TIRF’s Board of Trustees met earlier this month in Washington, DC. While the Foundation’s biannual meetings are always full of thought-provoking discussions and strategic planning, this month’s gathering was especially invigorating due to TIRF continuing to explore opportunities related to its service model for revenue generation.

A common message from TIRF’s various channels of communication over the last several years has related to the Foundation’s fiscal situation. The need for TIRF to find ways to increase its revenues is evident. It has been well documented that donations have dipped over the years, especially since the 2008-2009 worldwide financial crisis, a time at which many larger organizations changed their strategies regarding how they support nonprofit organizations. While we remain ever grateful for the opportunities to work with our corporate partners, TIRF must turn toward other avenues to ensure the long-term viability of the Foundation and its mission. Thus, much of the Board meeting discussion earlier this month revolved around how to overcome TIRF’s current challenges.

TIRF is currently assessing three primary areas for its short- and long-term revenue-generating efforts. First, the Foundation will soon be celebrating its 20th anniversary, thus it is evaluating several fundraising opportunities to provide a boost to its revenue next year. Second, TIRF is continuing to look at the various types of service programs it can offer in the field of language education, for example, program evaluations, research training courses, leadership training sessions, and others. Finally, as a result of its expanding network in China, TIRF is seeing some preliminary signs of new partnership development in that region of Asia. We hope to be in a position to report progress on all of these fronts in the months ahead.

We would be remiss if we did not report the activities of our Research Advisory Committee (RAC) and Publications Committee. TIRF’s RAC is planning to unveil a restructuring of its research priorities in time for the late-December release of the 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Grants call for proposals. In addition, we anticipate announcing two new research priorities at that same time. With regard to TIRF’s Publications Committee, it will soon be revealing further information about the TIRF Language Education in Review series. The first paper is expected to be published early next year, details of which will be shared in our newsletter soon – stay tuned!

As a friendly reminder, TIRF’s Trustees travel to Board meetings at no cost to the Foundation or its supporters. We remain grateful to each of our Board members for bearing such expenses, in support of TIRF.


Standing, left to right: Dick Tucker, Richard Boyum, Jodi Crandall, Michael Carrier, Ana Sylvia Ramirez, MaryAnn Christison, Donna Christian, Lorraine de Matos, and Andy Curtis. Sitting, left to right: Ryan Damerow and Kathi Bailey