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

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation
Published on January 19, 2017

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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!