As Sonoma Valley Fund approaches its 10th year, I am pleased to report that our all-volunteer organization continues to strengthen our community by:
• Helping donors achieve their philanthropic goal
• Bringing our community together to discuss important issues
• Being excellent stewards by relentlessly adhering to our donors’ intentions
• Making thoughtful and targeted grants to nonprofits and providing scholarships to college-bound students
In early 2015, Sonoma Valley Fund organized a community discussion and survey seeking to understand what residents thought about the future of our community. I was struck by the engagement of our neighbors; over 150 people came to the discussion and almost 400 filled out the survey. The issues identified were wide-ranging, from income inequality to threats to the natural environment. I’m inspired by the passion and enthusiasm that we have for our community and how much we all want to help shape and protect its future. This passion we feel for “our place,” Sonoma Valley, is tremendous. We need to use that passion to make our Valley better.
This year we also launched an ambitious and exciting grants program aimed at strengthening Sonoma Valley nonprofits. The program is helping nonprofits develop the skills and resources needed to grow and become more effective. This is an innovative grant making program that addresses significant problems in the nonprofit community, and the lack of resources to build organizational capabilities.
I am very proud of the work being done here. Since our beginning in 2007, Sonoma Valley Fund, in conjunction with Community Foundation Sonoma County, has made grants and scholarships in excess of $3 million to nonprofits and students in the Valley.
Finally, our partnership with Community Foundation Sonoma County is stronger than it has ever been. Our board routinely collaborates with Community Foundation staff on grantmaking, donor engagement, and support for nonprofits.
Sonoma Valley Fund has a great board and ambitious plans for the future. Peg Van Camp will join me as Co-President in 2016, ensuring strong and qualified leadership and continuity into the future. Peg brings many years of nonprofit and foundation experience to this role. The rest of our board is comprised of talented and committed people who share a love of our unique and wonderful community.
As always, we thank YOU for your love of our Valley, your financial support and the talents you bring to our community. Let’s continue working together to ensure that the future of Sonoma Valley remains full of promise for all who call it home.
Joshua M Rymer
Sonoma Valley Fund Board President, 2014-2015