Wine being poured into a glass. Text: Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Community Grants program

Grant Applications Are Closed

Overview

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation’s signature fundraising event, the Sonoma County Wine Auction, has raised over $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 2022.

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 be no more than $10k
  • 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 ServicesThe increased stress of the pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of community members, with the greatest challenges faced by those already vulnerable due to multiple factors.

Funding will target programs or projects that support the fundamental needs of our most vulnerable community members, which could include mental and behavioral health, housing, and food insecurity.
Education In Sonoma County, data from the YouthTruth survey and READY report show that English Learners have been disproportionately impacted by wildfires and the pandemic in two key areas: digital access and access to early childhood education.

Recognizing that high-quality early education and comprehensive digital access have lasting implications on literacy, the education funding for 2022 will target programs or projects that offer children, youth and/or their families the opportunity to increase early literacy skills and/or address the digital divide.
Arts & CultureThe connection between the arts and healing has been well-documented. For a community that has experienced a series of natural disasters alongside a global pandemic, the arts can reduce acute levels of collective stress and uncertainty, transforming struggle into a creative expression of lived experience.

For 2022, arts funding will target programs or projects that explore the arts and creative expression as a form of healing.
EnvironmentThe existing and future threat of climate change-fueled wildfires means disaster mitigation continues to be critical for the safety of our community.

Funding will target disaster mitigation projects that seek to address the impacts of wildfires primarily through the reduction of fire fuels. Approaches include—but are not limited to—prescribed grazing, prescribed burns, and manual vegetation management. Recognizing the opportunity to create a pathway for a trained, stable, well-compensated workforce that can conduct comprehensive wildfire mitigation, projects that provide opportunities for youth, BIPOC individuals, and others most impacted by economic, racial, and social inequities, will be prioritized.

How Does Data Inform the Funding Priorities?

  • Even as Sonoma County becomes increasingly diverse, racial inequities persist with rent burdens highest for women of color, and income inequalities becoming greater for those earning the least. Bay Area Equity Atlas Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and brown communities, all contributing to decreasing mental health. CA Budget & Policy Center
  • Wildfires are increasing in size and intensity in California and wildfire seasons are growing longer. An increase in temperatures is compounding pre-existing conditions, namely fuel accumulation in our forest, to escalate fire risk. New York Times
  • Compared to their peers, a higher proportion of Sonoma County secondary students who are learning English (ELL) cite limited or no internet access or limited or no access to a computer or device as obstacles to their learning. YouthTruth Survey
  • Creativity through the arts can help counterbalance the short- and long-term emotional toll that can come from extreme loss and trauma. Clinical Social Work Journal

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.

Monday, February 14: Application opens online

Wednesday, February 16, 3:00–4:00 PM: Virtual Grant workshop (optional)

Thursday, February 17, 9:00–10:00 AM: Virtual Grant workshop (optional)

Friday, March 4: Health and Human Services / Arts and Culture Grant Applications are due by 5:00 PM.

Friday, March 11: Education / Environment Grant Applications are due by 5:00 PM.

Mid-May: Applicants notified of grant status

Grant Period: June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023

Grant Workshop

We hosted two optional grant workshops on February 16 and 17. You can view the presentation below.

Grant Workshop - February 17, 2022

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 profile.

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

Community Impact Director
For other questions, please contact:
Karin Demarest

Karin Demarest

Vice President for Community Impact
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