Forming a Foundation and Shaping a Legacy


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Starting a foundation is no small task. A group of Tellico Villagers set out in 2016 to do just that: found the Tellico Community Foundation. The emphasis of their efforts would not only be Tellico Village, but the Tennessee counties which are home to the Village – Loudon and Monroe. The original members of the TCF Advisory Board not only founded a foundation, they started to shape a legacy.

The first Advisory Board formulated a Mission Statementand crafted a set of Guiding Principles.  

To date, the Tellico Community Foundation has awarded more than $317,000  grants of funding and land to area charitable groups. The current TCF Advisory Board  is committed to furthering the TCF’s “Legacy for Better Lives” in Tellico Village and the counties of Loudon and Monroe.  

Grant Recipients

The first TCF grants were issued in late 2017. These gifts were the product of the TCF Advisory Board working closely with East Tennessee Foundation staff and evaluation team to identify critical community needs. The TCF and ETF assessment process continues to produce valuable grant-making opportunities. 

Value of Grant Awards to Date - $317,840 (through December 2023)

Focus Area:  Support for Seniors

  • Our Place  $200,000 for 1 acre of land and $10,000 for facility expansion (2 grants)
  • Loudon County Habitat for Humanity $10,000 for Senior Housing Repair program
  • Tellico Village Library $12,000 for Annual Maintenance (2 grants) and $1,350  for Technology Upgrades & Flood Disaster Recovery
  • Good Shepherd Center $8,000 for Laptops, Scanners and Management Software and $1,000 for Defibrillator and training (2 grants)
  • Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) $8,000 and $3,500 for Art for Seniors Programs through Our Place (2 grants)
  • Timeless Tellico Foundation $3,000 for Clear Creek Kayak Launch Project
  • People Promoting Animal Welfare (PPAWS) $2,500 for Senior Pet Care
  • Village Quilters $2,000 for Our Place Clients
  • Loudon County Friends of Animals $2,000 for Senior Pets
  • Monroe County Friends of Animals $2,000 for Second Chance Pets
  • Senior Citizen Home Assistance Service (SCHAS) $1,500
  • Tellico Community Playhouse $718

Focus Area:  Childhood Development                                                 

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of TN Valley (Loudon County) $7,000 and $5,000 for Rookie Readers Program (2 grants)
  • Second Harvest Food Bank $10,000 for Food for Kids Program (2 grants)
  • STAR - $5,000 for Aligning Strides Leadership Training
  • Madisonville Public Library - $8,000 Children's Literacy Outreach Program (2 grants)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region (Monroe Country) $5,500 for Great Futures Program (2 grants)
  • Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County $2,500 for Snack Bags for Kids
  • Adopt-a-Class TN $1,000 for Highlights Magazines and $1,000 for STEM Education Support (2 grants)
  • Lenoir City Schools Family Resource Center $500  for  Bi-Lingual Literacy Project/Activity Kits –  Partnered with Loudon County Educational Foundation & Dolly Parton Imagination Library Foundation

Focus Area:  Drug Take Back Day                                                              

  • Align9 $2,000 for Loudon County Resource Guide& 1st Annual TV Drug Take Back Day

Other Grants:                                                                                                                

  • Smoky Mountain Service Dogs $520      
  • Tellico Village Players $850
  • Tellico Village Singers $500        
  • Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department $500  
  • Tennessee Bluebird Society $400     

Interested in applying for a grant from the TCF? Complete a 100-word grant request and e-mail it to:  [email protected]

Our Mission

The Tellico Community Foundation focus is on projects and programs delivered by Loudon and Monroe County non-profits, who deliver measurable and sustainable results, by addressing the root causes of suboptimal 
Childhood Development and Support for Seniors.

Key Objectives

Tellico Community Foundation operates under an umbrella of improving the communities through support of non-profit organizations in the community.

  • A community succeeds based on how well it’s children are educated and develop into good citizens
  • Community success is also measured by how well it cares for the senior population
  • A successful community has non-profit organizations that deliver support when needed, to help citizens become independent and successful.
  • Long term success requires efforts that are measurable, sustainable and address root causes.

Childhood Development

  • To ensure childhood educational achievement is in the top 25 percent of the state.
  • To support efforts to ensure graduating high school seniors are engaged in higher education and/or training
  • To support efforts to feed, clothe and provide the tools necessary for children to succeed in school
Support for Seniors
  • To help provide resources to victims of dementia and their care givers to ensure quality of life in their senior years
  • To supplement food, housing and enrichment for seniors throughout the communities

Download our Vision, Mission and Key Objectives  - March 2023

Guiding Principles 

  • The TCF will identify and evaluate community needs through studies, focus groups, networking with other charitable groups, and open forums.
  • The TCF will coordinate with other charitable organizations in the community to achieve maximum impact, including providing supplementary funding if warranted.
  • The TCF will seek to meet unique and currently unmet human needs in the community where funding support can make a difference.
  • The TCF will create opportunities for charitable giving to provide general support for TCF initiatives as well as for new projects of specific interest to donors.

  Advisory Board

Members of TCF Advisory Board are elected to three-year terms. The Board consists of nine members from the Tellico Village community and the surrounding area. They create the link between the community and ETF. The Board identifies needs, raises funds and advises ETF on grant-making activities. Current members of the Tellico Community Foundation Board are:

  • Joe Beyel (Past Chair)
  • Jude Goebel
  • Donnie Iverson
  • Marsha Keiser (Chair)
  • Joseph Marlette
  • Cathy Nyberg
  • Bridget Olson
  • Ken Thoreson

ETF Regional Advancement Officer:  Angelia Nystrom

  The History of the Tellico Community Foundation

In late 2016, several Tellico Villagers met informally over a period of weeks to discuss the possible formation of a community foundation as a catalyst for raising funds to support human needs and exceptional ideas. Throughout 2017, the group started to formally organize and embarked on a series of discussions with the East Tennessee Foundation. Late in 2017, the Tellico Community Foundation was officially designated as an affiliate fund of East Tennessee Foundation. Nine founding donors provided the initial underwriting for the TCF.

As an affiliate fund of East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), the Tellico Community Foundation has no connection with any organization within Tellico Village. TCF is under the administration of ETF. An Advisory Board consisting of nine members of the Tellico Village community and from the surrounding area forges the link between the community and ETF. The Advisory Board identifies needs, raises funds and advises ETF on grant-making activities. ETF provides a variety of high-level resources plus operational and fiduciary services critical to the management of the TCF.  

East Tennessee Foundation is a strong financial partner for the TCF. All 450+ funds of the ETF, are maintained and reported as separate accounts, but are pooled in commingled funds for investment purposes. East Tennessee Foundation has current assets exceeding one-half billion dollars(as of 12-31-2020).

In the late fall of 2018, TCF embarked on its first grant-making activities. (To see an update list of Grants Recipients, follow this link).  In 2018, the Advisory Board finalized an investment approach determining that 60 per cent of all funds raised will be devoted to endowment and the remaining 40 per cent of funds will be designated for grant-making. This investment policy is reviewed annually to decide if modifications are required. 

One of the primary benefits of ETF affiliation was the ability to gain access to research and a program evaluation team. They have experience with donor and professional advisor relationships and capabilities which enhance and increase funds growth and community support. ETF staff has expertise in the analyses of requests to identify the most promising programs and projects. They search within communities, regionally, statewide, and nationally for innovative approaches to community problems and connect organizations that are working on common problems to maximize their effectiveness. This way, donors are assured that their charitable dollars are “gifted” to the best organizations and most worthwhile causes.

Using these resources and employing this ETF discipline, TCF identified the following high impact focus areas for future grant-making. These areas are:

By the middle of 2019, the TCF had gained community recognition through its grant-making and sponsoring the first “Drug Take Back Day” (click here to learn more about Drug Take Back Day). Because of this exposure, the foundation was contacted about accepting a sizable land donation from a group looking to minimize its tax liabilities. Negotiations progressed through the summer and into the late fall of 2019 when a deal was finally struck. TCF acquired 4.69 acres in Tellico Village at the corner of State Route 444 and State Route 72 in front of the Food Lion complex. The accessed valuation of the property was $920,000.

Simultaneous with the land negotiations, the TCF was engaging in talks with a group committed to building an adult day center in Tellico Village. In the late winter of 2020, a letter of understanding was signed with Our Place. If this organization secured $200,000 in funding or received accreditation as a licensed adult day center within 36 months, TCF would award Our Place an acre of the recently obtained Village parcel.

To its credit, Our Place raised the challenge grant funds of $200,000 by the fall of 2020 during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. On November 12, 2020, TCF fulfilled its agreement with Our Place and made the foundation’s largest award to date: one acre of land valued at $200,000. (For more information on the Our Place event follow this link). 

The remaining 3.69 acres, which is commercially zoned land, was sold to a Tellico Villager with a varied business background including property and residential development in March 2021.  The gross selling price of $381,000, coupled with the TCS asset, base at that time, of more than $50,000, raised the foundations total assets to more than $400,000. 

The TCF Advisory Board could now really begin to create a "Legacy for Better Lives."

The mission of the Tellico Community Foundation is to enrich the Loudon and Monroe County communities by funding programs and projects that provide support for seniors and promote healthy childhood development. 

Support For Seniors

Drug Take Back Day

Childhood Development

 The Tellico Community Foundation is an affiliate fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.