As Sonoma Valley Fund moves into its 11th year, we celebrate the survival of most of our beautiful valley. We also squarely face the challenges of recovery and rebuilding from the devastating October firestorms. Thus, we are working, with our parent organization, Community Foundation Sonoma County (CFSC), to raise money for the Resilience Fund, www.sonomacf.org/fire.
We are proud to tell you that we’ve helped raise over $13 million so far. Now, we are part of the effort to determine how to best distribute those funds for long-term recovery and rebuilding. Community foundations across the country tell us that it will be a 10-year effort. We are up to the challenge.
And, as the adage states, “Luck goes to the prepared”. In 2017, a cohort of Sonoma Valley Fund board members researched and produced our “Hidden in Plain Sight” report–an in-depth survey of Valley demographics and the nonprofits that serve us. It was widely distributed and presented throughout the community to donors, nonprofits, the press, and residents at large.
Our three principal findings: a growing and under-served senior population, significant and stubborn poverty, and a critical shortage of housing.
The fires have exacerbated all of these challenges.
In light of these needs, our mission of “strengthening Sonoma Valley by building philanthropy and promoting legacy planning” is more urgent than ever. We fulfill this mission in a variety of ways–connecting donors and nonprofits to the philanthropic planning resources of CFSC, educating donors and the broader community about Valley needs and nonprofits, assisting nonprofits in their capacity building efforts so they continually improve their services, promoting volunteerism by hosting our All Star volunteer awards event, and coordinating with other organizations and agencies to ensure a thriving community for all our residents. Highlighted further in this report is the success of our current capacity building cohort.
Sonoma Valley is blessed with so much: natural beauty, thriving agriculture, diverse business, a dedicated nonprofit sector, as well as talented, aware, and resilient women and men. But, like all communities, there are unaddressed needs. We invite you to join us to tackle current and long-term challenges together.
Chip Allen | Peg Van Camp
Sonoma Valley Fund Board Co-Presidents, 2017
We’d like to thank internationally known, Glen Ellen artist, Dennis Ziemienski for generously allowing Sonoma Valley Fund to use ‘Theatre on the Plaza’ on the cover of this year’s annual report.