SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, the philanthropic leadership organization Tahoe Women’s Community Fund had a successful year supporting local nonprofits.
TWCF also virtually recruited the most memberships to date for its sixth year running, even without in-person events, marking a total of 226 members for 2021.
TWCF also raised $100,000 with a generous donation from the “Angel of Tahoe” Lisa Maloff to distribute to South Shore nonprofits this year.
On Monday, Feb. 15, grant applications will open to nonprofits that serve the South Shore. The process closes at 5 p.m. sharp on Thursday, March 11.
Even though 2020 created uncertainty for many organizations, it did not negatively affect TWCF.
“It was shockingly successful,” said Kathy Haven, co-founding cabinet member.
Haven said that they received an individual donation of $13,000.
“The community really stepped up,” said Jamie Orr, co-founding cabinet member.
Towards the end of the year as recruitment began, cabinet members shifted from traditional recruiting operations and began to individually reach out to those with previous memberships.
“It was a great way to check in with people,” Haven said.
Haven and Orr both agreed that it was a successful strategy.
“It was a way we haven’t done it before and it created an individual connection,” Orr said.
TWCF members voted on areas of need in early 2021 to determine focus grants and impact grants for the year. Each membership gets one vote for what they believe is an area of need in the community.
“It’s a nice way for an individual to give back,” Haven said.
For the 2021 grant cycle, members voted that the focus grants, which receive more funding, will go to nonprofits that work towards addressing poverty, housing or basic needs.
Out of the $100,000, this focus will receive $40,000 and they will be accepting individual grant requests up to $10,000.
The second focus grant centers around mental health and wellness in the community and will have $30,000. TWCF will be accepting individual grant requests up to $10,000.
A total of $30,000 has been allotted for impact grants, which this year members voted on three categories which include education and youth, environment and animals and arts and culture. Each of the categories will receive $10,000 and they will accept grant requests up to $5,000.
In May of 2020, TWCF awarded $125,000 in grants to local nonprofits, including its first ever $40,000 Inspiration Grant that was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club Lake Tahoe for their Building Bright Futures capital campaign.
Along with the BGCLT, 2020 grant recipients include Mt. Tallac High School, Bread & Broth, Hope Lutheran Church, Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, SOS Outreach, South Tahoe Middle School’s Drugstore Project, Live Violence Free, Soroptomist of Tahoe Sierra, Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation, and Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School’s PTA.
In lieu of the annual fall gala where nonprofits showcase how they used their allotted funds in the year’s time parameters, each recipient now submits a 3-minute video outlining their completed project.
TWCF encourages every nonprofit in need to apply, unless they received a grant in the year prior.
Haven says even if your nonprofit does not receive the funds, it’s a great way to get noticed in the community.
Once complete applications with outlined projects are vetted and determined through the grant committee, nonprofits will know if they were accepted in April and checks will go out in May.
As a grant organization, TWCF is a way to help fund key nonprofits in the community, in a sizable way as an individual. Along with donations, 98.5% of membership fees go directly to the grants.
Memberships can start at $100 for the year but range to $1,000. Anyone can have a TWCG membership, including men and children.
“This [being a TWCF member] allows someone to make a big impact, bigger than they could on their own,” Orr said.
Since 2016, TWCF has granted $328,000 to nonprofits in South Lake Tahoe.
For more information, visit tahoewomenscommunityfund.org.