TRF uses financing to improve the physical and social fabric of neighborhoods, while the Community Design Collaborative of AIA Philadelphia (American Institute of Architects) uses design to accomplish the same objective. Both the Collaborative and AIA are TRF institutional investors.
More than 350 design professionals, including architects, preservationists, interior designers, urban planners, and engineers volunteer through the Collaborative. In the past ten years, the Collaborative has advised hundreds of nonprofit organizations, helping them create development strategies for buildings and sites.
Many of the nonprofits committed to pursuing their vision for their communities, who are Collaborative clients, are also TRF customers. In fact, Collaborative clients often face a smoother underwriting process when they approach TRF for financing because of the quality of its professional work.
One such example is the Philadelphia Parent Child Center (PPCC), a 37-year old organization in North Philadelphia that serves more than 5,000 families with young children. PPCC consulted the Collaborative when developing a Request for Proposal for architectural services for their building expansion project. TRF has provided a variety of financing packages to PPCC since.
Shirley Williams, the Philadelphia Parent Child Center’s Chief Financial Officer, notes that TRF and the Collaborative have each been responsive to the community’s needs. “Receiving such quality services from the Collaborative during the initial phase of the project was not only cost-effective, but provided PPCC with an invaluable learning experience…” she says.
According to Beth Miller, the Collaborative’s Executive Director, “PPCC tells the story! Helping nonprofits jumpstart projects, the Collaborative leverages considerable professional services early in the development process. With its services and financing, TRF is the natural next step in building communities by design.”
The Patricia Kind Family Foundation became a TRF investor, thanks to the drive of long time individual investor, Laura Kind McKenna, and her family.
The Kind Family Foundation’s philanthropy centers around financial support for organizations that help children, adults and seniors to obtain physical and mental health care and related human services in the Philadelphia area. Finding practical solutions to community problems is an important part of its philosophy.
According to Ms. McKenna, Foundation managing trustee, and TRF investor with her husband Marc, since 1989, the Foundation decided to augment its grant-making programs by investing in TRF.
“It made sense to me that we should allocate some of our investments to TRF, an organization that is putting resources back into the community. Obviously the financial return is not the main objective, and there are no tax advantages. But we are doing this because it’s the right thing to do, and we all feel strongly about it.”
The Foundation represents the deeply-held beliefs of Ms. McKenna’s mother Patricia Kind. It was initially established as a gift from the estate of Mrs. Kind’s mother Hedwig van Amerigen, in 1996. Both Patricia and her husband, Phillip, continue to be generous benefactors of the region. Now the tradition is being passed on tot their five adult children, all of whom serve as trustees of the Foundation.
As volunteer managing trustee, Laura McKenna handles the day-to-day operations, including making detailed site visits to each prospective grantee along with her siblings Christina Kind Baiocchi, Kenneth A. Kind, Andrew Kind-Fuller, and Valerie Kind-Rubin. However, the entire family is actively involved in all Foundation decisions.
“We make it a practice to visit each organization before we decide on grants, and we ask pretty in-depth questions. Some groups are surprised by our thoroughness.”
She notes with satisfaction that numerous TRF borrowers can be found among the Foundation’s grantees, a sure indication of shared focus and results. Among the TRF borrowers who have received Kind Family Foundation grants are Aid for Friends, Children’s Advocacy Center, Children’s Village Child Care Center, Delaware Valley Child Care Council, Dignity Housing, Jubilee School, MANNA, Philadelphians Concerned About Housing and Project H.O.M.E.“This Foundation represents my mother’s vision; she is committed to giving back to the community. I hope that other family foundations committed to the Philadelphia region will consider investing a portion of their assets in TRF. Although the financial return is less than with conventional investments, it will pay off many times over in the gratification of making a substantial contribution to the community.”