Our Community Leadership

Our Community Leadership

At Community Foundation Sonoma County, we are invested in the promise of Sonoma County and believe in the power of philanthropy to change communities. While many in our region know us for our grantmaking programs, we also go beyond grants to play a wide variety of roles in creating philanthropic solutions to our region’s most pressing issues.


Early Childhood Education Initiative: In late 2014 we launched a three-year early childhood education initiative to increase parent engagement in early literacy development. This initiative supports Cradle to Career Sonoma County’s work in ensuring that every child in Sonoma County enters kindergarten ready to succeed. We serve on Cradle to Career’s operations team, working to connect all segments of the educational continuum – early childhood, K-12, college/technical training, careers – to improve the educational, economic, and health outcomes for all Sonoma County youth.

North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative: For the past five years, we have supported the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative, bringing together environmental organizations working on various aspects of climate adaptation for Sonoma County. We provide backbone funding to the group and have served as a place for key stakeholders to convene, share data and metrics, and collaborate on planning and implementation efforts.

LGBTQI Giving Circle: We have created a giving circle to connect the LGBTQI community and increase awareness of and engagement with the issues that daily affect them in Sonoma County.

Career Technical Education Fund: We act as a community liaison for the CTE Fund, which was created to prepare Sonoma County youth to be college- and career-ready. The fund’s goal is to expand and enhance career technical education programs throughout Sonoma County to align with the economic and workforce development needs of local employers and industries.

Beyond Grantmaking

Los Cien: Director of Philanthropic Services Miguel Ruelas is a founding member of Los Cien Sonoma County Latino Leaders, which brings together prominent figures from our most rapidly growing demographic each month to network and discuss pressing issues in our community.

ieSonoma: Vice President for Programs Karin Demarest moderates the annual ieSonoma (innovate educate Sonoma) event, a local partnership of educational institutions and community organizations devoted to innovations in education. In 2014, more than 750 teachers, school administrators, and community members attended. As a result, Sonoma County joined 30 other communities worldwide in launching a global effort to infuse creativity in education.

Continuum of Care: We serve on the board of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission’s Continuum of Care, dedicated to ending homelessness in Sonoma County.

Upstream Investments: We serve on the Policy, Review, and Executive committees of Upstream Investments, an initiative sponsored by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to invest in and support evidence-based programs that focus on prevention in order to increase equality and reduce monetary and societal costs.

Quarterly Coffees: We strive to learn about, with, and for our community. Under Karin Demarest’s leadership, we host quarterly gatherings to bring community leaders and nonprofit organizations together to share knowledge, learn about our grant making programs, and explore ways to work collaboratively.

Donor Forums: We host quarterly educational Greater Good forums for our donors to gather and learn more about topics that matter to them and to our community.