In the News
August 2011: Community Foundation Sonoma County and Sonoma Valley Fund News
For the past year, a team from Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Sonoma Valley Fund has been at work to assess community needs and determine where to focus our involvement in the Valley from the $8.5 million bequest of Roland and Hazel Todd. Based on the community’s responses and the Todd’s wishes, improving the health and well being of residents in the Springs area of Sonoma Valley will be our initial focus. Read more about this work:
Community Foundation Sonoma County Issues Community Challenge Grant to Assist Effort for Ending Hunger
SANTA ROSA, Dec. 10 – Community Foundation Sonoma County has launched a fund drive to support the Redwood Empire Food Bank and 147 other programs for ending hunger.
The effort seeks to raise $120,000 to support programs for providing fresh fruits and vegetables for people in need for the coming year.
The drive already has secured $90,000 toward the goal, including $60,000 from the Community Foundation, itself, and $30,000 from two anonymous donors in a challenge grant.
The Foundation is now appealing to the community for contributions to match the $30,000 challenge grant.
The drive is being spearheaded by the Foundation to help provide for increasing numbers of individuals and families who don’t have enough to eat.
“This year the Community Foundation is addressing some of the most basic needs in our community,” Barbara Hughes, Foundation President and CEO, said in an appeal letter seeking contributions. “In a departure from our traditional competitive grant making cycle, we will direct our entire Health and Human Service grant budget ($60,000) to alleviate hunger in Sonoma County.”
With the $120,000, the Community Foundation will provide the REFB with additional funds to pay for acquisition, transportation and distribution of fresh produce which will be made available at no cost to 147 pantries and community and faith-based hunger relief programs throughout the county.
The participating hunger relief agencies that work with the Food Bank to support hunger programs in every corner of the county include dozens of churches, inter-faith and Jewish agencies, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, the Committee on the Shelterless, Community Action Partnership, and many others.
“The Community Foundation is pleased to partner with this network of agencies during a time when the need for food in our community has increased significantly,” Hughes said. “Working together, our targeted giving will help to increase the number of meals provided and will make those meals more nutritious.”
David Goodman, Executive Director of the REFB, said the Foundation effort will have an “immediate impact on hunger relief in our community.”
“We are thrilled that this strong statement of leadership from the Community Foundation in directing significant resources toward an issue as fundamental and urgent as hunger,” said Goodman. “And, the pursuit of fresh produce that addresses not only hunger but the health and well being of the recipients is truly exciting for everyone involved: donors, the REFB, agencies, and food recipients.”
The Foundation is encouraging supporters to contribute to Ending Hunger Fund by mail (250 D St., Suite 205, Santa Rosa CA 95404) or online; For more information contact Miguel Ruelas the Community Foundation at 707-579-4073 x 19.
Community Foundation Sonoma County was established in 1983. Its mission is to strengthen communities through effective philanthropy and civic engagement. It has current assets of more than $140 million which are held in more than 450 charitable funds created by individuals, families, community groups and businesses.
The REFB is the largest hunger relief agency from Petaluma to the Oregon border. It provides food to 78,000 seniors, children and families in Sonoma County. The REFB distributes almost 13 million pounds of food every year – the equivalent of 27,000 meals every day. In addition to Sonoma County, it serves pantries and hunger programs in Lake, Mendocino, Del Norte and Humboldt counties. More information is available at www.refb.org.
Community Foundation Sonoma County Announces New Supporting Organization - Oliver Ranch Foundation
May 7, 2010 – Santa Rosa, CA – Community Foundation Sonoma County is proud to announce a new supporting organization - the Oliver Ranch Foundation. Steve and Nancy Oliver, art patrons and founders of the Oliver Ranch, worked with the Community Foundation to create the Oliver Ranch Foundation in order to assure that their vision for the world-renowned sculpture ranch in Geyserville, California, continues into perpetuity.
The newly formed Oliver Ranch Foundation board includes Steve and Nancy Oliver, Barbara Hughes (President and CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County), Jean Schulz (President of the Schulz Museum and founder and emeritus board member of Community Foundation Sonoma County) and John Mackie (managing partner at Carle, Mackie, Power and Ross, LLP). “The Oliver Ranch is a priceless asset in the Sonoma County arts and culture scene that, by its singular presence and renown, lifts all other arts organizations higher – I am thrilled to be involved with such an extraordinary project,” remarked Jean Schulz.
“It has been a delight to work with a couple as deeply philanthropic as the Olivers,” said Barbara Hughes. “As a Community Foundation we are in unique position that enables us to take on supporting organizations such as the Oliver Ranch and help the Olivers realize their legacy.” Other supporting organizations of the Community Foundation are Chop’s, Pepperwood Foundation and Sonoma Paradiso. “They are hybrids in the tax world and enjoy tax and regulatory benefits that are more favorable than those afforded private foundations,” said Ms. Hughes. The Olivers have given half the sculptures on the ranch to the supporting organization, with plans to give the remaining sculptures by the end of their lifetimes.
The 100 acre ranch is known for its spectacular collection of commissioned, large-scale, outdoor sculpture from renowned artists such as Richard Serra, Martin Puryear and Bruce Nauman. As private collectors, Steve and Nancy have pursued this passion for over 25 years and have commissioned 18 works that pepper the rolling hills of the ranch’s landscape. “We wanted to ensure the longevity and security of the collection, as well as keep the ranch alive with new sculptural works and original performance works inspired around the sculptures,” said Steve Oliver, President of the construction and development firm Oliver & Company, Inc., based in Richmond, California. “Oliver Ranch is truly a Sonoma County asset and we very much hoped to leave the ranch in local hands. The Community Foundation was a perfect fit for us."
The Oliver Ranch Foundation, with Steve Oliver at the helm, will continue oversight of Ranch operations involving about thirty private tours each year that are made available to non-profit organizations to use as fundraising vehicles. In addition, there are a limited number of performances given annually in the Ranch's unique performance tower designed by acclaimed artist Ann Hamilton. These performances are also given to non-profits to use as fundraisers. Past performances include those by Meredith Monk, the Kronos Quartet, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and Joe Goode Performance Group. The next performance at Oliver Ranch on June 19, 2010, will be with the renowned actor Michael York performing a Shakespeare recital to benefit a local theater company – 6th Street Playhouse. For more information on tours and performances at the Ranch, including the Michael York performance, please visit www.oliverranchfoundation.org
Healdsburg Area Fund 2010 Grants Help Nonprofits Keep Doors Open
December 2009 - Seven nonprofits serving Healdsburg and Geyserville have been awarded a total of $37,500 in grants by the Healdsburg Area Fund (HAF), an Affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County. Grant recipients for 2010 are Alliance Medical Center, Becoming Independent, California Human Development/Day Labor Center, Healdsburg Boys & Girls Club, Healdsburg Education Foundation, Individuals Now/Social Advocates for Youth and Matrix: A Parent Network & Resource Center.
The HAF Grants Committee chose to continue its basic operating support grants which changed last year (from program-focused) in response to the economic turmoil. To better respond to deepening needs, 2010 grants focused further on populations and services impacted the most by the recession—Health and Human Services and Youth Development and Education. The Committee received requests totaling more than $75,000. Committee Chair Lynn Woznicki led Grants Committee members Chris Baldenhofer, Linda Chavez, Andy Esquivel, Lorene Kuimelis, Taya Levine, Susan Lentz, Herb Liberman, Dave Ring and Bob Santos in the evaluation process. They conducted site visits to each of the organizations, speaking directly with board and staff members about their operations and programs. Ms. Woznicki said that they were struck by the enormity of growing needs and the clear necessity for more grant dollars. “We were also impressed by the quality of leadership and dedication within these organizations even in these toughest of times; it was truly inspiring,” she added.
Basic operating support enables nonprofits to deliver needed services that budgetary constraints might make impossible. For example, Alliance Medical Center received a $7,500 grant to help offset the costs of wages, benefits and rent for the new Teen Health Center in Healdsburg. According to Jack Neureuter, Chief Executive Officer at Alliance, "The generous grant from the Healdsburg Area Fund will assist us in expanding our services to the youth in our community. Our Teen Health Center will provide a safe environment for teens to access confidential healthcare, health education and advice on living healthy lives. We are grateful to the Healdsburg Area Fund for recognizing the need for this service and supporting our new initiative."
Multiplying Resources for the Performing Arts
The Community Foundation is working to multiply the effect of our resources at a time when every charitable dollar is precious.
On March 7th, we hosted an Evening of Song & Poetry, featuring three of the art world's brightest stars, Jeffrey Kahane (piano), Dana Gioia (poet) and Rod Gilfry (baritone). Originally, this event was intended to raise endowment funds for the new Sonoma County Artist Awards for the Performing and Literary fields, the first of which were awarded to Robin Beeman, Jim Corbett and John Harden that night.
In response to these uncertain times, Melissa Kester, our Development Officer for the Arts, suggested shifting the event's purpose to help with the immediate needs of the 5 major performing arts organizations in the county: American Philharmonic, Cinnabar Theater, 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa Symphony and Sonoma County Repertory Theater. Here are the exciting results:
- spectacular venue (Paradise Ridge Winery)
- star performers
- new Artist Awards winners
- leading Sonoma County arts organizations
- 150 arts donors
- $50,000 Community Foundation Sonoma County challenge match
- $110,000 total dollars raised to benefit 5 organizations (some chose a 2 for 1 match, further multiplying the challenge)
- Priceless collaboration among the arts community organizations and patrons
- Leveraged use of limited resources to maximize return and benefits for many
We are still committed to our goal for the Sonoma County Arts Awards Endowment Fund. To find out how you can support this program, contact J Mullineaux or call 579-4073, ext. 20.
We provide grants to neighborhood residents who work together to address and resolve shared issues of concern. We hope to inspire residents to build and strengthen relationships and gain a sense of both belonging and leadership in their neighborhoods. More…
"We established the Nelson Emergency Care Endowment for Sonoma Valley Hospital with the Community Foundation for its cost-effective administrative support, counsel and financial management and enjoy working with its local affiliate branch, the Sonoma Valley Fund."