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Why Four Local Nonprofits are Consolidating

Crisis rarely happens in only one aspect of a person or family’s life. In a region made up of several small communities widely spread apart, it’s often a challenge for community members to know what services are available to them and to be able to reach them. This is especially true for people who lack dependable access to transportation. Too often, people go without all of the help they need to thrive.

North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Family Resource Center of Truckee, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, and Project MANA are currently in the process of joining forces to better serve community members across North Tahoe-Truckee. The four long-standing social service nonprofits are in the midst of combining systems, staff and boards and plan to launch the new organization, officially, on July 1, 2019. The single entity will have five locations throughout with services continuing and being enhanced in Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, and Incline Village.

This consolidation is a result of over 15 years of community collaboration aimed at improving health and safety outcomes and strengthening services for families and individuals. Several years ago, North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, and Project MANA, hired an integrated services coordinator to make sure that community members receiving services at one organization were also aware of the services of the organizations. Several years later, they wanted to bring their collaborative services under a single roof in a shared space. Under the leadership of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF), donors and organizations came together to plan, construct, and implement Community House. A massive effort was put forth by numerous people and agencies; the Community House was completed in 2014 in Kings Beach, one of the most poverty-stricken communities in North Lake Tahoe. Community House has been recognized as a national model for shared spaces by The Nonprofit Times.

“It is the next natural evolutionary step for these nonprofits to consolidate into one strong entity for families and individuals,“ Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

The four organizations will continue to provide the same services, with many of the same staff, under the umbrella of the new entity. Community members will be able to access basic needs support, food programs, community education, and crisis services under one roof in their own neighborhoods. By joining forces, the four organizations will serve community members in a better, more holistic and integrated manner and tailor services to meet specific needs. This consolidation will also provide smoother, streamlined systems for staff and board members. Rather than four separate organizations with four separate strategies for strategies, budgets, and administration work, one organization will focus on streamlined fundraising, finance, marketing, human resources, and information technology.

To support the staff through this transition, TTCF is funding a special On the Verge cohort. The On the Verge Leadership Program (OTV) is a year-long professional and personal development program facilitated by the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT). This year’s cohort launched recently with all staff members from the consolidating nonprofits.

To learn more about Community House, click here.

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The Ripple Effect: A Scholarship Success Story

Perhaps you remember this lovely picture of Yulisa Mendez, a 2016 Sierra High School graduate and recipient of several community scholarships.  It wasn’t that long ago! We caught up with this impressive, inspiring and tenacious leader to learn of her college experience and future plans. Below we share her story from a written interview.

TTCF: Tell us about yourself.

YM: I’m 20 years old and have a five year old daughter named Alyssa. My family moved to Truckee when I was only a few months old. My family means the world to me. I am the oldest of five kids and have always helped my mother take care of my younger siblings. In high school, I became a teen parent. During this time, I lost hope in ever pursuing my educational dreams. When my daughter was born, she became my ultimate motivation to continue my education. With the support of my family, high school, community, and friends I was able to graduate from Sierra High School with 20 college credits.

Now, I am a senior at Sierra Nevada College and will be graduating with honors this upcoming May. I will receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology. I will also be graduating a year early.

TTCF: What inspires or motivates you?

YM: My daughter. My daughter is the person that keeps me moving forward. Without her I would not be where I am today. I want to make my daughter proud and be a role model to her. My mother is also my inspiration. As a single mother of five, she has given so much to me and my siblings. I hope to one day repay her for all that she has done for us.

TTCF: You received a number of community scholarships, can you tell us a bit about the process from a student perspective?  

YM: The process of applying to scholarships was simple, but difficult at the same time. The most difficult part was writing about myself and my life story. It is difficult to talk about yourself and describe what you have been through. The best part of applying for scholarships is that you get to reflect on all of the accomplishments you have achieved in your life.

TTCF: What do you think the value of higher education is? How can community scholarships help?

YM: I believe that it is important to keep learning and to never stop. Education is something no one will ever take from you. Education is one of the most valuable things a person can have. Community scholarships are very important; they give students like me an opportunity to believe in oneself.  Scholarships enable students to write about their accomplishments, goals, and future aspirations. They provide motivation, encouragement, and support to those students who, like myself, have felt like giving up. The scholarships allowed me to focus on my school work and to not worry so much about the financial factors.

TTCF: What were the ups and downs of your college experience?

YM: Taking 18 credits every semester- it was difficult taking so many courses at a time while also managing being a parent, a student worker, and a provider for my family. The best part of college is getting the opportunity to learn, be a part of a unique community, and experience new things. For example, I will present my research project that I have been working on for the past year at different research conferences at UNR, UCLA, and at SNC. Coming to the end of this experience, I am proud of all the sacrifices I had to make, all the hard work has paid off.

TTCF: What’s next?

YM:  Once I graduate, I want to obtain a master’s degree in social work. Social work is a field that I am very passionate about. I am an example of what great support from a community can do. With a degree in social work, I will be able to pay it forward and support/help vulnerable populations in my community.

There are so many remarkable students like Yulisa who are poised for success, but just need your help to pay for tuition, books, room and board, and more. Please help students reach their goals of higher education by supporting our scholarships or opening one of your own today. Call Phyllis McConn at (530)587-1776 or donate here.

Leaving a Legacy: “Let’s Bet On Youth” Golf Tournament Opens 2019 Season on May 16th

Register now:

On Thursday, May 16th, the North Tahoe-Truckee community will open the 2019 golf season with the fifth annual “Let’s Bet on Youth” Golf Tournament. The first tournament of the year celebrates the life of beloved community member E.J. Tegner and raises between $15,000 and $18,000 for the E.J. Tegner Golf Foundation. And there’s still time to register to be part of the season’s inaugural tournament!

Marilyn Wood started the foundation in memory of E.J., her husband, after he passed away in 2014. EJ was an avid golfer and loved a friendly wager, which is how he, and his memorial foundation, received the nickname “Let’s Bet.” Marilyn, Kevin Murphy, Kathy Hess Slocum, and Brian McGeever- dear friends to E.J. and Marilyn – opened an endowed fund at the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) to honor E.J.’s memory and to bring the virtues and values of golf to local young people. Their original goal was to raise $250,000 to be held in an endowed fund. Marilyn seeded the fund with $200,000 and the endowment today stands close to $300,000!

The vision was to bring golf to all kids regardless of socio-economic background or the interest of their parents, and to create a pathway for all kids to experience the benefits of the life skills and core values that the game instills. EJ Tegner “Golf in Schools Program” month long program is offered at area elementary schools. Travis Alley, PGA Golf Director at Tahoe Mountain Club, leads the golf in Schools Program. Like Travis, the instructors are PGA Golf Professionals. This year all 3rd and 4th and 5th grade elementary school kids in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District were able to participate.

“E.J. would be pleased to see the impact and improvement on the lives of youth through access and education in golf,” says Marilyn.

Other groups the EJ Tegner Foundation has contributed to include: North Tahoe Golf Boys and Girls Teams, Truckee Boys and Girls Golf Teams, and The Fred Alexander Memorial Family Golf Clinic. This totaled over $12,000 in grants for 2019.

“It’s tremendously gratifying to be part of the team who created the E.J Tegner – Let’s Bet on Youth Golf Foundation.  Making a difference in kid’s lives is what really matters most!” said Kevin Murphy. The beauty of the endowed fund is that it will continue to serve our community’s young people and honor E.J. forever.

On May 16th, a fun day is planned with 18 holes of golf, longest drive, closest to the pin and putting contest. It will be held at Old Greenwood Golf Course. The format is four person, two net better ball. Cost is $400 per team and/or $100 per person. If you would like to make additional donations we have sponsorships available.

Come out and enjoy the day for a great cause. All proceeds go directly to the foundation. Sign up soon, this event will sell out.

If you can’t play the golf tournament, you can still positively impact the lives of local youth through golf. Donate to: Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation E.J. Tegner Memorial Fund.

Podcast: The Evolution of Grantmaking

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) has granted over $26 million into the North Tahoe-Truckee region in partnership with our donors and collaborative funders since 1998. That means more people who are receiving the food, shelter, and assistance they need; more animals safer in both their furever homes and in the wild; protected open spaces, and access to recreation for more people. It means that more children receive opportunities to succeed whether what they need is mental health services, mentorship, exposure to performing arts, or simply a more equitable playing field. It means families that are thriving and programs that elevate the wellbeing of our elders. It means stronger nonprofits and nonprofit employees to serve our region.

While TTCF has always partnered with you, our community members and donors, to build a more caring, creative, and effective community, the way by which we do so has evolved to meet the changing needs of our region. TTCF recently sat down to record a podcast that looks over two decades of community changemaking through grant cycles, what we’re doing now, and how philanthropy is changing overall. It features: Phyllis McConn, who runs our grantmaking process, as well as Christin Hanna, the Executive Director of Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, and Heidi Volkhardt Allstead, who has sat in the seats of grantee, grant writer, and now collaborative funder with TTCF as the Director of Martis Fund. They explore what it’s like to be a small nonprofit in a rural community, how the attitude and approach of funders can make a huge difference in ways unseen, and what it means to respond to the needs of the organizations you serve.

Please enjoy and share with your networks.  https://bit.ly/2NADSdZ (53 minutes)

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Innovative Social Venture Tackling Housing Shortage Launched at Third Annual Mountain Ventures Summit

MAMMOTH, CALIF. Feb. 27, 2019/PRESS RELEAES – Entrepreneurs from mountain communities across the country are gathering over the next three days at Mountain Ventures Summit (MVS). Participants share ideas and envision a future for their regions on topics including sustainable recreation, housing, innovation, and investment. One of today’s presentations holds promise for the future of housing for the full-time families and workforce in mountain towns with the launch of Landing, a web-based housing matching program.

The Challenge

Building costs are skyrocketing in California, which makes tackling the housing crisis even more difficult in the mountain community of Tahoe-Truckee — where building costs are steep and the housing market is directly impacted by San Francisco’s high real estate costs. Stakeholders are approaching the housing crisis from every angle: protecting existing low-income housing, changing policy, building new homes, and redefining affordability. Amplifying Tahoe-Truckee’s housing crisis is the fact that 65% of the region’s housing sits vacant for more than half the year as second homes and vacation properties. This statistic, verified in a 2016 Regional Housing Needs Assessment, is staggering but not unique for mountain towns.  Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF), which has served the region for over 20 years, saw opportunity in these numbers.

“It became evident that we’re not going to build ourselves out of the housing problem,” said Stacy Caldwell, TTCF CEO. “Our second home market is core to our economy, and part-time residents are valuable members of our community. We asked ourselves, how can we can leverage this market, specifically homes that sit vacant most of the year, as an opportunity to create solutions for long-term housing?”

With support from the S.H. Cowell Foundation, a long-time funder in the North Tahoe-Truckee region, Caldwell was able to benefit from a day-long workshop with the Stanford d.school to apply design thinking to a housing solution. The S.H. Cowell Foundation then granted TTCF the funds to explore the idea.

In 2018, TTCF contracted with a Truckee-based venture, F’INN, to test a market-based solution that would match homeowners with long-term renters, presumably through an online product. With the support of another Truckee-based company, PropertyRadar, F’INN delivered qualitative and quantitative research that demonstrated that a majority of second homeowners resisted renting long-term in order to maintain access to their homes. However, the research identified a small segment of second homeowners willing to lease to long-term tenants if given the right tools to ensure proper vetting of tenants and dependable property management.

Solution Unfolds

That’s when TTCF was introduced to two entrepreneurs who were thinking along the same lines. When Kai and Colin Frolich moved to Truckee in October of 2018, they struggled to find a long-term rental for themselves and started to dig into the housing issues in the area. Their collective backgrounds in tech (Colin was an early employee at Lyft and worked at Airbnb) and community development (Kai has an extensive nonprofit background) led them to start a community-based technology solution to the local housing challenges.

Now, working together on a proof of concept in North Tahoe-Truckee, TTCF is incubating Landing, a California Benefit Corporation, with the mission to build a trusted online platform for seasonal and long-term workforce housing. They will be looking for willing homeowners with underutilized second homes in North Tahoe-Truckee and matching them with employers.

“At first, we’ll primarily focus on understanding and overcoming second-homeowner barriers to renting to local employees,” says Colin Frolich, Landing CEO. “Ultimately it’s about building a trusted online platform that serves the needs of the homeowners, employers, and employees. Once we’ve cracked the code on this in Truckee, we believe this product can adapt to meet the needs of any town with workforce housing issues.”

TTCF is  familiar with stepping outside of the traditional role of a community foundation and has invested over $5 million in impact investments benefiting the community in just five years.

“TTCF is excited to explore a market-based solution that can put our neighbors and community members into homes they can afford. The model is innovative and engages homeowners in the solution process, we are thrilled to work with Landing,” said Lauren O’Brien, TTCF Board Chair.



Interested in learning more or renting your vacation home through Landing?


About Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation:

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) was established in 1998 thanks to the vision of William Hewlett who loved and worked to protect the Sierra. In just over 20 years, TTCF has served the North Tahoe-Truckee region by identifying emerging needs and issues and working collaboratively with regional stakeholders, donors, and nonprofits to address them strategically. TTCF holds $27 million in assets and has distributed over $26 million in partnership with its donors in local nonprofits and scholarships.

About Landing, A Benefit Corporation:

Landing is bridging the gap between underutilized second homes and locals who need seasonal and long-term housing by launching a housing-matching platform in Truckee, CA. We vet and qualify renters, create flexible lease arrangements for seasonal and long-term housing, and provide a place for homeowners and property managers to list their properties — with the goal of building a trust-based online platform for mountain housing.


To learn more, please contact Ashley Cooper, TTCF Communications Manager, at ashley@ttcf.net or (978)761-8866.

Press Release- Social Venture for Mountain Community Housing Crisis

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44 Local Nonprofits Awarded a Total of $333,855 in Grants

The 2018 consolidated grant cycle awarded 44 nonprofits $333,855  in TTCF-facilitated grants. This includes funding from Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, Tahoe Donner Giving Fund, and a generous match from Martis Fund that once again supported our Nature Grant funding. Of the total grants, $184,455 was awarded to 28 nonprofits for  in mission-driven, unrestricted funding. These grants represent some of the most difficult funding to secure and ensure that nonprofits can keep the lights on, afford new software, receive training, or pay for anything else they need to drive their missions forward.

Eight nonprofit representatives were selected to present their grant proposals in under 3 minutes to Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund supporters. Either in person at the Annual GEMS Grants Showcase or online, supporters watched the proposals before casting their votes online across four categories. Find out who was awarded here.

TTCF has served our community for twenty years. In that time, we have provided over $27 million in grants and scholarships to the North Tahoe – Truckee region. In 2016, after an in-depth assessment and development process, TTCF consolidated all of our previous grant cycles into a streamlined process. Now, nonprofits apply to all available TTCF-facilitated grants through a single common application. Nonprofits are also encouraged to share the true scope of their needs and aspirations through the application. Thanks to the trust of our nonprofits, this helps us understand any overarching themes that are coming up for our community and allows us to better serve our region’s hardworking organizations.

2018 Grant Recipients

Adventure Risk Challenge
Aim High for High School
Arts For the Schools
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe
CATT Community Project
Choices Transitional Services
Church of the Mountains
Community of Writers at Squaw Valley
Community Recovery Resources
Conservation Science Partners
Family Resource Center of Truckee
Gateway Mountain Center a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
High Fives Nonprofit Foundation
Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe
KidZone Museum
Lake Tahoe Dance Collective Inc.
North Tahoe Arts
North Tahoe Family Resource Center
Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy
Positively Rolling Project – under the umbrella of Sierra Expeditionary Learning School
Project MANA
Sierra Nevada Alliance
Sierra Senior Services
Sierra State Parks Foundation
Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships
Slow Food Lake Tahoe
Tahoe City Public Utility District
Tahoe Food Hub
Tahoe Institute for Natural Science
Tahoe Rim Trail Association
Tahoe SAFE Alliance
Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Tahoe-Pyramid Trail
Trout Unlimited
Truckee Community Theater
Truckee Donner Land Trust
Truckee Donner Railroad Society
Truckee Excellence in Music Parents Organization
Truckee River Watershed Council
Truckee Roundhouse
Truckee Tahoe Community Christmas
Truckee Trails Foundation
UC Davis Tahoe Environmental

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Community Raises $365,064 in Give Back Tahoe Giving Season

For the fifth year, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) facilitated the Give Back Tahoe (GBT) Giving Season to elevate the missions of our local nonprofits and inspire collective giving. 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

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Women and Girls in Local Philanthropy

The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, a program of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF),  just wrapped up another joyful season of generosity. At the start of the season, TTCF sat down with Queen of Hearts representatives to record a podcast about the power of Women in Philanthropy. In 41 minutes of inspiring conversation, four women speak to the way that females shape the world they live in through philanthropy. They explore how role models influence the charitable tendencies of women, how volunteering can plug a person into community, the power of giving collectively, and how programs benefiting young boys can change the world for women. Featuring: Stacy Caldwell, TTCF CEO; Martha Simon- who launched the Fund as a TTCF staff member; Nancy Gisko- a significant Queen of Hearts’ leader; and Lacey Norris- one of the original members of Girls Giving Back, TTCF’s youth philanthropy project.

The Queen of Hearts

Launched in February 2006, the Fund sought to inspire 1,000 women to donate $1,000 within a single year to raise $1 million for an endowment. That goal was surpassed, and the endowment now kicks off approximately $60,000 a year for grantmaking to local nonprofits! Since 2006, the Fund has channeled $691,518 into programs and projects benefiting North Tahoe-Truckee, and the initial $1 million+ still remains in an endowment that will serve this region into perpetuity.

In December, supporters also volunteer in the Annual Senior Gifts Program to fulfill the holiday wishlists of local seniors. By partnering with Sierra Senior Services, these women make the holidays brighter for our local elders who may not have loved ones nearby to celebrate with.

2018 December Highlights:

  • 65 local elders received gifts, personalized cards, and holiday spirit
  • 8 nonprofits received grants of $10,000 and $5,000
  • 75 women gathered at the annual GEMS Grants Showcase
  • A local girls science program received a $2500 Girls Giving Back grant which then inspired an additional $3500 from anonymous donors


Each year, TTCF hosts the Queen of Hearts’ Annual GEMS Grants Showcase for supporters to gather and connect in a cozy holiday setting before watching eight nonprofit finalists pitch their 3 minute grant proposals. The pitches are recorded and shared across the country so that the over 1300 supporters can cast their votes across four areas of funding. One of the greatest parts of this event is that everyone is a winner! In each category, one nonprofit wins $10,000 and second place wins $5,000. Learn about the recipients in the ballot language below.

On top of the GEMS grants, Girls Giving Back (GGB), a youth philanthropy project of the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, hosts an annual grant cycle. GGB began in 2014 when many young Queen of Hearts supporters demonstrated passionate community commitment. The GGB team hosts annual fundraisers, learns how to vet grant proposals, and then votes on which nonprofit will receive the funding. In four years, GGB original members have awarded a total of $10,000! This year, they chose to address the widening gap between boys and girls pursuing education and careers in STEM, learn more below.



Bringing STEM Education to Girls – $2,500

Headwaters Science Institute

Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are the fastest growing and best paying in the country. Unfortunately, there is a significant achievement gap between girls and boys in STEM education. Women make up only 15-25% of the STEM workforce, and data shows that the gap is actually widening. This means that we are under-preparing the next generation of women for success in these crucial fields. All-female science and math education can be effective in closing the STEM achievement gap because girls take fewer risks in mixed-gender settings, can be made to feel less capable than boys, and defer to them in math and science classes. Girls science camps help close the STEM gender achievement gap by giving girls an empowering single-gender learning opportunity.




Building an Interactive and Sensory Community Park for All Ages – $10,000

Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe Community Project (CATTCP)

We want to create an interactive and sensory community park that is usable and accessible for all ages where people can come together to play, eat, listen, and converse in historic downtown Truckee. The current outdoor space adjoining the Truckee Community Art Center is mostly asphalt, with some lawn and a small playground that is not to code. We’ve been asked to transform this bleak ¼ acre space into the New Downtown Park with an amphitheater, natural playgrounds for younger and older children, and a sensory garden with interpretive elements and interactive features. The landscape design includes murals, a meandering path, multiple play, interactive learning, and historical elements. Currently, there is no gathering space like this in downtown Truckee, and this is a prime location. We are requesting funds to support the Park Amenities portion of the budget which includes signs, historical mural, picnic tables, shade structures, amphitheater stage and seating, playground features, and more.  This “core” downtown restoration and neighborhood revitalization project will offer a community gathering place, enhance community pride, and support community economics. 


Shining a Brighter Light on a Cultural Gem – $5,000

Lake Tahoe Dance Collective

On our stage, we present some of today’s most prominent and fascinating performing artists in works that are distinct for both their creativity and rarity. Our promotion of exceptional classical, modern and contemporary dance in our region through performance, education and outreach, enriches the community as a whole and identifies the Lake Tahoe region as a cultural destination. Our annual world class dance festival deserves to be elevated to a higher standing with greater awareness beyond our loyal fans. The event is currently growing in numbers annually, and increasing awareness of it could serve more local and visiting artists, expose large audiences to thought-provoking works, and create more overall positive growth for the organization, as well as continuing to establish our region as a cultural center.  The festival takes place both at Gatekeeper’s Museum in Tahoe City and at West End Beach at Donner Lake. During the three weeks leading in to the festival, a Young Dancers Workshop engages students from local dance schools in a far more affordable summer program than other out of area offerings.  Our overall goals include presenting the finest level of dance, keeping ticket prices accessible, and raising awareness. We are mindful of not losing our “special sauce” while putting on a great performance, and sharing the powerful effect live performance has on a person’s soul. 



Provide a Seamless Transition and Year-Round Support to Students through Middle School, High School, and College – $10,000

Aim High for High School

Over the last eight years, we have provided transformative academic classes and enrichment opportunities to keep high potential Tahoe-Truckee students safe, stimulated, and engaged throughout the summer. Our goal is to provide a seamless transition and offer students year-round support as they navigate the path through middle school, high school, and college. We respectfully request funding to help us prepare, nurture and inspire 140 high-potential, under-resourced middle school students at Alder Creek Middle School during Summer 2019. Our program meets the needs of low-income youth by intervening in the summer and during these pivotal middle school years. Our innovative and engaging learning model is uniquely designed to mitigate the summer slide and also help students gain academic ground. In rigorous classes, youth begin to see their potential, work to prepare for the year ahead, look beyond to high school, and learn about the path to college. Students attending our Tahoe-Truckee campus in 2019 will experience a summer that blends challenging academics––including 25 days of math and science (STEM) coursework––with enrichment opportunities, leadership development, and environmental education. All classes and activities are team-taught, with a teacher-student ratio of 1:8, by diverse educators (more than 70% are people of color and 54% are multilingual). 

Helping Adolescent Boys Find their Voices, Express Themselves, and Build Resiliency – $5,000

Positively Rolling

Our enrichment program for middle school boys promotes positive character development and fosters meaningful connections. The program takes a non-traditional approach combining mentorship and skateboard art to help adolescent boys find their voices, express themselves, and learn new skills to deal with life’s challenges. Over the last 5 years, 600 participants have completed the program with an overwhelming positive response. These boys have connected with positive male role models, shared with peers, expressed themselves via artwork, and learned new skills to build resiliency. Boys are 30% more likely to drop-out of school, with girls receiving higher grades than boys at all levels of education. Boys constitute 65% of special-education students, are five times more likely to be labeled as hyperactive, and four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are also at increased risk for self-destructive behaviors such as poor decision making, truancy, flunking classes, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, violence, bullying, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. This program was born out a creative response from concerned educators and community members to reach out to middle school boys and offer support. The program strives to make authentic connections with middle school boys by creating a fun, open space to articulate their feelings and express themselves in healthy ways.



Creating Indoor Recreation Spaces for Children in North Lake Tahoe – $10,000

Tahoe City Public Utility District

While other parts of Tahoe-Truckee are served by year-round indoor recreation centers, there are none between Crystal Bay and Emerald Bay on North Lake.  The only children’s indoor play structure in the region is at the Kid Zone Museum in Truckee, and the only indoor rock climbing structures or skate parks are in Truckee and Incline. We know that our region struggles with viable public transportation options which means that many children and young families have to travel long distances to access indoor recreation and educational opportunities, things that are vital in healthy development of young children. We are requesting funding to build a play structure for kids ages 2-6 as part of the Rideout Community Project. Our young families are often asking community leaders to offer a consistent play space for toddlers and young children to play, especially during the winter months where families are challenged with finding easy access to snow-less recreation. Much like a park setting, the indoor playground will offer visitors and residents to the Rideout Community Center a place to let their children play safely while also offering a place around the play structure for parents and caregivers to socialize.  Through the Project, our community can finally offer a unique indoor space for our children to move, explore, and play, especially during Tahoe’s winter months. 

Creating Visionary Spaces Honoring the Legacy of the Pioneer Spirit – $5,000

Sierra State Parks Foundation

The Donner Project will restore Pioneer Monument, create a surrounding reflective seating and landscaping area, and install an outdoor, 100-seat amphitheater to host public educational and arts events adjacent to the new Visitor Center at Donner Memorial State Park. The 100 year-old Pioneer Monument stands at the Gateway to California in Donner Memorial State Park and honors the pioneer families who made the difficult journey across the continent to reach California in the 1840s. Their strength and resilience continue to inspire us today. The Pioneer Monument, the focal point of Truckee’s fascinating emigrant story and a significant highlight of California history, is now approaching a critical tipping point of irreversible deterioration. The Project will also create a space for education and interpretative programs that will enhance visitor understanding and appreciation of our history and natural resources. The unique outdoor education pavilion design reflects the Washoe contribution to our shared heritage and will be a significant attraction and source of civic pride for our town. It will also be a venue for local organization events. To date, the Donner Project’s progress is a result of strong public-private partnerships, these collaborative partners will provide the power needed to guide the Donner Project to completion. 



Transportation Improvement Project to Better Serve our Seniors – $10,000

Sierra Senior Services

We are the local Meals on Wheels provider for Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.  Our service area covers 862 square miles serving over 37,500 meals per year.  We provide hot meals and a friendly face to home bound seniors in our community.  As we deliver seniors their meals, we are looking at their living arrangements to ensure basic needs are met.  If our drivers have concerns, we refer that senior to networked partners to ensure his or her wellbeing.  Usually, we are the last lifeline to seniors who want nothing more than to stay in their homes and maintain their independence for as long as they can safely do so. This fiscal year, we hope to be able to replace two of our oldest vehicles with more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly models that will be in our fleet for at least a decade.  This will improve our delivery capabilities and ensure the safety of our volunteer drivers. Along with the purchase of vehicles we would like to develop a funding source for the ongoing costs of fuels, maintenance, and tires for all our vehicles so we can keep our “meals on wheels”.


Strengthening Support for our Most Vulnerable Neighbors this Winter – $5,000

Emergency Warming Center

We provide our community’s homeless neighbors a safe, warm place to sleep on severe weather nights as well as connect with long term solutions. To do so effectively and to provide the safest, consistent experience for guests and volunteers, we found it’s imperative to maintain consistent positions in key staff roles. This builds mutual respect and trust that makes volunteers feel grounded, and guests confident they can turn to someone for help. Last winter, 335 volunteers dedicated over 1,325 hours for the center.  Open 40 nights, we sheltered 50 guests and 5 dogs; with repeat guests, we provided 238 total nights of shelter.  We also served 39 warm meals to ‘neighbors’ before they slept elsewhere. 45 additional individuals received basic necessities throughout the year, and 42% of our guests were connected with long-term support.  We’re grateful to provide 40 nights of shelter, but the burden is heavy for two staff people with other full-time responsibilities.  Weather triggers often occur at the last minute making scheduling difficult. An additional trained shift supervisor would lessen the burden. We also would like to provide consistency for our overnight shifts. It’s difficult to secure volunteer coverage for these physically and energetically demanding shifts (10pm – 6am) when we’re open many nights in a row. Last year in the midst of a 16 night stretch, we hired a security company to provide one licensed security officer – giving shelter to our guests when we would otherwise have had to close. The program coordinator, shift supervisors, and overnight security will work together to create a consistent experience to ensure we can provide long-term help to our vulnerable neighbors in addition to a night’s shelter. 

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2018 Give Back Tahoe Giving Season

Donate now! 

November 27th-December 31st, give back to the place you love! The Give Back Tahoe Giving Season is the perfect opportunity to learn about causes and nonprofits that help make North Tahoe-Truckee an extraordinary place to play, live, and visit. We know that you love to recreate, ski, snowboard, bike, eat, drink, bike, dance, and shop in this beautiful region, and we know it holds a special place in your heart. Through Give Back Tahoe, you have an opportunity to include North Tahoe-Truckee nonprofits in your charitable giving.

At www.givebacktahoe.org, read about nonprofits serving this region and donate to the causes that align with your values. When we all give back as a community, we can measure our collective giving and help our local nonprofits accomplish their end-of-year fundraising goals.

Maybe you know all about our local nonprofits, maybe you want to know more! Whichever is the case, the new www.givebacktahoe.org shares photos, stories, and goals of organizations that are at the heart beat of our region.

Challenge Grants

Friendly competitions make the giving season even more exciting! If you plan to give any of the amounts below, do it on the right dates and you could help your favorite nonprofits win a thousand dollars or more! Check in with the Leaderboards to see how your nonprofit is doing!

November 27th:#GivingTuesday Challenge – Donate $50 or more, your nonprofit could win $1000!

December 4th: Raise-the-Bar – Donate $250 or more, your donation could be randomly selected to have $1000 added to it!

December 11th: Grand Challenges – The nonprofits to receive the most unique donations of $25 or more from November 27-December 11th could win $1250 or $1750! Tell all your friends!

Gifts for Good: Can’t choose which nonprofit you want to give to? Gifts for Good is your chance to donate to Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s grantmaking cycle. When you choose Gifts for Good, you can indicate an area of impact to donate to and it will be leveraged with other donor dollars to go to the areas of greatest need during our annual grant cycle.

Animal Welfare, Arts for Culture, Community Improvement, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services, Youth Development

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Vail Resorts Makes Strides in Climate Action

TTCF is happy to share the letter below from Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts. As communities in the western United States face the profound and frightening impacts of climate change, we are grateful to Vail Resorts who has made their Commitment to Zero (emissions) a top priority.

Vail Resorts serves the communities of their many mountain resorts by through collaborative efforts with local leaders and making annual grants to local nonprofits. In 2018 alone, Vail awarded $11.4 million in grants (they awarded their grants in Tahoe Truckee the same day as they made the announcement below). TTCF is grateful for the visionary leadership of Vail Resorts and Northstar California.


A letter from Rob Katz, Vail Resorts CEO

It’s been just over a year since we announced our Commitment to Zero: our ambitious set of goals to protect and preserve the majestic natural landscapes and passionate communities where we live, work and play. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you some significant steps we’ve taken in our journey to Zero, including a major wind energy agreement and a plan to eliminate conventional single-use dining plastics, as a part of our first annual EpicPromise Progress Report.

For starters, to help us achieve our zero net emissions by 2030 goal, I’m excited to announce a multimillion-dollar wind energy contract to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of our estimated FY 2019 North American operations.

What does that mean, exactly? Vail Resorts is enabling the development of a new wind farm, the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed in 2020. Our purchase of 310,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually is enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with the Company’s estimated North American electricity use by 100 percent, which includes the recent acquisitions of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Stevens Pass Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort, and Mount Sunapee Resort. For context, that is also the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 30,000 average U.S. homes each year.

While we continue to find ways to source renewable energy where we operate, and continue to invest millions in energy-efficiency projects across our resorts, this first-of-its-kind agreement allows Vail Resorts to make a measurable impact on climate change – and its effect on the planet – within just a few years.

Meanwhile, we’re also making progress on our zero waste to landfill goal. I’m excited to share that we’ve named Eco-Products our “Official Zero Waste Partner” to help us eliminate single-use, guest-facing conventional plastic products, such as cups, straws, beverage lids, plates, bowls and cutlery, from our North American restaurants, and replace them with compostable or recycled-content products. This process will begin this year and is expected to divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills over the next two winter seasons. We’re also expanding the “Smart Straw” initiative started by our F&B teams last year, where only compostable straws will be available, and only by request.

While these announcements are major steps in our journey to Zero, it’s the local and grassroots efforts that are really inspiring. From Whistler Blackcomb, which paved the way for “Commitment to Zero” with its innovative approach to sustainability, to new waste diversion and composting programs at Park City and Keystone – you all play a role in creating a brighter future for generations to come.

Thank you to everyone who has worked, and continues working tirelessly, on these efforts. I encourage you to read about the fantastic work happening across our Company in our inaugural 2018 EpicPromise Progress Report that was published today. Our goal is to transparently report on our progress in protecting and preserving the environment, as well as our commitment to our communities and employees – I hope it inspires you to get involved where you can.

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