This is my first year as a TFEC Board member. From day one, the Board and staff have been very supportive. The organization has a very collaborative atmosphere, which allows both the Board and the staff to work together in a very productive manner. The staff leadership is very resourceful and intuitive. It has been my experience that staff leadership always put forward their best efforts to ensure that the organization is well managed and equipped to fulfill its mission of service to the community. The TFEC staff is exemplary. With the support of the staff, we were able to reactivate the Women's Fund with the help of a few Board members and community volunteers. Through the outstanding efforts of The Women's Fund core team, TFEC was able to release applications to the community for available grants in The Fund. Applications were submitted in the fall and TFEC expects to award grants for 2009.
Delta Development Group worked with TFEC to identify five critical issues in Central Pennsylvania. During the assignment I developed personal respect for the organization and their staff. I have been impressed with the resources being devoted to the identified challenges. I look forward to working with TFEC to improve the quality of life in Central PA.
I've been a board and committee member for 15 years or so and a client, through various funds which are with the organization, for nearly 20 years.
The Foundation for Enhancing Communities has been very helpful to me in finding funding for my organization, Downtown Daily Bread. In what was formerly the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, Rosemary Brown and Janice Black were the first people I met who instructed me in the procedures and basic thinking of grantees. The Foundation was and continues to be a sounding board for my ideas involving a wide range of non-profit concerns and ideas.
I had been making modest donations to several non-profit organizations which wastaking a great deal of time and energy. When I heard about the idea of making one more substantial contribution to The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, I decided to give it a try. After setting up a Donor Advised Fund, I began making most of my contributions through the Fund, which saves a lot of time and hassle. All I need to do is type in the name of the organization to which I wish to contribute, and the amount and purpose of the grant. The Foundation takes care of sending out the check and I get the thanks! In addition to simplifying the giving process, this method has also made my tax accounting easier and helped me keep track of the donations I make. After I got used to the process, I set up another fund at the Foundation, to enable my family members to make their own charitable contributions, thereby encouraging my children and grandchildren to become philanthropically minded. Another giving vehicle that has been worthwhile to me is the "gift certificates." I buy several of these in set denominations and give them out as gifts for holidays and special occasions. At my most recent Passover Seder, I gave each person at the table a gift certificate to use as he/she saw fit for an organization of the recipient's choice. In this way, my charitable gifts are gifted twice-- once to the dinner guest and on to the charity that means so much to him or her. It is a definite win-win situation!
This is a large community foundation covering many counties in Central Pennsylvania. It manages over $70m in donor accounts and has been very successful with its investments to grow the funds-- although with the recent downturn of the economy, things are not as successful. The Foundation has gone through a strategic planning process- this has resulted in several areas of focus to tackle the highest level of unmet needs in our communities. Healthcare access and workforce initiatives are at the top of the list. The board consists of movers and shakers in the community and are a very dedicated group of professionals. The staff are equally qualified and dedicated.
TFEC is a very professional organization that goes the extra mile to meet the needs of clients and the community. From a knowledgeable, courteous, and responsive staff to informative and frequent seminars and presentations, TFEC exceeds the needs of participating non-profits. They make the proposal process as efficient and convenient as possible. Not only do they communicate frequently about funding opportunities, they provide the tools and suggestions needed to respond effectively.
In September 2007 Hope Within Ministries applied to TFEC for an Access to Health Services funding opportunity. We were awarded funding in December 2007. This grant helped us to become familiar with the foundation and them to become familiar with the services our organization provides. In May of 2008 we chose to submit a larger proposal for their first multi-year funding opportunity. We were notified in June of 2008 that we were one of two recipients who were chosen. We were thrilled to be selected as the funding will help us to continue to provide free primary health care to the medically uninsured financially needy in our community. This opportunity will also help us reach more individuals and families in need in Dauphin County. And hopefully in the near future, enable us to offer services to an additional county.