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Headwaters Science Institute, a TTCF grantee, brings science education to local youth.

Community Grant Cycle

TTCF recognizes our unique role in the community as a grantmaker with different stakeholders engaged in the deployment of community resources. We adhere to a Code of Ethics across operations, program and governance structures of TTCF. Code of Ethics.

TTCF utilizes a simplified and streamlined granting process. Nonprofits need only apply once for a consolidated grant cycle offering at least $300,000 in available grant funds. Grant committee members from Open Competitive, Nature Fund, Martis Fund, Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, and Tahoe Donner Giving Fund will then jointly review proposals and direct them to aligned funding sources for further consideration.


Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

We are here to serve our entire community and to co-create a place of home. We are in passionate pursuit of a just Tahoe Truckee community, where people of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and identities have an equal opportunity to thrive. We will intentionally infuse equity into all aspects of our governance, operations and programming, and equitably distribute and redistribute resources in our community. Commitment to Equity Statement.

Areas of Interest

The fruits of a 2017 grant cycle. Slow Food Lake Tahoe produce grown in the Food Bank Garden and donated to Sierra Community House.

Areas of Interest

The Foundation is broad based in its funding interests and applicants must show community benefit in their mission and programs.

  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts and Culture
  • Community Improvement
  • Education
  • Environment, Conservation, Recreation
  • Health and Human Services
  • Youth Development

Types of Grants

TTCF loves to help organizations finish big projects! Pictured: Olympic Valley Community of Writers' Dream Wagon

Types of Grants

Program/Project Grants: Awarded for hard costs or staffing costs to support, launch, expand, or advance the measurable impact of specific projects or programs.

Nature: Environmental program/project grants are subject to additional eligibility requirements. Please see the specific criteria for these Nature grants below.

Capacity Building Grants: funding for strategic planning, board development and governance, marketing and communication, fundraising, financial reporting, evaluation and more.

Mission-Driven Grants: Unrestricted, trust-based grant funding awarded to further a nonprofit mission.

Note: If a proposal includes working in/with local classrooms or conducting field trips, a letter of support from the office of the TTUSD Superintendent must be included with the application.

Download our Grant Guidelines in detail here

General Grant Guidelines (PDF)

Specific Grant Guidelines

Further Requirements for Nature Grants

Nature grants are made possible by TTCF’s Nature Fund and Martis Fund. Nature Grants support organizations that conserve wildlife, land, water and air quality in the Truckee, North Tahoe, and Donner Summit regions while enhancing opportunities for enjoyment of the outdoors. Martis Fund resources will be distributed to those organizations that are committed to managing and restoring habitat and forest lands specifically in Martis Valley or the greater Eastern Placer County region. Organizations are also encouraged to share their capacity building needs, and will be considered for Martis Fund resources for such needs if they have prior, ongoing, or upcoming projects in this region. By investing in the business aspects of missions, we believe we can strengthen those efforts and ultimately support a greater impact in the region.

TTCF’s Nature Fund resources support organizations that help advance the following desired outcomes:

  • Healthy land, water and air
  • Vibrant fish and wildlife populations
  • Accessible open space
  • Educated, aware and appreciative community members

Martis Fund resources support organizations that help advance the following desired outcomes:

  • Restoration of forest and habitat lands
  • Land management for optimal conservation values
  • Leveraging existing institutional capacity and other funding sources

Additional Requirements for Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund Grants

Eight organizations will be selected as finalists for the Annual Queen of Hearts GEMS Grants Showcase. Finalist representatives will present for 3-4 minutes each to Queen of Hearts supporters . The presentations are recorded and supporters are given two weeks to vote for the first and second choices in each of the four areas of impact.

  • Arts, Culture, and Civic Benefit
  • Environment, Recreation, and Animal Welfare
  • Health and Human Services
  • Education and Youth Development

Review Process

TTCF opens its annual Request for Proposals every year for approximately one month in the late summer or early fall. Please sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive updates. For additional information, Phyllis McConn, our Community Impact Officer, can be reached at

  • Foundation staff review applications to determine that the request is complete and conforms to TTCF’s basic policies, goals, objectives, and areas of focus. Staff and members of the Grants Committee may research your request through Guidestar and internet searches, telephone inquiries, meetings, and/or site visits.
  • The Board of Directors makes all funding decisions based on recommendations by the Grants Committee.
  • Applicants will receive a response to grant requests within 6-8 weeks, with grant checks processed by year-end.
  • Program and Capacity Building Grant recipients are required to return a completed Grant Agreement and at the end of the grant year, submit an online report describing how the money was spent and the results achieved.

Limitations on Grantmaking

Geographic limitations: Grants are awarded to organizations located in or directly serving the geographic areas of Donner Summit, Truckee, Olympic Valley, and the west and north shores of Lake Tahoe (generally mirroring TTUSD boundaries), sometimes including Incline Village when appropriate. While we may fund organizations out of this area, we primarily look for services utilized by the residents of our region.

TTCF does not make grants for the following:

  • Direct religious activities
  • Political activism, lobbying, legislative activities or legal action
  • Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.

Usually TTCF does not fund:

  • Field trips and participation in activities by parental choice
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Activities that have already occurred
  • School based activities, unless they impact students district wide or impact the broader community
  • Organizations more than one time in a calendar year
  • Indirect costs/administration costs/fiscal sponsorship fees of more than 5-10% of a total grant award to be paid to out of region organizations/fiscal sponsors unless otherwise negotiated.