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How TCF Gives to the Community

Investment Pathways

Taos Community Foundation's Investment Pathways represent important areas of philanthropic investment. The seven categories represent identified areas of need in our community.

Community Leadership - Through Community Leadership activities we demonstrate our commitment to convene individuals and organizations around a particular need or opportunity. We seek to harness our collective influences and strengths of our board, donors, grantees, partners and staff to tackle persistent problems that defy simple solutions.

Basic Needs - The unique regional, social and economic factors in a community can have a detrimental impact on the family and an individual’s ability to fully participate as a productive member of society, whatever their age. In order to ensure that all residents can attain, maintain and sustain self-sufficiency, basic needs must first be addressed. 

Health - TCF aims to improve health and quality of life through the prevention and treatment of social, physical and mental health conditions by investing in the promotion of healthy behaviors.

Youth - TCF’s commitment to young people begins with the goals of access to prenatal care and safe birth, then preparing children to enter school, and creating opportunities for youth of all ages to have access to quality programming that engages both their academic and social needs. 

Environment - Investments in this pathway enable the community to permanently protect traditional farmland, preserve water habitat, and maintain the scenic aspects of Taos. Emphasis is on local land-based traditions and culture as well as increasing public awareness of the overall benefit of land preservation.

Arts and Culture - TCF values the experience and wisdom of local artists in all their diversity and affirms their power to unite and build social change. This area invests in key local institutions and nurtures local leadership and talent. It is through the support of our music, our literature, our art, drama and dance that we tell the story of our past and we express our hopes for the future. 

Education - Apart from our goals of helping citizens meet basic needs, TCF and our partners plan initiatives for education and information access, creating a firm foothold and making possible the step-up for individuals and families to think and do differently, and thereby to contribute to positive change in our communities.

 

Grant Focus Areas

All TCF grants are awarded in one of four primary FOCUS AREAS of community. They are intended to be broad and reflective of the larger key aspects of community efforts.


HYF - Healthy Youth and Families – grants in this focus area play an important role in assisting families with basic needs, education, medical care and community based support services. Grants in this area strengthen the connection between the personal and the social arenas by providing a sense of belonging and a positive attachment to family, school, peers and the community.


CC - Creativity and Culture – grants in this focus area values the experience and wisdom of local artists and art institutions and affirms the power to unite people through the arts and cultural events. This focus area invests in key local institutions and nurtures local leadership and talent.


SC - Strengthening Community – the philosophy of this area of grant making relates to better prepare the communities we serve for the increasingly complex social problems we face. A strong community has avenues of strong communication, partnership between sectors, community leadership, coalition building and organized capacity building for non-profits.


SE - Sustainable Environment –  grants in this area enable the community to permanently protect traditional farmland, preserve water habitat and maintain the scenic aspects of Taos. Emphasis is on local land-based traditions and culture as well as increase public awareness of the overall benefit of land preservation.

 

The Combined Impact

The Investment Pathways, along with our Grant Focus Areas guide our grant making, special project and sponsored project decisions and help us analyze our annual and long-term giving impact.

As a donor, your fund or gift decisions will directly impact one or more grant focus area and one or more investment pathway, you have control over how your funds are directed and we encourage you to discuss your giving options with a representative.

 

KEY: DAF = Donor Advised Funds, CC = Creativity and Culture, HYF = Healthy Youth and Families, SE = Sustainable Environment, SC = Strengthening Community

The diagram above illustrates the relationship between weatlh for each of our four Grant Focus Areas and their direction through our Investment Pathways for the fiscal year 2011. ©TCF2011

 
Measuring Change: Asking So What? 

To learn how our grants and activities have affected community we implemented a systems change model of evaluation we refer to as the “so what?”

We do this to inform ourselves about the strengths and weaknesses of community, the impact of our grants, and to provide important information to our donors about how their contributions are making a difference.

When we award a grant for a eyeglasses we want to know what will be seen with them and what will change in community because of what we see.