Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2021 Community Grants


The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation’s signature fundraising event, the Sonoma County Wine Auction, has raised $39 million for local causes, helping to address Sonoma County’s most pressing needs, and fostering both immediate and long-term change.

The Foundation cultivates a vibrant and diverse Sonoma County through charitable giving focused on improving education, health & human services, the environment, and arts & culture. The Foundation’s annual Community Grants Program ensures that nonprofit organizations working across Sonoma County have the opportunity to apply for funding in these four areas of impact.

For a list of the 2021 SCVF Community Grants Recipients, please click here.

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 each program area’s funding priorities, as these have shifted to address our community’s most urgent needs in 2021.

A few key points to keep in mind as you consider applying:

  • Applicants in the four priority areas will be considered when the request aligns specifically with the stated funding priority
  • To provide broad community-wide support, we will consider only one proposal from any one nonprofit organization
  • Grant requests must fall within the 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

Click here to download Frequently Asked Questions about funding priorities and criteria.

Program AreaFunding Priority
Health and Human ServicesSupporting basic human needs that have been exacerbated during the pandemic.

Funding will target immediate and direct critical safety net services. Examples include access to food, shelter/housing, transportation, or medical expenses. Organizations that have strong existing relationships with vulnerable populations will be prioritized.
Education Recent data shows 70% of Sonoma County youth are feeling anxious about the future.

For 2021, education funding will focus on organizations whose primary objective is to support youth mental health, with a clear emphasis on LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and low-income youth.
Arts & CultureThe COVID pandemic has decimated arts and culture organizations.

Arts & Culture funding in 2021 will focus on arts organizations that have been impacted by the pandemic and provide access to culturally diverse programming and audiences.
EnvironmentIn recent years, Sonoma County has experienced multiple environmental disasters.

Funding will target disaster mitigation projects that seek to address the impacts of fires, floods, and other disasters.

How Does Data Inform the Funding Priorities?

  • Latinxs in Sonoma County are testing positive for COVID at disproportionate rates (65% of cases) compared to the percent of the population overall (27%). Sonoma County
  • 71% of the more than 4,500 high school students in Sonoma County who participated in a YouthTruth reported that “feeling anxious about the future” was the No. 1 barrier to distance learning. Press Democrat
  • Nationally, 95% of arts and culture organizations have canceled events, and 67% expect this crisis to have a “severe” impact on their organization.
  • As of the end of 2020, nearly 10,000 fires had burned over 4.2 million acres, more than 4% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history. CalFire

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 proposal aligns with the Community Grants funding priorities.
  • The goals, implementation timeline, and staffing are clearly defined and achievable within the one-year grant period.
  • The proposal increases access to a diverse sector 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

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

Friday, March 5: Health and Human Services / Arts and Culture Grant Applications are due by 5:00 PM.

Friday, March 12: Education / Environment Grant Applications are due by 5:00 PM.

Wednesday, February 17, 9:00–10:00 AM: virtual Grant workshop (watch the recording)

Thursday, February 18, 3:00–4:00 PM: virtual Grant workshop (watch the recording)

Friday, February 12: Application opens online

End of May: Applicants notified

Grant Period: June 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022

View the Grant Workshop recording for more information about applying:

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 apply.

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

We highly recommend reviewing the FAQs for Online Submission before 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 and Program/Project budget
  • If using a fiscal sponsor, complete the Fiscal Sponsorship Form. Provide an Organization Budget and Board of Directors list for both the fiscal sponsor and the organization being sponsored.


*A program budget template is available on our website. You may choose to use your own template instead. We do not provide a template for the organization budget.

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 consider this 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