The Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that assists other nonprofits, corporations, individuals and families with meaningful and efficient charitable giving solutions. As a result of the charitable nature of its corporate and individual donors, Tulsans have made TCF among the largest community foundations in America, granting millions of dollars from its charitable funds ever year.
Through the creation of funds, individuals, families and corporations support nonprofit organizations by recommending grants to aid the charity’s cause. TCF reviews each donor’s recommendations for grant recipients, and approved grants are made to charities in the name of the donor’s fund. Grants are not solely to support organizations in Oklahoma but all over the U.S. and even internationally. TCF provides a myriad of meaningful opportunities to help donors accomplish their individual philanthropic goals. Unlike other philanthropic institutions, TCF does not ask you to support our cause; rather we ask you, “What is your cause?”. We then work with you to simplify your charitable giving and help identify those organizations that provide community services that are important to you, your family, or company.
TCF maintains an accessible, intimate atmosphere, ensuring a personalized experience for each donor. We manage the financial and administrative tasks associated with its funds, thereby encouraging donors to focus on their charitable objectives instead of stressful paperwork
“To be the recognized, community owned-organization that initiates, teaches, and encourages personal and corporate charitable giving today to ensure that the philanthropic needs of Oklahomans can be met for all generations.”
In 1998, several charitably-minded leaders joined together to establish Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF). Tulsa was the last of the 50 major metropolitan areas to be without a community foundation. Even within the state, Tulsa followed Duncan, Bartlesville, Norman, Lawton, Enid, Broken Arrow and Oklahoma City in creating a community foundation.The main architect behind the creation of TCF was George B. Kaiser. According to Kaiser, “In the glory days of Tulsa, we could rely on ad hoc assemblages of major corporate and individual leaders to help pursue significant challenges or opportunities for the city. Because Tulsa had such strength and depth of public-private partnership, we did not have need for a community foundation and were the only major U.S. city not to have formed one by 1998. But after several waves of corporate and individual outmigration and death (another style of outmigration, I suppose), we no longer could rely upon the kind of leadership required on an impromptu basis. To continue the city’s progress, I felt we needed a permanently functioning mechanism to fulfill that role.”
Original trustees of the foundation included Keith Bailey, Chester Cadieux, Joseph Cappy, Kathleen Coan, Fred Dorwart, Phil Frohlich, Hans Helmerich, George Kaiser, John Kirkpatrick, David Kyle, Robert LaFortune, Bob Lorton, Stan Lybarger, Paula Marshall-Chapman, then-Mayor Susan Savage, Lynn Schusterman, Ray Siegfried, Henry Will and Jack Zarrow.
Though TCF started out as one of the smallest community foundations in the nation, it grew quickly. At the end of TCF’s first fiscal year on Dec. 31, 1998, total assets equaled only $117,000. By 2005, TCF had surpassed even the New York Community Trust, which had existed since 1924, in total asset size. Today, TCF maintains its place among the largest community foundations in the nation.
Since its inception, TCF has enhanced the quality of life in eastern Oklahoma by providing individualized services to donors, serving as a catalyst for vital local issues, sharing community knowledge with the public, maintaining effective financial stewardship of assets and maximizing return on investment for each grant made.
Today, the foundation is a collection of over 913 funds, varying in size from $5,000 to multiple millions of dollars. Each fund has its own identity and philanthropic purpose and benefits from being invested with other funds to create a lasting community resource. TCF manages approximately $4 billion invested through:
- 900+ Donor Advised or Donor Designated Funds, established by individuals, corporations and private foundations;
- 300+ Charitable Agency Funds, established by and for the benefit of specific charitable organizations;
- 50+ Scholarship Funds, established by individuals, corporations and charitable organizations; and
- 9 Supporting Organizations.
Tulsa Community Foundation has met the National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. TCF is in compliance with the National Standards of U.S. Community Foundations Program as administered by the Council on Foundations, a membership body of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and giving programs worldwide. In addition, Tulsa Community Foundation is a graduate of the Standards for Excellence clinic series, an ethics and accountability training sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits that provides a code for self-regulation of the nonprofit sector.