A Strategy for a Thriving Pierce County

Filed Under: Letter from President & CEO,Philanthropy - Posted @ 10:40am

GTCF Board and Leadership, Summer 2022


One of the earliest GTCF annual reports, in 1983, put forth an idea that is just as relevant today, “the community foundation may be a catalyst to convince disparate groups to work together towards a common objective. Thus, over the years, a community foundation becomes a collection of many stories. Each tells how people have contributed to their community’s philanthropic history.”  

The past few years taught Greater Tacoma Community Foundation many valuable lessons about acting as a catalyst. From Fund Advisor grants to our Professional Advisor network, from the Transfer of Wealth Report to the county-wide legacy campaign of Leave 10, from community partnerships like Whole Child and Census 2020 to COVID-19 response through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED, GTCF learned its unique role and philanthropic tools can do more to advance the vision of its founding more than 40 years ago. 

Art Wang, GTCF Board Chair

These lessons led GTCF to bring many intentional actions into our work:  

  • intentionally prioritizing racial equity,  
  • intentionally seeking expertise and lived experience to inform funding,  
  • intentionally building relationships rooted in trust and mutual accountability,  
  • intentionally sharing the data, knowledge, and stories that build broader movement, 
  • intentionally simplifying the system and processes to receive funding,  
  • and intentionally providing unrestricted funding to give organizations with expertise the flexibility to advance their mission in relationship with their community 

    In July 2022, GTCF marked a milestone in its philanthropic history, one we believe will help our community thrive for generations to come. We updated our Strategic Framework to formally recognize that racial equity, access, and inclusion are critical for a thriving Pierce County. We also incorporated the roles that enabled GTCF to amplify community action in recent years: Catalyst, Connector, and Knowledge Facilitator.  

    Kathi Littmann, GTCF President & CEO

    In addition, we identified the values that helped GTCF catalyze impact through a time of so much challenge: Building Trust, Advancing Equity, Growing Relationships, and Continuous Learning. 

    Along with this evolution of GTCF’s mission, vision, and values, GTCF is creating opportunities and pathways for Fund Advisors and aligned funders to achieve greater impact through the principles of continuous learning, trust-based philanthropy, racial equity, and relationship-driven community knowledge. 

    At the same time, GTCF is committing its discretionary funding and community impact resources to catalyze community identification and removal of system barriers rooted in racism around four key building blocks of generational wealth: Housing, Thriving Children & Youth, Access to Capital, and Civic Voice & Power. 

    GTCF is your partner in building a thriving Pierce County. Please reach out to our team to learn more about the tools and knowledge available for you.