Turkish Philanthropy Funds

Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) seeks to maximize the impact of giving, with a particular focus on Turkey. TPF's mission is to help donors realize their philanthropic goals to meet community needs in the US and in Turkey. With the plethora of NGOs, knowing where to invest your charitable dollars is a challenge. TPF finds and funds the most effective programs, and partners with them to maximize results. Our aim is to take philanthropy beyond the "feel good" into significant and measurable impact. TPF does this by strengthening individual giving and by providing information, solutions and community.
Jun 12, 2014

Kadriye is the Happiest Mother in Turkey!

Kadriye and her daughter, Sultan
Kadriye and her daughter, Sultan

Kadriye lives in Nigde, a city six hours south of the capital, Ankara. There, Kadriye works in potato fields, earning close to $400 per month to support her five children. With her husband disabled, she is the sole breadwinner of the family. Each day, she wakes up at 4am, walks one hour to the closest bus and travels to the field where she works. 

She works hard so that she can provide food for her children and shoes on their feet. But earning enough to send her young girls to school seemed impossible. Kadriye's daughter, Sultan, knew that an education was essential. She contacted one of our partners in Turkey, who gives scholarships to children in need and told her story. Five years later, she graduated from high school, the week after Mother's Day. 

Watching her daughter graduate high school was the best gift any mother could receive. The diploma meant a new, bright future for her daughter. She dreams her daughter will live an easier life than hers and pass on her education for generations to come. 

Sultan wrote a letter during her last week of school:

"Lot's of people in our society are unaware of these things [the obstacles familes face to attend school]. They are unaware of the happiness and honor of reaching out to the poor little girls forgotten in remove villages and encouraging them to stand up. But I strongly believe in education, and that people will have a more modern perspective. Through your support, a young generation with an open mind and fill of hope will grow. 

I thank you for saving thousands of girls like me from financial hardships and for introducing me to life."


With 4 daughters still to put through high school, Kadriye keeps a smile on her face, and hopes they will all receive scholarships for education. 

May 29, 2014

SOMA Mine Disaster Relief Fund Update

Why TPF?

We understand that local NGOs are the first on the scene when disasters occur and that they know best what assistance is needed and understand the complex political, social and cultural context of a disaster. TPF has been working with organizations on the ground in Turkey providing social services, helping communities cope with disasters and educating the future generation. Currently, we have 38 formal partners in Turkey and a big network that we can tap into to get real-time updates. These connections enable us to make our grants wisely and be efficient.

Currently, our focus on the “three Rs” - Recovery, Rebuilding and Resilience – is an example of the strategic way we work on issues crucial to our communities after a disaster. Your help ensures a fourth: Results.

What’s happening in terms of relief efforts right now?

A new initiative, SITAP (Civil Society Platform for Disasters) responded relatively quickly to the SOMA disaster bringing together organizations that are providing and are planning to provide social services in the area to discuss the efficiency and effectiveness of the aid.  A summary of their initial assessments in the region is as follows:

  • All relief and recovery efforts are led by the government agency, AFAD (Disaster & Emergency Management Presidency) through related Ministries. However, AFAD’s communication with civil society organizations is very limited.
  • Security forces control all entries to the town of SOMA.
  • The main need of many civil society organizations is correct and rapid information on the needs of the affected.
  • Many organizations have started fundraising campaigns and are getting ready to respond, however for efficiency and not to be replicated, efforts need to be coordinated.
  • The mine that exploded was in the town of SOMA. However, the people that died or were affected from the tragedy spread to more than 15 towns and villages. Therefore, basing all relief efforts to SOMA will not provide the needed support.
  • Diversifying options for income generation or advocating for other energy resources will have an impact on the whole community, not just the ones directly impacted by the tragedy.
  • The most important and urgent need is noted as psychosocial support. At present, only the government provides these services.
  • All civil society organizations that came together under the umbrella of SITAP are interested in providing long-term solutions to problems facing the mining industry in Turkey.

When will TPF start making grants?

TPF has sent a call for proposals to all of its grantee partners asking for applications. The applications will be reviewed and grants will be made on a rolling basis. Additionally, we have been in touch with organizations that TPF has not worked before but have been introduced, as they’re active on the ground in the disaster area. Currently, these organizations have been going through TPF’s eligibility process to be able to apply for a grant. We will announce the grants as we make them.

Our Priorities Now

After a disaster strikes, TPF sees its role as filling gaps between emergency relief and long-term development programs. TPF’s priority right now is to provide support on the following areas:

  1. Education: TPF wants to prioritize providing financial support to the children of miners who have lost their lives. However, we also understand that the funds raised for scholarships have surpassed the need so we will work with organizations that also provide education on mine security, decreasing the probability of accidents and first-aid to miners; and organizations that provide skill enhancing skills to women who now has to become breadwinners of their families.
  2. Psychosocial support: Even though the town of Soma has been singled out after the disaster, the casualties were from more than 15 neighboring towns and villages. Hence, TPF is interested in supporting projects that can provide psychosocial support to people impacted in those other towns as well.
  3. Diversifying income generation: TPF is interested in supporting organizations that can provide new avenues for revenue generation and increase opportunities for employment in sectors other than mining. These might include projects to develop agriculture in the area or establishing workshops or co-operatives to train women and create new income opportunities.

Our Arrangements for the Future

Our Van Earthquake experience has taught us that coordination among civil society organizations providing relief efforts is very important right after a disaster when needs are immense and funding is limited. Effective coordination allows funds to be allocated efficiently and effectively. Additionally, the government needs to also coordinate recovery and rebuilding efforts with civil society organizations.  If enough funds are raised, TPF plans to support initiatives that can help with the coordination efforts among civil society organizations to prepare communities and civil society sector in large for future disasters.

Feb 28, 2014

You've funded 10 girls!

Map of Scholarship Recipients
Map of Scholarship Recipients

Dear super generous, super heart-warming, super amazing donors,

After just two months into the New Year, we’re reporting back with some fantastic news. You’ve given enough funds for us to educate 10 girls in high school for 1 year! Check out the map we’ve uploaded with photos of our scholarship students.

Student #1 is in 9th grade and is from Trabzon!

Student #2 is in 9th grade and is from Mersin!

Student #3 is in 12th grade and is from Sivas!

Student #4 is in 11th grade and is from Mus!

Student #5 is in 9th grade and is from Denizli!

Student #6 is in 12th grade and is from Eskisehir!

Student #7 is in 9th grade and is from Van!

Student #8 is in 12th grade and is from Balikesir!

Student #9 is in 12th grade and is from Batman!

Student #10 is in 9th grade and is from Kastamonu!

We have not reached our goal of 14 students yet. We just need $1,551 more to educate 4 more girls.

These girls have all come from low-income homes. All they needed was $400/year so they could get an education and improve the standard of living for their entire family.

Thank you so much for being a part of this, it means the world to each and every one of our scholarship recipients and the world to us!

Team TPF

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