Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2020 Community Grants

Thank you for your applications; the 2020 grants program is now closed.


The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation cultivates a vibrant and diverse Sonoma County by elevating lives through charitable events and philanthropic giving. Our fundraising efforts have a direct impact in the areas of literacy, education, health & human services, the environment and arts & culture.

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation’s Sonoma County Wine Auction brings together caring vintners, growers and donors to support all communities across Sonoma County. Through Community Grants and Fund the Future initiatives, we have the ability to impact all needs, ranging from the immediate to the long term.

  • Fund the Future: an initiative focused on increasing third grade literacy rates. This grant program is not currently accepting applications.
  • Community Grants: a broadly accessible, responsive grants program to address the most pressing needs in our communities. This grant program is not currently accepting applications.

Please click here to see a list of the 2019-2020 grantees.

New for 2020

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation partners with Community Foundation Sonoma County to implement the Community Grants. All applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early, as the Community Foundation has launched a new online grant portal. Please reference the Grant Application Portal Guide or contact Annette Williams with questions.

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. Click to download the Frequently Asked Questions about funding priorities and criteria. Please see the table below for the funding priorities for each program area. A few key points to keep in mind as you consider applying:

  • Applicants in these four areas will be considered only if the program or project for which they are applying 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
  • Grant requests must fall within this range of $5,000 to $20,000
  • We encourage, but do not require, applicants to attend one of our grant workshops, where we will provide further details about the funding priorities and criteria
Program AreaFunding Priority
Health and Human ServicesSupporting the most fundamental needs around behavioral health, housing, homelessness, and hunger, funding will target programs or projects that specifically address one of these four areas.
Education Collaboration between schools and community based organizations provides unique opportunities to leverage efforts and achieve greater impact. Education funding will support programs or projects whose impact on children or youth is realized through robust, clearly defined collaborations between K-12 schools and nonprofits.
Arts & CultureKnowing that access to arts education can foster a love of learning, improve personal dignity and enhance creativity, funding for the arts will focus on arts educational experiences for both youth and adults.
EnvironmentRecognizing 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 project or program aligns with the Community Grants funding priorities
  • The goals, implementation timeline and staffing are clearly defined and achievable
  • The goals for the program are achievable within the one-year grant period
  • Any proposed collaboration with other organizations has been formalized—if the success of the program is dependent on the participation of key partners, a letter(s) of collaboration is required
  • Reach of program impacts a meaningful number of clients
  • People impacted by this grant represent the diversity of our community

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
  • Scholarships
  • 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

How to Apply

Application Timeline

Friday, January 17: Application opens online

Tuesday, January 21, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Grant workshop at Cypress Room, Finley Community Center (optional)

Friday, January 24, 9:00-10:00 a.m.: Grant workshop at Cypress Room, Finley Community Center (optional)

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

Friday, February 14: Health and Human Services / Arts and Culture Grant Applications are due by 4:00 p.m.

Friday, February 21: Education / Environment Grant Applications are due by 4:00 p.m.

May: Applicants notified

Grant Period: June 15, 2020 – June 15, 2021

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 new online portal, you will be asked to set up an account. Click here to create your account.

If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to open a new application.

We highly recommend reviewing the Grant Application Portal Guide prior to beginning your application.

Proposal Components

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 will also be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Board of Directors List
  • Organization Budget for current fiscal year
  • Program/project Budget*
  • If using a fiscal sponsor, complete the Fiscal Sponsorship Form found on our grant application templates page
  • Letter of Support if collaborating with another agency on the program/project

*A program budget template is available on our website. You may choose to use your own template instead. Please note, both an organization budget and a program budget are required.

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.
  • 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.

Application Documents

Please note, applications must be submitted online through our Grants Portal, and will not be accepted via email.  If you prefer to draft your application in Microsoft Word, before submitting through our online grant application portal, we have compiled a copy of each application for you to use. Please click the links below to download the .docx file for the program area you are interested in applying for:

For questions or problems with the online application, please contact:
Annette Williams

Annette Williams

Community Impact Coordinator
For questions about eligibility and grant criteria, please contact:
Ariana Diaz De Leon

Ariana Díaz de León

Senior Community Impact Officer