Elly Grogan wearing a vibrant, red necklace around her neck, smiling at the CFSC office building.

Today we’re honored to celebrate Elly Grogan’s work at the foundation as we say goodbye to having her on board with us full-time.

Elly first joined Community Foundation Sonoma County in May of 2014. Her passion and dedication to supporting our community led her to hold multiple positions across two departments over the past seven years with us, ultimately serving as our Director of Philanthropic Planning.

When Elly came to the Foundation, she knew she had the opportunity to help create something new and fill specific needs in the community, but she likely never imagined the scope.

After the 2017 wildfires devastated the county, Elly played a key role in launching our Sonoma County Resilience Fund. In collaboration with our Vice President for Community Impact, Karin Demarest, the two led a comprehensive listening tour to understand the biggest community needs, and created grantmaking strategies to ensure that the dollars we raised were going where they were needed the most. Four years later, the Resilience Fund continues to help support hundreds of nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County, with over $14 million in grants to date.

In 2015, Elly joyfully participated in the Foundation’s launch of the Latino Leadership fund. The fund serves as a tool in the community supporting emerging community leaders from diverse backgrounds. The fund led to the creation of “On the Verge”, a 3-year cohort program where 12 emerging leaders received coaching and mentoring to help work on a shared project.

One significant effort that emerged from the program was the creation of the nonprofit organization, La Plaza. First ideated by On the Verge cohort, La Plaza now has a prominent role in Sonoma County providing consistent support to the Latinx community and leading efforts in COVID-19 response.

Elly shares that she is grateful for all she has learned during her time at the Foundation, gaining skills and knowledge that are sure to be beneficial to her in her next roles.

After being with the Community Foundation for seven years, Elly has a long list of things she will be missing as she says goodbye to the Foundation, admitting that what she will ultimately be missing most is the people. Everyone with whom she had the opportunity to collaborate or partner with, ranging from board members, donors, committee members, community and nonprofit leaders and her fellow staff members. Meeting and getting to “know people in the community that focus on providing resources to people in need” has been a true inspiration for Elly.

Elly looks back at her time at the Foundation with fond memories. Being able to see all the impact her work has done and reflecting on all that she has learned, Elly would sum up her time at CFSC as “inspiring.”

Even though we may not see her every day, we’re grateful that Elly’s relationship with the Foundation will continue as she collaborates with the Foundation to serve as a reliable partner on special projects or alongside other nonprofits and community foundations.

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