Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2018 Community Grants

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2018 Community Grants


The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation’s Sonoma County Wine Auction brings together caring vintners, growers and donors to support all communities across Sonoma County. We seek to impact our community in two key ways:

  • Fund the Future: an initiative focused on increasing third grade literacy rates
  • Community Grants: a broadly accessible, responsive grants program to address the most pressing needs in our communities.

Since the fires we know that many new and pressing needs have arisen for our nonprofit partners to meet the increased demand for your services. At the same time, we know that your ongoing, pre-fire programs remain just as pressing post-fire, and we understand the concern that philanthropic dollars may be diverted to address fire needs. Therefore, our strategy this year is to continue our focus on ongoing support for your core programs in your area of greatest need.

Application Timeline

Thursday, March 1st (3:30-5:00) Grant workshop at Finley Community Center (optional)

Tuesday, March 6th (3:30-5:00): Grant workshop at Finley Community Center (optional)

Monday, March 5th: Application opens online.

PLEASE NOTE: To support a smooth application submission process, we have staggered the grant deadlines according to program areas.

Thursday, April 12th: Health and Human Services / Arts and Culture Grant Applications are due by 4:00 PM.

Friday, April 13th: Education / Environment Grant Applications are due by 4:00 PM.

Week of May 21st: Applicants notified

Program Areas & Funding Priorities

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is pleased to continue our commitment to four program areas: Health and Human Services, Education, Environment, and Arts and Culture. Please see the table below for the funding priorities for each program area.  We also encourage applicants to review the FAQ’s for Community Grants where we will provide further details about the funding priorities and criteria.  A few key points to keep in mind as you consider applying:

  • We encourage applicants to submit requests for your organization’s greatest needs for your programs. You are welcome to apply for fire-related programs, but we will not be prioritizing fire-related requests over support for other, non-fire related programs—all applications will be considered equally
  • Applicants in these four areas will be considered only if the primary mission of the organization aligns with the stated funding priority
  • In order to provide broad community-wide support, we will consider only one proposal from any one non-profit organization
  • The maximum funding amount is $10,000
  • We encourage applicants to attend one of our grant workshops, where we will provide further details about the funding priorities and criteria

Funding Priorities

Health and Human Services – Supporting the most fundamental needs around behavioral health, housing, homelessness, and hunger, funding will target organizations whose mission specifically addresses one of these four areas.

Education – Aligning with Cradle to Career Goal Area 3: “Every young adult is prepared for and completes the highest level of postsecondary education or training to achieve their career goals,” Community Grants funding for education will focus on programs or projects that provide opportunities for workplace, career and postsecondary learning for youth.

Arts & Culture – Knowing that access to arts education can foster a love of learning, improve personal dignity and enhance creativity, funding for the arts will focus on educational experiences for both youth and adults.

Environment – Recognizing the unique beauty and vulnerability of our natural resources, funding will target programs or projects that conserve and/or restore environmentally significant land, waterways and wildlife habitats.

Evaluation Criteria

Our Community Grants program is a broadly accessible, responsive grants program meant to address the most pressing needs across all our communities. When evaluating proposals we use the following criteria to assess the competitiveness of a project or program:

  • The applicant’s organizational mission aligns with the Community Grants funding priorities
  • The goals, implementation timeline and staffing are clearly defined and achievable
  • Any proposed collaboration with other organizations has been formalized

Eligibility Criteria

Sonoma County 501c3 nonprofit organizations may apply for a Community Grant for either program or project support.   We do not accept proposals for:

  • Annual fund campaigns, fundraising events or debt retirement
  • Capital campaigns
  • Conferences
  • Grants (or loans) to individuals
  • Political or religious purposes (or programs requiring religious participation)
  • Projects that primarily serve residents outside of Sonoma County
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Offsetting lost revenues from the fires

Application Process

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation uses Community Foundation Sonoma County’s online process for submitting grant applications. If this is your first application using the online portal, you will be asked to set up an account, provide your IRS Tax ID (or Fiscal Sponsor Tax ID) and take a short eligibility quiz.

If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to either access existing application drafts or to open a new application.

We highly recommend reviewing the FAQs for Online Submission prior to beginning your application.  Click here to download a Word version of the narrative questions.

Proposal Components

Once you’ve opened an online account, you will be asked a series of questions that include your contact information, funding request amount, project start and end date. You will also be asked to answer a series of narrative questions. Applicants will also be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Organization Budget and Project Budget*
  • Board of Directors List
  • Fiscal Sponsorship Form*
  • Letter of Support if collaborating with another agency on the program/project

* Templates are provided and are required for these documents

A few words of caution:

  • When working in the electronic application portal, save your work as you go along. If you want to leave and then return to complete your application later, save your work before you exit the program. If you exit without saving, your unsaved work is lost.
  • As the grant deadline nears we receive a high volume of calls and emails and we may not be able to respond to your request immediately. Please take this into consideration in your planning and apply early, in case you encounter technical difficulties or have questions about the grant program.

For questions or problems with the online application, please contact Annette Williams, Program Coordinator, 707-303-9639 or

For questions about Education or Arts & Culture, please contact Karin Demarest, Vice President for Programs, 707.303.9621 or

For questions about Health & Human Services or the Environment, please contact Elly Grogan, Program Officer, 707.303.9638,