Annual Grants Provide A Wealth of Stories

Filed Under: Philanthropy - Posted @ 10:51am

Many of us have annual traditions, meaningful things we do at the same time every year. Here at GTCF, annual grants are a time when we celebrate giving that spans generations.  Every February we send out annual grants, a majority of which are endowed funds donors have established with GTCF in order to provide ongoing support to causes in our community.

Since many nonprofits tend to receive more donations in the Fall, we choose to send out the grants in February when an influx of funds can be most helpful.  For recipient organizations, these annual grants are a sustainable source of income they can count on and budget around. For the donors and their families, annual grants represent an ongoing legacy of generosity to their community.

This year, 233 grants were distributed providing a total of $1.26 million to over 120 organizations.  Each one of those grants has its own story of individuals committed to building a thriving Pierce County. Here are a few stories that show what legacy giving means:


Howard R. Kilworth Girl Scout Fund

PHOTO: Girl Scouts of Western Washington Facebook Page

Every summer local girls experience new adventures and challenge their limits at summer camps put on by Girl Scouts of Western Washington.  In an effort to make these camp experiences accessible to all girls, regardless of financial circumstances, Girls Scouts offers financial assistance to those in need.  For the past 32 years, annual grants from the Howard R. Kilworth Girl Scout Fund have helped make this type of financial aid possible. 

The Kilworth family established the Girl Scout fund in 1986 with $102,799. Through the power of endowment giving, the fund has now provided more than $187,780 to help girls go to camp, and will continue to do so in perpetuity.  


T. Warren Brown Fund

 PHOTO: Tacoma School of the Arts Facebook Page

Students at Tacoma School of the Arts can participate in Instrumental Music, a program designed to accelerate  musical development, and help them prepare for college and career opportunities as traditional musicians.  This unique program is made possible thanks to generous community support, including the annual funds they receive from the T. Warren Brown Fund.

T. Warren Brown was the long-time president of Ted Brown Music, the local instrument retailer founded by his father in the 1930’s.  Brown was passionate about helping others make music, especially young people.  Through the years he worked closely with school districts to help support music education programs for students locally and nationwide. When Brown passed away in 2004, his family chose to honor his passion for arts education by establishing an endowment fund that now supports the Tacoma School of the Arts. Brown’s legacy lives on through these students and the beautiful music they create. 




James H. Wiborg Memorial Fund

PHOTO: Palmer Scholars Facebook Page

Since 1983 Palmer Scholars has helped over 400 low-income students of color from Pierce County earn a post-secondary degree with little or no debt.  Palmer Scholars who attend the University of Washington Tacoma receive annual support from the James H. Wiborg Memorial Fund, which was established through memorial gifts when Mr. Wiborg, a local business leader and community champion, passed away in 2015. 

Having served as a University of Puget Sound Trustee for over 30 years and playing an instrumental role in bringing the University of Washington to Tacoma, Wiborg was passionate about supporting higher education opportunities for this community.  Honoring his commitment to higher education, GTCF worked with Wiborg’s family to set up a legacy fund that will support Palmer Scholarship students who attend the University of Washington Tacoma for years to come. 

The stories these annual grants tell illustrate how individuals can leave a legacy in their community long after they are gone.  If you’d like to learn more about establishing an endowed fund or other philanthropic tools you can utilize to help make a stronger Pierce County, please contact GTCF’s Development Department.