Getting Started

We offer assistance in helping you to define and fulfill your charitable goals and suggest the following steps as you think about your giving. We are also happy to meet with you to discuss these topics.

  • Make a list of the things you value most in life. Is it the arts or a beautiful landscape, or both? What are your interests within a particular field of interest? How have these changed over time?
  • Think about organizations and causes that you have supported in the past, through your financial contributions and volunteer activities. What was important about this? What made you feel the best about giving and why did you feel rewarded?
  • Ask yourself where you could make the most difference with your resources. You may have a list of 10 or 20 organizations that you support, but where can you make the most impact?
  • Decide how much you have to give. Are there other ways that you could give beyond financial resources? We can explore the different types of assets that you could give.
  • Decide when it will be best for you to give. We help you determine if this is a good time for you to invest some of your money for future giving; you can still give money away today as well.
  • Choose what you want to support. If you are unsure about this, we can help. We discuss how your gifts could be pooled with other donors to fund projects that might otherwise go unsupported. We also suggest ways to support your field(s) of interest with your time and expertise.
  • Speak with a Professional Advisor (Professional Advisors), or, with a staff member from Community Foundation Sonoma County (Community Foundation Sonoma County) about how  and when to give. You have many options from a variety of assets that allow you to start giving immediately or you may create your own named donor-advised fund. You might also explore legacy planning that will make gifts to the community after your lifetime.

Click here to learn more about Giving Through Us.