Over the past few weeks, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED distributed $441K to local organizations supporting children with special needs, foster youth, youth with disabilities, and refugee communities facing urgent needs under COVID-19 conditions 

Barry Gourley, CEO, Children's Therapy Center, "For a child with special needs, missing a therapy session means setbacks and delays that significantly affect their progress and well-being. Many of the children we serve are school age and are already at a disadvantage of not being able to access services in an educational setting due to COVID. The grant from the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund means that therapy - and progress - can continue. Children's Therapy Center will use this grant to fund laptops that are suitable for video conferencing (telehealth) sessions and cover the cost of secure Zoom licenses for our providers. We are so grateful for this generous and timely grant."

Tafona Ervin, Ed.D, Executive Director, Foundation for Tacoma Students,
"The Foundation for Tacoma Students believes in the potential of every child. Yet, the environmental factors that compound youth and families in this community require bold and courageous leadership, as well as right-sized investments to adaptively address the root causes impeding the potential for success. Giving to the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic was a necessary and adaptive investment for the Foundation for Tacoma Students. Our gift demonstrates our solidarity for bold, courageous, adaptive, and right-sized investments in Pierce County."

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED is an aligned philanthropic response to COVID-19 in Pierce County. 353 individual donors and 55 regional funders have contributed over $7.4 million to the fund, with $4.6 million already being distributed back to local organizations addressing urgent and emerging needs related to COVID-19. 


PHOTO: Members of GTCF's Youth Philanthropy Board hosted a series of virtual dialogues with local youth serving organizations to discuss ways our community could better support youth experiencing homelessness

GTCF's 2019-20 Youth Philanthropy Board (YPB) focused their work on one question: How can we as a community support youth experiencing homelessness in the education system? 

In an effort to find answers to this question, YPB members hosted a series of dialogues with 6 local youth-serving organizations.  The aim of these dialogues was to understand the work these organizations do and help them better engage youth in ways that have a direct impact on the programs and services they provide.  

Treehouse, a local nonprofit that helps youth in foster care graduate from high school and successfully launch into adulthood, was one of the organizations who participated in the dialogues.  Treehouse staff members shared about their experience working with YPB in a recent blog post

PHOTO: One of the emergency day camps at an expanded learning opportunities site in Tacoma (via: Tacoma Public Schools, taken in the spring before WA face mask requirement)

When schools closed due to COVID-19, Tacoma's community of youth service providers, including Boys and Girls Club, Metro Parks, the YMCA, and Greentrike mobilized to provide emergency day camps. They provided care and activities free of charge for 200 students whose guardians were essential workers such as healthcare and grocery store workers.The Whole Child Partnership supported those camps. Tacoma Public Schools provided school sites and support staff.

Safety measures included frequent handwashing and taking students' temperatures each day. Students gave positive feedback about having a break in their day to participate in activities like Tacoma Arts Live's world drumming, the MIP mentoring program provided by the Tacoma Urban League, and a Korean language and culture program from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center.

Ready Washington (READYWA), a coalition of state agencies that helps students and families navigate their education journey and career pathways, highlighted Tacoma's community ELO work in a recent blog post.

See what READYWA had to say about GTCF and other Whole Child partners working together to provide virtual Expanded Learning Opportunities this Fall. 

2020 has been a year of uncertainty and change, with everything from physical distancing to mask wearing to Zoom work, school, and parties becoming our new day-to-day. Despite the current disruptions, many people have been inspired to re-imagine their future - and the future of their communities - through estate planning. 

Estate planning is an opportunity for people of all income levels to make a difference for the future. Ken Ford, Attorney with Morton McGoldrick in Tacoma, observed, "There is a misconception that estate planning is only for the rich. But there's so much flexibility involved that whatever your goals and interests are, we can do that." 

GTCF fundholders Ralph and Linda Drews appreciated that flexibility when reflecting on the impact their own estate plan could make. 



On August 13, 2020 Evelyn Ryberg, GTCF Senior Director, Philanthropic Services, joined KNKX for a virtual event on planned giving.  Evelyn shared insights into Donor Advised Funds, how they work and how many fundholders are using them to help build and strengthen community here in Pierce County and beyond.

"In light of all the challenges we are facing, philanthropy is playing a very important role in meeting the needs of our community. Donor Advised Funds are really stepping up to the challenge of funding urgent needs and important causes."

South Sound Planned Giving Council and the Association of Fundraising Professionals-South Sound Chapter (AFPSS) are hosting their 8th Annual South Sound Philanthropy Summit on September 25, from 9am-12pm. 

With a focus on community transformation, this year's summit will be a virtual town hall format with featuring nationally-renowned keynote speakers, an expert panel, and relevant breakout sessions. 

Brining together professionals representing all aspects of the philanthropic and nonprofit community the South Sound Philanthropy Summit is a great opportunity to build connections while learning and sharing valuable tools and resources.  

As an additional educational and networking resource for local fundraising professionals facing challenges due to COVID-19, the Association of Fundraising Professionals-South Sound Chapter (AFPSS) has made 5 membership scholarships available for the upcoming year. 

AFPSS member benefits include both local and national resources - from discounts on programming, mentorship opportunities, access to research and tools, leadership opportunities, and community connections.

Scholarships are open to new and renewing members whose memberships expire before March 31, 2021

Upcoming Virtual Fundraisers