The 2024 Basic Human Needs grant program is now closed.

The Issue

In Sonoma County, the persistent challenge of meeting basic needs has become more pronounced in the wake of successive crises. The region’s high cost of living intensifies the difficulties faced by low-income residents, exacerbated by the compounding effects of wildfires, the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the ripple effects of inflation. Consequently, families find themselves grappling with the difficult choices of allocating funds for basic needs like housing, food, clothing, or transportation to work. To address these pressing issues, timely and direct assistance is crucial to preventing job loss and homelessness and ensuring that families can meet their daily needs. A recent report from the United Ways of California Real Cost Measure 2023 study shows that more than one-third (36%) of Sonoma County working households cannot afford basic household necessities, underscoring the urgent demand for sustained support in the community.

Grant Program Overview

Community Foundation Sonoma County’s Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs provides a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations already working with vulnerable populations and needing funding for critical safety net services.

Grant applications may include funding requests for programs that provide food, shelter, housing, transportation, and/or urgent medical and dental services for people in acute need in Sonoma County. This year, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the fund was expanded to provide additional resources specifically to address hunger and food insecurity. There is no limit to the use of grant funds for program overhead expenses.

Grant Program Criteria

The Julia L. Grant Basic Human Needs Grant Program is meant to address the most essential needs of families and individuals in Sonoma County.

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria:

  • Requesting organization is a Sonoma County 501(c)(3) nonprofit or an organization fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
  • Program provides services that address the short-term, urgent needs of community members. Referral programs are not eligible for this funding.
  • Program minimizes barriers to accessing

Application Timeline

  • January 8, 2024: Grant application opens
  • January 26, 2024: Grant application closes at 5 pm
  • Late February: Applicants informed of grant awards
  • Grant Period: March 15, 2024 through March 14, 2025

    How To Apply

    Community Foundation Sonoma County uses an 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. If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to open a new application.

    Once you’ve opened an online account, you will be asked a series of questions that include your contact information and a series of narrative questions. Applicants with a Fiscal Sponsor will also be asked to upload the Fiscal Sponsorship Form and a Fiscal Sponsor Organizational Budget.

    To review FAQs for Online Submission, please click here. For questions regarding the online application, please contact Annette Williams at or 707-303-9639.

    For questions about the Julia L. Grant Fund for Basic Human Needs, please contact:
     José Castro Gambino

    José Castro Gambino

    Community Impact Officer


    2023 Grant Recipients

    Ambulatory Surgery Access Coalition dba Operation Accessto provide donated surgeries and specialty medical procedures
    California Human Development to provide direct financial assistance to low-income farmworkers
    California Indian Museum & Cultural Centerto provide rental and utility assistance
    California Parenting Institute (CPI)to support basic needs for families
    Community Action Partnership of Sonoma Countyto provide immediate basic needs
    Disability Services and Legal Centerto support DSLC's Access to Basic Needs Program
    La Familia Sanato provide direct rental and utilities assistance to families
    La Luz Centerto provide low-income Sonoma Valley Latinx residents direct, immediate basic needs
    Nuestra Comunidadto support the Essential Needs Program
    On The Moveto support VOICES Sonoma’s Basic Human Needs program
    Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast provide dental needs to low-income and special needs patients
    Petaluma Health Centerto support prescription and transportation costs for homeless and low-income patients
    Rebuilding Together - Petalumato provide critical home repairs and accessibility modifications
    Sebastopol Area Senior Centerto support the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Harvest Café food program
    Sonoma County Black Forumto support Sonoma County Black Forum's financial assistance and food program
    St. Vincent De Paul Society of Sonoma Countyto provide emergency financial support
    TLC Child & Family Servicesto support the the Transition Age Youth Housing Program
    Verity-Compassion Safety Support A California Corporationto support the Basic Needs Assistance Program
    YWCA of Sonoma Countyto provide support for YWCA's domestic violence services