Turkish Philanthropy Funds Signs the Girl Declaration



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New York Charity that Supports Gender Equality in Turkey Signs Declaration for Girls
Turkish Philanthropy Funds signs the Girl Declaration

Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) has signed the Girl Declaration, an international movement powered by organizations such as Nike Foundation, UN Foundation and Vital Voices who call for the the inclusion of girls in development. TPF is the first diaspora organization to sign this document and has done so within the first year of the Girl Declaration.

TPF’s President, Ilhan Akbil remarked “By bringing international attention to the status of girls in Turkey, we can surely raise awareness and act in providing education, health and safety to girls and in turn end poverty before it begins.”

Turkish Philanthropy Funds is the first transnational philanthropy organization of the Turkish-American community in the US that aims to tackle four main issue areas in Turkey; education, gender equality, social and economic development and disaster relief. Thus far, TPF has granted $12.6 million to social investment projects in Turkey.

For more information, visit www.tpfund.org.

The Girl Declaration

Meet our Interns and Volunteers!

The team at Turkish Philanthropy Funds includes some of the most passionate and hard-working people around, and our interns and volunteers are no exception. Meet our Spring/Summer helpers!


Asli Surek (Intern)

In five years, I will be: 28 Years Old

My favorite TPF quality is: How helpful everyone is.

My favorite food is: SANDWICHES.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you? Partner pages!

Photo on 5-30-14 at 4

Ipek Basaran (Intern)

In five years, I hope to finish law school and start practicing law.

My favorite TPF quality is transparency about all projects that it funds and donations that it receives.

My favorite food is homemade manti that my grandmother still prepares.


Betul K. Yildiz (Volunteer)

In five years, I will be: Working in a large fashion company and co-founder/founder of my own company!

TPF is: Strong, Intellectual and like the Turkic Goddess Umay !

My favorite food is: Adana Kebab

What does a typical day in the office look like for you? Working on TPF’s website all day and learning more about the nonprofit world!


Damla Alkan (Intern)

What does a typical day in the office look like for you? Research, Contemplation, and Coffee

In five years, I will be: Ruling the world.

My favorite TPF quality isThe call to educate women.

My favorite food isIskender…and ayran!


Nicole Riker (Intern)

In five years, I will be: Teaching children in a non profit organization based on education and sport

My favorite TPF quality is: Efficient yet harmonious atmosphere

My favorite food isCheesecake


Want to intern with TPF? Email info@tpfund.org with your resume and tell us why you want to join our team!

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Grants

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Immediately after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November of 2013, TPF reacted and started a Relief Fund to aid the victims of the disaster. With the funds raised, TPF collaborated with Turkish Coalition of America, who sponsored a national Turkish American donation drive and donated $100,000 to help with the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts after the typhoon hit the Philippines in November 2013. Four $25,000 grants were given to Filipino American organizations in the United States—the Philippine Cultural Foundation of Maryland, March 7; the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii, March 20; the Filipino Community of Seattle, April 23; and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Texas, July 1.

Read more about the grants on TCA’s website:

Grant to Philippine Cultural Foundation of Maryland

Grant to Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii

Grant to Filipino Community of Seattle

Grant to Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Texas


Rebuilding A Community: SOMA 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 since 2007. 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.