Over the last 18 years, the Lyndhurst Foundation of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has granted TPL nearly $2.7 million to support what chairman Allen McCallie calls the "vibrancy" of the foundation’s home community. "We have to create open space for mental health and physical health, to provide connectivity to and among neighborhoods, and to enhance the historic profile of the community," McCallie says.
Under the leadership of McCallie and prior chair Alice Smith, retired president Jack Murrah, current president Benic "Bruz" Clark II, and descendents of founder Thomas Cartter Lupton, the foundation has taken the uncommon step of granting day-to-day operating support for the Chattanooga office.
"The foundation recognizes that it is easier for TPL to save a beloved tract of land or construct a mile of greenway trail than it is to raise money to pay the light bill and pay for staff," McCallie says. "It’s unreasonable to expect TPL’s Chattanooga office to raise project support from local donors and have its operating support come from outside this community."
This strategy is consistent with the goal of Jack Lupton—Cartter Lupton’s son—to "break the mold of traditional foundation philanthropic giving," says McCallie.
When Jack Lupton became the foundation’s board chairman in the late 1970s, he wanted to change its orientation from simply responding to proposals to actively working with the community, searching for good ideas, and funding them. From this approach has emerged a partnership that has benefited nearly every corner of the city— from interconnected greenways to historic battlefields—and helped make Chattanooga a national model of a livable community.
"TPL was here helping us do this work 10 years ago," McCallie says, "and I have every expectation that they will be here 10 years from now to help us get things done."