Triangle Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder mainly supports local groups in areas of youth literacy, community development, arts and culture, and the environment. Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties of North Carolina are in focus.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth literacy, community development, arts and culture, the environment

IP TAKE:  Youth is a major topic for TCF across all funding areas. The foundation has a form nonprofits can submit to get on TCF's radar, even for groups that aren't ready to apply for a specific grant yet.

PROFILE: The Triangle Community Foundation (TCF), based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is one of the largest community foundations in the state. The foundation was established in 1983 with a gift of $1,000. Its geographic focus is Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties.

Grants from TCF are awarded through application-based funding opportunities, as well as donor-advised funds. A list of grants can be found here. Many of the grants are in the $5,000 to $25,000 range.

Priority interests are youth literacy, community development, arts and culture, and the environment. These are often the topics of the application-based grant programs that groups can apply to through a competitive process. Donors who have entrusted TCF with permanent funds to benefit the Triangle region support these four causes. Other charitable funds that TCF manages have different interest areas.

Community development grants address childhood poverty, food, shelter, and basic needs. TCF also awards capacity-building grants to groups that boost access to housing, employment, and healthcare. Environmental grants promote land conservation and sustainable land use, public awareness about land stewardship, and programs that support the understanding of conservation.

Arts and culture grants stay in the four-county region of the Triangle, to help organizations grow and be sustainable. Grantees come from a range of disciplines and must contribute to discussions about the larger role of arts in the region. There is a New Realities Triangle Regional Initiative that provides grants to small and mid-sized arts groups with budgets between $100,000 and $1 million. Finally, youth literacy grants promote reading in early grades for economically disadvantaged children. TCF invests in local collaborations in each of its counties as part of the National Campaign for Grade-level Reading.

To inquire about opportunities in any of these four funding areas, contact the program officer in charge of that area. In the past, it has claimed assets over $203 million and granted over $218 million to community groups. Every year, TCF invests over $15 million in the community. There are over 800 funds that make up this community foundation. Financial information can be viewed here.

The foundation provides various resources for nonprofits, including agency funds, networking opportunities, meeting space, and web links. Local nonprofits are also encouraged to share some basic information about their organizations so TCF staff can get more familiar with their work.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 919-474-8370. There are currently about 20 staff members at TCF. Although the funder’s physical address is in Research Triangle Park, its mailing address is PO Box 12729, Durham, North Carolina, 27709. You can read the funder’s quarterly newsletter to keep up its interests and activities. 

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