TFF’s social investing approach includes:

  • Investing in a small number of organizations and initiatives over multiple years.
  • Structuring investments to strengthen organizations and initiatives, and to enhance their ability to provide effective services reliably and sustainably at high levels of quality.
  • Tracking performance and providing specific capacity building/technical assistance supports.
  • Partnering deeply and transparently, with humility and a learning and growth mindset, while supporting investees to stay focused on achieving their respective missions.
  • Working with investees to build reliable revenue streams that will support them sustainably.

Constructed as a result of the Foundation’s learnings from 2013-2015, a set of investing values came to guide TFF’s grantmaking.

Structure of Investments

TFF investees receive:

  • 3-5 years of $25,000 to $150,000/year in general operating support (unrestricted funds).
  • $10,000 to $100,000/year in targeted capacity building support in the four organizational outcome domains, described in detail here: Strategic Leadership and Planning; Outcomes-Focused Management; Performance Management; and Program Quality, Fidelity, and Effectiveness.

The Foundation also provides non-monetary assistance: facilitating connections, technical assistance, strategic counsel, and thought partnership. Characterized by TFF as ‘knowledge building and sharing,’ investees have opportunities to collaborate with field experts who help them strengthen organizational and SEL-related outcomes and share best practices with peer investees and other organizations carrying out similar work. TFF hosts an annual meeting for board members, investees, and other partners.

Walking the Performance Management Talk

Setting clear objectives, identifying success metrics, and tracking progress is critical to successful performance management. Tauck Family Foundation not only supports investees to set, monitor, and achieve their objectives, they use that same approach to guide and assess the Foundation’s work. Detailed annual implementation plans created by the staff include objectives and metrics for the social investing strategy and Foundation management and administration. In the strategy’s initial years, the objectives were captured in a dashboard which, along with an executive director report and investee updates, were shared and discussed with the board each quarter. Over time, tracking and presenting progress against objectives has evolved based on board needs and staff capacity. Careful, methodical documentation and integration of different data points have afforded TFF a fuller picture of investee progress and achievements, as well as their own progress as a learning organization.

Examples of select tools and templates used by the Foundation and investees to plan and monitor progress can be found in the Appendix.

“They model the importance of stopping (no matter how many legitimate excuses you have) and reviewing and reflecting on what you’re doing . . . it is really hard to argue with an organization who walks the talk.”

- TFF Investee Partner