Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation envisions a community where everyone has the resources to thrive, and we partner with passionate donors, nonprofits, leaders and individuals to make a difference. Looking back at 2015, we are proud of our collective commitment to securing the success of our future generations by investing in the most critical needs in the Triangle.

We are all connected, and when we work together, we are able to move our region forward. We recognize and embrace our responsibility to serve as a leader, and we are grateful for our partners who have a shared vision for the future.

Our Year in Review

During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the Foundation made grants totaling $16.7 million. Donors partnered with us to support causes they care about, as well as those within Our Focus, across the country, state and region.

$16.7 million granted
& 3,860 grants
65%  Granted Locally



Top Causes You Care About

Number and Dollar Amount of grants



Number of Funds that Granted to Top Causes You Care About


Triangle Community Foundation is committed to growing the philanthropic resources of our community through careful stewardship of the Foundation’s assets. One of our core functions is exemplary financial and asset management in order to increase charitable assets while preserving capital. The Foundation’s assets have grown from an initial contribution of $3,000 in 1983 to approximately $203 million in total assets as of June 30, 2015. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the Foundation received contributions of $31.6 million and made grants totaling $16.7 million. Investment losses for the same period totaled $(1.3) million.

In addition to the impact that our donor-advised funds make each year, the Foundation is also a proud partner to many scholarship, agency, and field-of-interest funds that make our community a better place.


Our Donors

Our donors are a diverse group of passionate individuals who make up the Foundation family and are dedicated to changing the landscape of our region for the better. Each of them has a unique story, vision or goal, but they all have one thing in common. They believe in the power of community giving. And we do too.

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Ron Strom

A man dedicated to being involved in the causes he cares about, more than just making a donation.

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Mary & Dale Carey

A family rooted in philanthropy, focused on leaving their mark on education, and the success of young people in our region.

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A Giving Circle made up of members giving their time, talent, treasure and testimony back to the community.

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Jerry VanSant

A donor committed to his passion for the environment, through advocacy and philanthropy.

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Our Focus



Community Development
Community development encompasses the physical, social, and financial health of the people who live in local neighborhoods. We invest to expand access to opportunity for people most in need in order to address persistent poverty in the community.
Youth Literacy
Investing in students at an early age through youth literacy programs, especially those who are most vulnerable, may prevent future dropout and increase student success. We invest in the capacity of early childhood programs to ensure the success of the next generation.
Send a Kid to Camp™
Our Send A Kid To Camp™ program combats summer learning loss by providing camp tuition assistance funding to local partner camps.
Regional Cultural Arts
The local arts sector enhances our quality of life, stimulates innovation, provides a magnet for tourism, and contributes to overall economic vitality. We invest in arts and culture organizations within the Triangle to further promote the sustainability and growth of the region’s vital nonprofit arts and culture sector.
Environmental Conservation
Finding the most effective strategies to protect natural resources for the Triangle’s future and the well-being of its residents is vitally important. We invest in comprehensive and collaborative efforts to promote land conservation and sustainable land use.


Working Together for Impact

This year we continued to take a more direct role in the community. The Foundation granted over $700,000 in additional dollars to organizations and initiatives crucial to our area. This has been possible thanks to our legacy donors and forward thinking partners who recognize and are committed to the success of our region.

We invite you to join us. Working together on these issues allows us to maximize our effect. It is our hope that together, we can make a bigger difference.



granted in part to Our Focus,
and to other initiatives 
in the community


granted through Our Focus to
organizations supporting the arts,
environment, community development
and youth literacy


Our Partners


We believe in the importance of building strong nonprofits that are serving the critical needs in the Triangle. Through grant making and capacity building programs, as well as education and research, we are ensuring that effective organizations are able to come together to change the lives of individuals in our community.

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Triangle Family Services

All of Triangle Family Services programs provide direct services to families and in most instances directly impact children from economically disadvantaged and/or abusive homes.

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Marbles Kids Museum

At Marbles, they believe in play as a foundation for academic success and emotional well-being, as a way to strengthen families and as a tool to build our community.

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Justice Theater Project

They use the performing arts to bring to the fore of public attention the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed.

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Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

They envision a living creek connecting human and natural communities in Durham, and work each day to protect it.

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Learning Together

We are always learning. We believe that our organization should continue to learn about the needs in the Triangle right alongside donors, business leaders, and nonprofits and we invite you to join us in those discussions.



Understanding the Triangle is important to us, and learning more about child poverty, racial, ethnic, & age composition, and a pattern of significant growth are just some of the factors in our changing Triangle that we all should to be informed about.
Through quarterly donors’ forums, co-hort partner meetings, funder co-investing brainstorms, research and data, and in-depth donor discussions, we are committed to learning about the needs in our community and sharing that knowledge.


We believe that by learning together, we will better understand the needs, the issues, and the opportunities in our backyard so that we can collectively build a vibrant, thriving region, and make a difference for the future generations to come.


What Matters


What Matters 2015


We are poised to bring together leaders and research with the goal of an informed, educated, and inspired community. Our What Matters community luncheon each spring raises up current local issues, as well as honors those doing good work to better the future of our community.

In 2015, the What Matters community luncheon focused on Adapting to Change, and heard from Dan Heath, author of NY Times Bestseller, Switch. We spent the day looking at the implications of growth and change in the Triangle region, and Dan talked with us about “how to change things when change is hard” and the importance of celebrating bright spots amidst complex social issues. Learning more about our community sparked a conversation of change among over 500 leaders in the room, and has helped to shape the Foundation’s future.


Watch this short video highlighting the 2015 Innovation Award winner, Bull City Cool Food Hub and other finalists.


At What Matters, the Foundation granted the annual Innovation Award, a $25,000 grant that goes to a collaboration with a game-changing, innovative idea to solve a need in our region. We believe that often it takes new ideas, new solutions, to make real impact.

What Matters 2016

In 2016, as the nation swirls in a conversation of inequality and inequity, we will take a closer look at our region, and what opportunity means here at home. How can we ensure thriving, prosperous lives for future generations of the Triangle? What challenges stand in our way, what unique abilities do we each bring to the table, and what obstacles can we hurdle together so that we can stand united as a diverse and equal community?


Gearing Up For Next Year


We have great expectations for 2016

2016 is already shaping up to be a year of impact for the Foundation, our donors, and partners. Last year, we worked hard to encourage giving locally and that paid off – 65% of grants stayed in the Triangle. But complex issues are far from solved. As our region changes, now is the time to work together to make our visions a reality. Now is the time to give, and give locally, to learn, and to collaborate to make a difference.