportunities.

The volunteer management portion allows people choose where and how they want to give of their time and energy.  Hands on Tahoe began as a collaboration with TTCF in 2004 to connect volunteers and nonprofit organizations.  Give Back Tahoe will streamline those efforts. Volunteer Now! 

In a nonprofit community as large as ours and with so many committed organizations, leaders, and events, Give Back Tahoe shines the light on street level philanthropy.

Ways to Give

Volunteer on the Ground-  Whether you have a single morning or a regular opening in your schedule, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in our region.  Some may be as involved as long term mentorships while others may involve cleaning up your own neighborhood and joining a community picnic afterwards. Volunteer Now

Volunteer on the Board-  Nonprofit organizations need dedicated citizens with life and professional experience to volunteer on their board.  Board members have a myriad of responsibilities, but also help shape the missions, individual programs, and strategic plans of a nonprofit. Read our article about board responsibility.

Donate- During the Holiday Giving Guide, we accept one time donations of cash and credit, but a TTCF fund holder can also donate a portion of their funds.  Certain nonprofit organizations have an infrastructure that allows donors to utilize different kinds of assets to create various types of funds. These assets equate to a monetary value which is then disbursed to the community and/or gains interest for perpetuity.

In-Kind Donations-  These charitable donations include: expertise (accounting, marketing, instruction), space (event halls, vacation homes, offices), used goods (clothes, silverware, books), value items perhaps to be raffled off or sold (event tickets, box seats, lift tickets, signed instruments), and car donations.

The 2015 Give Back Tahoe Guide for Giving 

Sierra Sun and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) collaborated the 2015 holiday season to present the second annual Give Back Tahoe Guide for Giving. Inspired by #GivingTuesday, we launched the inaugural campaign to kick-off the holiday season with a spirit of gratitude and community generosity. Amidst the celebration of the year’s end, the Guide for Giving showcases the missions and year-end goals of local nonprofits who serve the people, creatures and lands of this extraordinary region.

Sierra Sun and TTCF love our home and the people who live here. Our engaging and vibrant local nonprofit community supports all of us. For this reason, we elevate our nonprofit organizations and advance their missions by connecting them with people and resources who share their objectives and are willing to help “give back.”

Last year, the Guide raised over $124,000 for 60 featured nonprofits in a combination of a printed directory and an online giving portal. The excitement of that success fueled this year’s campaign to make it bigger and better.

More nonprofits, donors and community support came to the table to drive momentum the entire Giving Season, which ran from December 1st through 11:59pm on December 31st. To that end, a small handful of TTCF donors stepped up and provided $40,000 in Challenge Grants to award nonprofits and their donors for exemplary fundraising efforts throughout the five week Giving Season.

  • $355,761 total dollars infused into the North Tahoe – Truckee region through online, offline and matching grants (nearly 3 times as much as last year!)
  • 843 online gifts raised $129,220
  • 595 unique online gifts, 209 of which were first time donors
  • An additional $105,721 was leveraged by 18 nonprofits that secured matching funds

Once again this campaign showed the power of collective giving being far more impactful than just one person. It feels wonderful creating a simple way to connect donors to the nonprofits in our region to help them raise much needed resources.

Thank you to all of the TTCF donors willing to provide dollars for the Challenge Grants. Thank you to our sponsors: Sears Hometown Store, Tahoe-Truckee Lumber Co., Auerbach Engineering Corp, Mountain Home Center, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Sierra Sun, and Truckee Tahoe Airport District. We also want to thank our local community partners, including 101.5 KTKE, who helped keep the excitement throughout the season.

Visit to view this year round directory of local nonprofits

Areas of Impact

  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts & Culture
  • Community Improvement
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Human Services
  • Youth Development