In 2015, the Community Foundation Sonoma County’s Sonoma Valley Fund launched a capacity building grants program called Organizational Capacity Learning Cohort One. That effort engaged six organizations over three years (now in its fourth Sustaining Success year) in an intensive learning and sharing process. The Sonoma Valley Fund is initiating a second Cohort — Strengthening Capacity, Connections and Community. With guidance provided by Cohort One organizations, Cohort Two will focus on broadening and deepening connections and cultivating resilience — helping each other be braver, stronger and better together — able to overcome obstacles, meet challenges, deliver quality services, and support one another over time to continuously improve. The Fund’s overarching goal is to continue to grow a network of nonprofits deeply committed to strengthening themselves and one another in service of delivering quality programs and offerings to Sonoma Valley residents.
Sonoma Valley is famous for serene vistas, rolling vineyards and lush farmlands, but for those of us who live here we know there are profound economic disparities that render some in our community hungry, homeless, under-educated and lacking in basic healthcare. These disparities are made evident in the 2014 report, A Portrait of Sonoma County, which used the Human Development Index for measuring well-being within our county. They are further highlighted in the 2017 Hidden in Plain Sight report, which compared community needs with capacity to meet those needs.
We are lucky to have many dedicated community-based organizations addressing these disparities. In most cases, these organizations operate on very limited budgets, receiving program-specific support. Rarely are they provided funding to invest in their own capacity or development or even their own assessment of capacity and developmental needs.
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We seek to recognize and support nonprofits currently addressing the needs of our most vulnerable populations in Sonoma Valley and the springs. We will provide funding and technical assistance to a Cohort of up to six organizations interested in committing time, energy and creative thinking to the goal of braver, stronger and better together. What follows is an outline of how we expect the effort may unfold over four years (subject to change):
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Capacity building work is not easy. There are no magical solutions and the benefit to organizations always correlates with the time and effort invested by the organization. Before applying, applicants should consider the following:
Does your organization have the ability (and desire) to:
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Non-profit organizations committed to strengthening connections with one another, that are based in the Valley and providing services or offerings to Valley residents are eligible to apply. We are striving to build a healthy community in Sonoma Valley — a community in which all residents can thrive. Organizations whose ambition aligns with ours are encouraged to apply.
Please note – this funding cannot be applied to the following:
The Community Foundation Sonoma County’s Sonoma Valley Fund is using an online process for grant applications. Please click here to begin our application. Registration for the October 7 Workshop can be done by following this link.
Please direct questions to Jill Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa Korwin (email@example.com), our consulting team or Karin Demarest, Vice President for Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the online application process refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Annette Williams, email@example.com