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Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee Kicks Off

The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee (MHC) kicked off their commitment to accelerating regional housing solutions on April 29th. Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) hosted the community housing event to celebrate the work to-date and kick-off the next phase of collaborative action.

The event was well attending by the community with many more people tuning in through Tahoe Truckee Community Television’s livestream. The April 29th gathering started with with three local leaders sharing personal stories of community members struggling with housing in the North Tahoe – Truckee region. After firmly rooting the audience in the everyday realities of our local families and workforce, Stacy Caldwell, TTCF CEO, took the stage to present highlights of the findings of the 2016 Regional Housing Study conducted by Bay Area Economics (BAE). The Study brought to light the hard data of North Tahoe – Truckee’s housing issues that affect not only low-income residents, but all of us from employers, first responders, teachers, and second homeowners. From there, the screen lit up with one of the premiere episodes of the storytelling film series Housing for the People produced by Elevate Tahoe, a partnership between Moonshine Ink, TTCF, and SBS Media House. View the videos as they are released throughout May here

Stacy Caldwell shared the recommendations that came out of the Housing Study  which included establishing a regional housing agenda and a housing entity. Since the Study was released last August, local leaders have been coalescing under TTCF’s leadership to follow through on these recommendations and form the Mountain Housing Council.

As of the April 29th event, thirteen local organizations have committed their time and resources to participating in the MHC and accelerating housing solutions for the people of North Tahoe – Truckee. Representatives from ten of these organizations took to the stage to publicly state their commitments, a moment that was undoubtedly a milestone in our region’s willingness to tackle this crisis together.

“Based upon the positive momentum and support that created the Housing Council I am convinced it will result in real housing opportunities for our local residents,” said Tony Lashbrook, Town of Truckee Town Manager.

The event ended with a Solutions Slam. Audience members stepped up to the mic and shared their ideas for creative housing solutions. All ideas were recorded and will be brought to the first MHC session. The event ended as all Saturday morning events should, with a buzz of excitement and plenty of time to get out into the spring sunshine.

Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee Partners To-Date

  • Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe (CA-TT)
  • Family Resource Center of Truckee
  • Nevada County
  • North Tahoe Family Resource Center
  • Placer County
  • Squaw Valley
  • Tahoe City Public Utility District
  • Tahoe Donner Homeowners Association
  • Tahoe Forest Hospital District
  • Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
  • Town of Truckee
  • Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce
  • Truckee Donner Public Utility District
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport District
  • Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation
  • Vail Resorts: Northstar California Resort

For more information, visit www.mountainhousingcouncil.org.

Watch the recorded event.

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Girls Giving Back Awards Third Annual Grant Cycle!

Girls Giving Back (GGB) is a youth philanthropy project of TTCF’s Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund (QoH). GGB members are young women under eighteen who are interested in shaping their community through philanthropy. By facilitating their own youth grant cycles, the Girls learn how to fund raise through local events, evaluate grant proposals, and select as a collective a local youth nonprofit to receive a grant. In a supported environment, these young women learn the intricacies of philanthropy and develop a unique set of tools that prepares them to grow into effective community changemakers.

GGB has had yet another successful year. Thanks to our leadership team, local business partners, and all of  who demonstrated support at three fantastic fundraising events, GGB has completed their third annual grant cycle.  We are happy to announce that the recipient of the $2500 GGB Grant was Lake Tahoe Music Festival’s Youth Mentoring Program. This free program connects high school mentors with grade school students to provide music education and increase grade school participation in music events including rehearsals, orchestra performances, and concerts.

Join us in congratulating our always impressive GGB!

If you are interested in participating in GGB or know a young woman who would benefit from the project, contact Alison Elder at Tahoe@alisonelder.com or queenofhearts@ttcf.net.

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You’re invited to a Community Housing Event: April 29th

Building on the momentum of stakeholders from across the region, the newly formed Mountain Housing Council of Truckee Tahoe will host a Community Housing Event on April 29.

For the last eighteen months, North Tahoe – Truckee has been focused on identifying our regional housing issues and potential solutions. The 2016 Regional Housing Study was truly a community undertaking that engaged local businesses, public agencies, nonprofits, and community members. Now, provided with a framework and recommendations to move forward, our region is ready to work together to accelerate solutions.

The April 29 event marks the official kick-off of the Mountain Housing Council and an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made so far as a community. Council representatives will share their commitments to solving the local housing issues and co-create a regional housing agenda to guide local leaders towards measurable impact.

“We are excited to bring everybody together to work on the critical issue of housing in our region. And we look forward to the community joining us in this process. ” – Stacy Caldwell, CEO Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation

Elevate Tahoe will also premiere its film series, “Housing for the People.” The storytelling series captures the conditions that have created North Tahoe – Truckee’s current housing climate, as well as the stories of individuals, families, and businesses who live with these realities on a daily basis.

For those ready to accelerate housing solutions for our community, please join the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee on Saturday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Truckee High School.  Space is limited, RSVP at: bit.ly/mountainhousingevent.

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What do you want in a local library? Take the survey.

Nevada County residents recently voted for an increased sales tax to benefit local libraries! These Measure A dollars will provide and continue to improve library services. Voters also decided to allocate the dollars across certain areas.

To determine exactly how to use the increased budget, Nevada County wants community input! Please help your community shape the future of the Truckee Library by filling out the survey below and sharing it with your friends and neighbors.

The survey focuses on three specific areas: hours of operation, children and teen programming, and information and technology. The survey is due April 10, 2017. Thank you!

En Noviembre, los residentes del condado de Nevada votaron para aumentar los dólares para la Medida A para beneficiar nuestras bibliotecas locales. La votación para ampliar la Biblioteca de Truckee es aproximadamente tres veces su tamaño anterior. El impuesto de ventas se aplicará específicamente a continuar proporcionando y expandiendo los servicios, específicamente en estas tres áreas:

*Horas de operación
*Programación para Niños y Adolescentes
*Acceso a la tecnología

Es una prioridad del Condado de Nevada usar la contribución de la comunidad para asignar el aumento del presupuesto. Por favor, ayúdenos rellenando la encuesta y compartiéndola con los que conoce.

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70 Local Scholarships, Application Deadline April 3, 2017

Application deadline: April 3, 2017

Apply Now (hint: hit “submit” early to make sure you qualify for all eligible scholarships)

Thanks to the generosity of TTCF’s Board of Directors, aligned donors, and the collaborative nature of our community partners, TTCF has secured a three year subscription to the software AwardSpring. AwardSpring streamlines the entire scholarship process from application through administration to make it easier for students, review committees, and administrators. 

Over 60 local scholarships have already been uploaded to AwardSpring with the total funding equal to over $240,000 and counting. To be considered for most scholarships, all that is required is the submission of a single common application. In real time, the software reviews the student’s application, determines eligibility, and prompts them to provide any supplemental materials for scholarships that require more information. 

When a student logs on to AwardSpring, they can also learn more about each scholarship. Donors and scholarship facilitators have a space to share the story behind the scholarship or to honor a person being memorialized. Because behind every scholarship, there is a story worth telling.

“In prior years, students were filling out the same information over and over again to apply to many different scholarships. It was common for students to miss out on scholarships simply because they weren’t aware of them, missed a deadline, or didn’t provide all of the required paper work. It was frustrating for students and for the review committees. This streamlined process gives all kids a chance to achieve their dreams with the help of community scholarships.” -Phyllis McConn, TTCF Community Impact Officer

More information on scholarships or donating to a TTCF facilitated scholarship: www.ttcf.net or (530) 587-1776

Apply at: ttcf.awardspring.com

On the Verge: Emerging Leader Pilot Project Wraps up Year-Long Training Program

It is no secret that nonprofit organizations have high employee burn-out rates. Long hours and historically humble wages, as well as deeply involved work, makes it difficult to hold onto staff or develop leaders. Last week, ten local nonprofit executives completed a year-long program designed to develop and retain emerging leaders in the family-strengthening field. The On the Verge (OTV) program occurred simultaneously in six communities in California, all of which wanted to provide an incubator for developing solutions to community problems. Until now, there have been no leadership programs focused on the family strengthening field in the context of real, community work.

The Tahoe Truckee cohort was made up of a diverse group of leaders representing eight local nonprofits. The program was led by trained facilitators Alison Schwedner, Director of the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (a TTCF program), and Amy Kelley, Executive Director of the North Tahoe Family Resource Center.

Throughout the year, leaders worked collaboratively to define regional needs on specific issues and implement community-based projects. The nature of working collaboratively in a time intensive curriculum also served to nurture the individual development of these young leaders while creating successful cross-sector partnerships.

“The On the Verge Leadership model emphasizes the personal, interpersonal and professional development of the participants. We know that working in family strengthening can be stressful and the pay is modest. This model acknowledges that in order to retain talent in this work, we must help emerging leaders develop essential hard skills, fortify their networks of trusted colleagues, and help them grow personally. The year format allows us to do this over time and, most importantly, enables the participants to experience first hand what it means to be part of a high functioning team”. – Alison Schwedner

The following outcomes were identified as priorities throughout the last year:

  • Provide Leadership Development for New and Emerging Leaders
  • Improve Retention of Brightest Leaders: On The Verge offers leaders the opportunity to renew their passion and develop coping skills, to sustain their leadership over time and prevent burn-out.
  • Build the Family Resource Center (FRC) leadership pipeline by creating more opportunities for professional advancement: On The Verge will support leaders to step into new organizational roles and professional growth.
  • Cultivate interdependent teams across intervening systems: On The Verge is the only leadership development program building interdependent, interdisciplinary teams to transform communities.
  • Create innovative community solutions to long-entrenched problems: FRC leaders will engage in ongoing conversations and research to better understand the underlying causes of inequity in their community, while piloting innovative strategies to address those underlying factors.

The OTV program was funded by the State of California, Office of Child Abuse Prevention and the S.H. Cowell Foundation, a long time partner committed to the family strengthening field in the Tahoe Truckee community.

The other incubator communities involved include:

Fresno County
Humboldt County
San Jose

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Give Back Tahoe Giving Guide Raises Over $380,000 for Local Nonprofits


For the third year, TTCF and Sierra Sun partnered to facilitate a year-end collective giving campaign to raise awareness and financial support for our local nonprofit community. The Give Back Tahoe Giving Guide was a huge success, and thanks to our media partners at 101.5 KTKE Truckee Tahoe Radio and the massive efforts of our participating nonprofits, we reached more people than ever before. The campaign kicked off on #GivingTuesday, November 29th and closed at 11:59pm on December 31, 2016.

62 nonprofits participated in the campaign to share their community impact and most-pressing needs to a greater potential donor and volunteer base. TTCF and our partners worked together to reach community members via print, social media, radio, and the KTKE radio app. The printed Giving Guide was distributed regionally in key locations. As an additional opportunity, Sierra Sun and TTCF printed the Giving Guide directly into the December 21st and December 28th editions of Sierra Sun.

They say the third time’s a charm, and in this case it was absolutely true. Our nonprofits came to the campaign with strategy and enthusiasm, engaging their staff, volunteers, and board members to become true ambassadors of their campaign messages. Thoughtfully produced social media posts, images, and videos converted fans into donors and made the two week Challenge Grant period a race down to the last minutes.


  • Raise dollars for local nonprofits
  • Elevate the community impact of local nonprofits to a more expansive network than they may otherwise reach
  • Provide an opportunity for nonprofit staff, board members, volunteers, and ambassadors to work together towards a common goal and forge more collaborative relationships to carry forward
  • Attract new donors and convert community members who may not see themselves as donors into intentional philanthropists


  • $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

Challenge Grants

From November 29th – December 13th, TTCF donors offered a total of $45,000 in Challenge Grants to inspire giving and encourage nonprofits to connect with new and past donors.

In order to avoid the donor fatigue that was reported last year, TTCF truncated the Challenge Grant season to the first two weeks of the campaign. In presentations with our participating nonprofits, we advised them to secure matching funds and create a donor engagement strategy before launch.

Nonprofits reported that the Challenge Grants provided an opportunity to reach out to community members with a clear ask and deadline. They expressed gratitude at having the structure and support of the Giving Guide campaign and TTCF staff as they broke out of their previous comfort zones to create meaningful relationships with people. The Challenges also presented shared goals and a common language for board members, staff, volunteers, and community advocates.

Several of the Challenge results were close, and two nonprofits even tied. Yet even while racing for thousands of dollars, the spirit of community was palpable and nonprofits reported texting their “competition” into the late hours.

To engage a broader spectrum of community members, TTCF lowered the minimum donation to qualify for the 2016 Grand Challenges to $25. Nonprofits reported that community members who had never considered themselves potential philanthropists were surprised and grateful for the opportunity to participate. They were able to see how their dollars could be leveraged in a truly significant way.

The Challenge Grants accomplished everything we hoped and more, including setting a positive example for other community members to come to the table with the contributions they could afford.

Once again this campaign shows the power of collective giving being far more impactful than just one person. It is an incredible thing to create a simple way to connect donors to the nonprofits in our region to help them raise much needed resources. When the entire region rallies around the things that make our home such an incredible place to live and visit, we can feel the power of a small community.

We want to express our gratitude to Sierra Sun, the Riley Family (owners and operators of Sears Hometown Stores and sponsors of the printed Giving Guide), 101.5 KTKE Truckee Tahoe Radio, and our Challenge Grant donors for making this a fantastic third year! On behalf of our entire community, thank you!

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Snow Update with Emergency Services

Update: TTCF offices are again open. 1/17/2017

Power Returns in Some Area,  Shelters Announced
Emergency Services are Available

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation offices are closed while power remains down. Please stay safe and warm, and if you need to reach TTCF – please email kathy@ttcf.net or info@ttcf.net. Thank you!

The following information has been provided and shared by Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT).

post to the CCTT Facebook page: @CommunityCollaborativeTahoeTruckee

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — As winter weather conditions continue to wreak havoc in the Sierra leaving many residents without power, Placer County has opened four warming/charging centers in the North Lake Tahoe area.

All four locations provide the public a place to stay warm and charge their phones.
People should not expect food and water at these locations, and pets are not allowed.
Warming center and charging station locations include:

Tahoe City Public Utility District
221 Fairway Drive
Tahoe City
North Tahoe Public Utility District
875 National Avenue
Tahoe Vista
Truckee Tahoe Airport
10356 Truckee Airport Road
Squaw Valley Fire Department
305 Squaw Valley Road
Olympic Valley

“Because of the extensive power outages throughout North Tahoe, we have opened these warming/charging centers to give people a place to keep warm and power up their communication devices so they can stay in contact with friends and family and receive emergency updates sent through Placer Alert, our emergency notification system” said John McEldowney, Placer County emergency services manager.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office will be handing out fliers to at-risk communities that may not receive the messages otherwise.
TART Service Suspended

Note that TART will not be running today. Transportation to shelter may be an issue for some community members.

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Moving into the New Year, fearlessly

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) was established in 1998 when William Hewlett challenged our region to match a million dollar donation to start a community foundation. Local attorney Jim Porter accepted the challenge by phone before promptly setting out to discover what exactly a community foundation does.

As communities and their needs continue to change, the roles of community foundations evolve. TTCF is no different, and through it all our mission remains the same: to connect people and opportunities, generating resources to build a more caring, creative, and effective community.

How we accomplish this mission depends on the support of our community members as we identify our region’s most pressing needs and approach them with fearless, innovative solutions. More recently, this evolution has meant that we no longer restrict our work to growing endowments and dispensing grants, although we continue to do those things as well.

An example of this broader scope of focus is the 2016 Regional Housing Study. The study was an unprecedented, collaborative partnership between Placer and Nevada Counties, the Town of Truckee, and key stakeholders; TTCF acted as the neutral convener.  This comprehensive needs assessment identified our region’s unique and pressing housing needs by engaging the entire community. Now, with the study in hand, our region’s public agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and community members are moving together towards solutions that will impact everyone who lives, works, and visits here.

What does it mean to have these fearless conversations around topics that feel daunting and insolvable? What we have seen is that when people and resources come together, and the community feels respected and engaged in the process, we can find solutions to these types of community-wide issues.

TTCF looks forward to continue engaging in these fearless conversations with all of you in 2017 and beyond. A sneak preview of more to come includes: forest stewardship, continued strengthening for local nonprofit leadership and volunteer recruitment and retainment, and conscious economic development in a rural region that relies on snow.

In early 2017 we will launch a regional housing council engaging a wide collaboration of regional leaders to help us tackle one of the most difficult challenges of living and working in our region. We will also launch an Impact Agenda for the next five years with a vision for philanthropy and investments to help drive our region.

Our storytelling will continue to unfold with an exciting announcement in the coming months and a deeper look into best practices of nonprofits that operate in a rural region. Check in with ttcf.net and our social media pages as we embark on this exciting year ahead.

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Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund awards $60,000 to eight local organizations

The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, a women’s philanthropy program of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, is wrapping up its Ten Year Anniversary Campaign by awarding its largest annual grant cycle to date! On December 1st, members and guests gathered to attend the annual GEMS (Grant Educate Motivate Serve) Grants Showcase. At the event, eight grants finalists presented their four-minute grant proposals at the Cedar House Sport Hotel. Voting began the next day, and members who were unable to attend the event accessed the recorded presentations online.

After two weeks of voting, $60,000 in grants have been awarded to the below organizations. This is the first year that the Queen of Hearts has awarded the second place finalists with $5,000, and we congratulate them as they continue to grow their endowment and their grantmaking.

This year’s recipients of a $10,000 grant are:

Slow Food Lake Tahoe – Growing Greens, Beans, and Community Engagement through the Demonstration Garden

Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway – Gearing Up for Canyon Completion:  Constructing the Hirschdale to Iceland Trail Segment

Gateway Mountain Center – Helping our Kids through Mindfulness Based Substance Abuse Treatment

Aim High for High School – Nurturing the Promise and Potential of Underserved Middle Schoolers

This year’s recipients of a $5,000 grant are:

Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, Inc. – Fostering Creation of Artistic Performances through Guest Artist Residency Pilot Program

Sierra State Parks Foundation – Ensuring our Tahoe/Truckee California State Park Visitors have a Memorable and Educational Experience

Family Resource Center of Truckee – Mediation and Legal Services for Local Families

TTUSD Sierra Teen Education and Parenting Program – Supporting Teen Parents and their Children


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