Capacity Building Grants

Barry and Lorna Sheridan moved to Sonoma in 2006. It was their sixth move, criss-crossing the country, since getting married, thanks to Barry’s job as marketing executive in the wine business.

They quickly fell in love with the Valley. “And now we never plan on leaving,” says Barry. Lorna is a reporter for the Sonoma Index-Tribune as well as an SVF board member, and she’s now well-versed in the good work being done by area nonprofits. Last year, the couple opened a donor advised fund with the Community Foundation Sonoma County so they have an easy way of supporting the organizations that make the Valley such an amazing place to live. Lorna’s passion is education, Barry’s is preserving open spaces.


Launched last year, the Sonoma Valley Fund multi-year capacity building grants program is an ambitious initiative helping six nonprofits explore and pursue the resources and skills needed to become more effective in delivering on their missions. Completing its first year of work together in October of 2016, this powerful learning cohort identified the following capacity building priorities: a collaborative data collection project between three organizations; a complete program delivery assessment; development of a data utilization plan; and professional development to build leadership capacity. The focus for year two is implementing these projects.

This successful grants program illustrates how a learning cohort of different-sized nonprofits has found that greater good is achievable through collaboration that takes a fresh look at: vision, mission, and goals, and gives each organization a chance to learn about the challenges and opportunities faced by fellow nonprofits. We are proud of this multi-year investment dedicated to improving organizational effectiveness and building lasting partnerships.

The six valley organizations that will receive $20,000 each this year are: ArtEscape, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, La Luz Center, Sonoma Overnight Support, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, and Teen Services Sonoma.

Caitlin Childs