Our $200 Million Celebration

We recently celebrated making $200 million in grants with our current and former board of directors. This is a milestone that reflects 34-years’ worth of work, commitment, and inspiration. We celebrate this in 2017, but without their tireless work since the inception of the Community Foundation, this would never have happened. We stand on the […]

First Grants

In 1984, Community Foundation Sonoma County began making its first grants. Jean Schulz persuaded Rolf Illsley, cofounder of Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc. to donate $10,000. “We recognized we needed to give grants in order to get newspaper attention,” Schulz said. “We made four $1,500 grants, one in each of our areas of interest—arts, the environment, […]

Journey to a New Beginning

Annette Williams, Community Foundation Sonoma County’s Programs Coordinator family emigrated from Lithuania to the United States during World War II. Her grandparents, Peter and Magdalena Pocius, fled Nazi occupation and lived in a Displaced Persons Camp where her mother was born. The journey Annette’s grandparents and mother took is one of many similar American origin […]

A Family’s Legacy

Brothers, ages 11 and 9, are put on a train alone to escape a growing threat to Jews as war looms. Their parents stay behind in Germany, hoping to join them after taking care of family affairs. They will never see each other again.  Hans (“Hank”) Cohn and younger brother Bert lived briefly in France […]

There’s No (Good) Excuse to Postpone Estate Planning

There’s a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. In my practice, I often encounter excuses as to why people fail to plan their estates. I encourage everyone to educate themselves about estate planning. Estate planning is […]

Grandparent Legacy Project

Stories create a common thread and understanding for families. Listen to Sharna Goldsecker, Executive Director of 21/64, share research and stories behind The Grandparent Legacy Project. The philanthropy podcast, Forward Thinking, explores how family narratives build a cohesive understanding of values for multiple generations. Both the story itself and the process of passing the story […]

Missing Marv

Philanthropist and community leader Marv Soiland’s legacy to Sonoma County is immeasurable. In addition to a business dynasty, he instilled a philanthropic value into both his family and community. Marv reminded everyone that it is critical to “give ten and save ten”.  By employing a tithing model, Marv felt we should all give the first […]

Fulfilling Donor Intent and Stewarding Legacy

In 2014 the Community Foundation gave out approximately $10 million dollars in grants on behalf of our donors. About 80% of that amount was given through the generosity of individual donors and 20% was distributed from legacy gifts through Community Foundations’ grants programs. While you’re already familiar with the work of your Philanthropic Planning team, […]

Celebrate a Legacy of Philanthropy: Henry Trione

Henry Trione spent more than fifty years shaping Sonoma County. The Press Democrat pays tribute to his commitment to Sonoma County from wineries to football teams, colleges to open space, his business acumen and philanthropy has created an incredible legacy. We are deeply grateful for Henry’s generosity, his partnership with the Community Foundation, and how his […]