The power to command frequently causes failure to think. - Barbara Tuchman, author and historian (1912-1989)

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How We’re Funded

Historically, TRCF has raised money through an annual appeal campaign and distributed grants annually, depending upon the amount raised each year. In 2007, we concluded a successful grantmaking endowment campaign to enable the Foundation to have a larger impact and to ensure its contribution to the community in the years ahead. This project raised $1 million which is used strictly for grantmaking.

This year we instituted a second, smaller campaign to raise an additional $500,000 to grow the grantmaking endowment to $1.5 million. When complete, this campaign will enable our Foundation to create even more change through additional grants in our southwestern Pennsylvania region. Donors to this endowment campaign can be assured that their contributions will go directly to organizations that are working to address fundamental community needs.  TRCF’s operating funds will continue to be raised through the annual appeal and other sources.

Annual Appeal
Each year, TRCF asks individuals across southwestern Pennsylvania to partner with the Foundation in promoting social change and social, racial, and economic justice. Since the Foundation’s inception, the collective charitable gifts provided by donors have supported the minimal operating expenses of TRCF.

TRCF’s founders believed in the collective possibility of people coming together to make a difference. As individuals we may not be able to remove the systemic roots of injustice, but together we can affect profound change within our own region. Some of the most committed philanthropists can donate only $25 a year to this vision, while others are able to make far more substantial contributions. Every contribution is valuable – and valued.

Donors can make their gifts to TRCF’s Annual Campaign by using our secure website.

Donors can also contribute to TRCF via the United Way’s Contributor’s Choice Program.  We are agency number 962105. We are also a registered charity with GoodSearch.com and iGive.com.

Read about how TRCF’s donors responded to our work in the 2010 TRCF Donor Report

Endowment Structure
Donations may be directed either to the General Endowment or to one of the following categories:

Community Leadership
Disability Rights
Economic Justice
Environmental Justice
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender  (LGBT) Issues
Racial Justice
Women, Youth, and Families

Gifts to the General Endowment are not restricted to one issue area and may benefit organizations or projects addressing issues not represented by the seven categories listed above. Individuals, organizations, or groups of individuals joining together can make investments in the endowment. Payments on pledges can be made over a five-year period. TRCF will publish an annual report, one section of which will list these contributions.

The principal of the endowment is never invaded – only the earned interest is spent for grantmaking.

The target for the TRCF endowment is to achieve a rate of return equal to inflation, plus five percent, while minimizing risk through diversification. Investable assets include equities, bonds, and cash. TRCF’s investment philosophy reflects its underlying values. The Foundation’s goal is to align its investments with its grantmaking. Therefore, all investments are subject to socially and environmentally responsible investment guidelines.

Each year, after determining the previous year-end account balance, TRCF’s Board of Directors will set the amount available for grants. The spending percentage on the account balance can range from zero to five percent.

Endowment Governance
All decisions regarding the endowment structure and goals, any changes to the endowment’s investment policy, and the annual spending allocations for grants are made by vote of the Board of Directors of TRCF.

Named Funds
For a minimum gift of $5,000, a named fund may be established within the TRCF endowment.

There are five levels of named funds:

$100,000 and over:  Community Champion
$50,000 to $99,999:  Community Investor
$25,000 to $49,999:  Community Sponsor
$10,000 to $24,999:  Community Change Maker
$5,000 to $9,999:  Community Contributor

A named fund can be targeted to one of the focus areas above or it can reside within TRCF’s General Endowment. Funds may be named for an individual, family, or group. Letters to individual grantees will list any named fund that contributed to the award. Named funds will also be listed in the TRCF annual report.