The power of philanthropy (Opinion)

Allen Biaggi
Guest column

Last month, the Tahoe Fund completed our fiscal year and the end of our 10th anniversary celebration. And what a year it was.

Allen Biaggi

We started off in the midst of a global pandemic with many uncertainties about the future of our country, our community, and our organization. We wondered what COVID-19 would mean for all of us and how it would impact our ability to continue to support environmental improvements in Tahoe.

As we gathered with our board of directors in late March 2020, we surveyed the situation and looked to our newly finalized 5-year strategic plan for direction. We decided that regardless of what lay ahead, we would stay committed to our mission of using the power of philanthropy to improve the Lake Tahoe environment for all to enjoy.

We agreed we would find ways to achieve the goals of our strategic plan to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration, to support innovative ideas to improve the lake’s water clarity and quality, to make recreation more sustainable, to find innovative

ways to improve transportation, and lastly to continue to help more people take care of Tahoe.

Thanks to the wonderful support of this community, we did just that.

Over the past 12 months, we were able to provide critical funding to 32 different environmental improvement projects around Lake Tahoe with $1 million in grants.

These private funds will be used to leverage more than $4 million in public funds.

We are so grateful to our long-term donors, our local businesses, and to the many new members in our community who have chosen to get involved in supporting our work.

While too many to mention here, some of those projects include the expansion of the Take Care Tahoe campaign with more than 2,000 signs around the region and digital billboards on highways surrounding the lake, a new mountain bike trail that connects Tahoe Meadows to the start of the Tyrolian Downhill, monitoring of owls through digital acoustic equipment to help reduce the environmental permitting time of forest health projects, the underwater scuba clean up of the lake, and new ambassador programs that will roll out at high use recreation sites around the region this summer.

Importantly, all of our projects are partnerships. We know that collaboration is the key to progress. We partnered with more than 20 agencies and organizations this past year.

This does not include the 50 partners we worked with on the Take Care Tahoe program as we expanded it to include COVID-19 messaging with reminders that we all need to take care of our environment, especially in a pandemic. Together, we were able to accomplish so much more thanks to the dedication and work of our partners.

As we look back on the last year of our first decade, we can’t help but think about what comes next. If we were able to accomplish this much in our first 10 years, we know with the continued support of this great community we will be able to do even more great work into the future.

Thank you for showing us the true power of philanthropy.

To learn more about the work of the Tahoe Fund we invite you to visit or follow us on social media.

Allen Biaggi is chairman of the board for the Tahoe Fund.

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