This year was a phenomenal success, as the Fund raised over $800,000 in public and private donations to begin supporting on-the-ground environmental projects in the Tahoe Basin. The fiscal year goal of $1 million is achievable by summer 2012, due much in part to the resounding response from Founding Circle donors.
The Tahoe Fund developed numerous partnerships with California and Nevada public agencies, which are faced with dwindling monetary support for projects focused on recreation, conservation and education/stewardship. In addition, the Fund was instrumental in working with legislative representatives in both states to solidify their backing of the efforts to improve and enhance the amazing resources available to residents and visitors at Lake Tahoe.
The Tahoe Fund is continually evaluating approved projects that fit the organization’s mission. In 2011, the Fund provided money that allowed the unique Van Sickle Bi-State Park at Stateline to continue serving visitors ($25,000); helped fund the Tahoe City Lakeside Bike Trail, part of the envisioned around-the-lake bicycle path ($20,000); and supported publication of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (Incline Village, NV) and University of California-Davis annual State of the Lake Report ($5,000). Click here for more information on our 2011 project investments.
Buoyed by major Platinum level donations, the Fund’s $1 million first-year goal is within reach. The Fund’s Founding Circle donors alone contributed over $500,000 in 2011 and were thanked at the Fund’s first-ever dinner event on August 14, which drew a capacity 200 people to the Homewood Mountain Resort’s West Shore Café. Senator Dianne Feinstein joined governors Jerry Brown of California and Brian Sandoval of Nevada at the dinner. Over $100,000 was raised from other private donations, and a $200,000 grant from the California Tahoe Conservancy helped launch the organization.
Community parties in Tahoe and Reno have introduced community members to the Tahoe Fund and its efforts in support of environmental improvement projects needed at the lake to sustain the natural and economic integrity of Lake Tahoe. Similar events are planned for San Francisco, Sacramento and Las Vegas.
Leading the Public-Private Partnership at Lake Tahoe
The need for private money to supplement dwindling funding for projects was emphasized by Governors Brown and Sandoval as well as Senators Feinstein (D-Calif.), Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) at the 15th Annual Tahoe Summit on August 15, 2011.
The Tahoe Fund was chosen by the 2011 Summit host, Senator Feinstein, to be the Organizing Sponsor of the Summit, which brought the governors of California and Nevada together at Tahoe for the first time in a decade. Nearly 600 people attended the daytime event at Homewood. In addition, the Tahoe Fund hosted a luncheon on August 14 involving the leading non-profit, community and elected representatives from the entire Tahoe Basin for a round-table discussion of issues and solutions integral to a continued and sustained recovery effort for both the Tahoe environment and economy. Several Tahoe Fund board members participated in the conversation.
The Tahoe Fund met in 2011 with legislative leaders and staff in both California and Nevada to urge the states’ support of projects at Lake Tahoe. The Fund works closely with agencies such as the California Tahoe Conservancy, Nevada Division of State Lands, California State Parks, Nevada Division of State Parks and the many federal, state and local agencies and jurisdictions with a stake in the future of Lake Tahoe.
The Fund also landed a $120,000 Conservancy contract to promote sales of the Tahoe license plate, which funds projects in the Tahoe Basin.
On Tap in 2012
- Assembled a diverse, talented, and highly committed group of Board Members to lead the organization;
- Established partnerships with the Parasol Tahoe and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundations to provide office space and organizational support; and
- Developed a website, www.tahoefund.org, and other promotional materials to disseminate information and generate public and private support.
The tremendous outpouring of support from our Founding Circle members, individual donors, government agencies and officials, and community organizations speaks to the great need to fund and implement projects in the Basin. In 2012 and beyond, the Tahoe Fund will continue to grow as it leads the efforts to deliver projects that benefit Lake Tahoe, its residents, and its visitors.