Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2019 Community Grants

The Sonoma County Vintners Community Grants program is currently closed. Please check back in early January for updates on the SCVF Community Grants 2020 timeline.

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction brings together caring vintners, growers and donors to support all communities across Sonoma County. We seek to impact our community in two key ways:

  • Fund the Future: an initiative focused on increasing third grade literacy rates
  • Community Grants: a broadly accessible, responsive grants program to address the most pressing needs in our communities.

Over the past year, nonprofit organizations were unwavering in their response to meet the increased pressing needs in our community, even while the fires impacted their own programs. One year after the fires, we continue to assess our funding priorities as they relate to the changing landscape.

As a result, the funding priorities of the four program areas have been slightly revised from 2018. In addition, while we will continue to fund Health & Human Services, Education, Arts & Culture, and Environment, we will be prioritizing nonprofit organizations impacted by the 2017 wildfires. We are defining impact as organizations who suffered financial, structural or other losses and/or increased their services to the community as a result of the fires.


Application Timeline

Tuesday, December 4th, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Grant workshop at Finley Community Center. Click here to download the Powerpoint presentation.

Thursday, December 6th, 9:00-10:00 a.m.: Grant workshop at Finley Community Center

Friday, November 30th: Application opens.

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

Thursday, January 10th: Health and Human Services / Arts and Culture Grant Applications are due by 4:00 PM.

Friday, January 11th: Education / Environment Grant Applications are due by 4:00 PM.

End of February: Applicants notified. Due to the large volume of applications, applicants will be notified at the end of February.

Program Areas & Funding Priorities

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is pleased to continue our commitment to four program areas: Health & Human Services, Education, Environment, and Arts & Culture, with prioritization for organizations impacted by the fire. Click here to download Frequently Asked Questions about funding priorities and criteria. Please see 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 (please note that funding priorities have shifted since 2018).
  • All organizations are welcome to apply even if they have not been impacted by the fires, however, organizations that provide evidence of impact will be prioritized.
  • 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 $25,000.
  • 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.


Health and Human Services

Supporting 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.


Knowing that young people are significantly impacted by trauma-related events, funding will target education-focused organizations supporting the well-being of our youth.

Arts & Culture

Knowing that access to arts education can foster a love of learning, improve personal dignity and enhance creativity, funding for the arts will focus on educational experiences for both youth and adults.


Recognizing 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.
  • Any proposed collaboration with other organizations has been formalized.
  • Primary consideration will be given to organizations impacted by the fire; this includes organizations who suffered financial, structural or other losses and/or increased their services to the community as a result of the fires.

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


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 online portal, you will be asked to set up an account, provide your IRS Tax ID (or Fiscal Sponsor Tax ID) and take a short eligibility quiz.

If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to either access existing application drafts or to open a new application.

We highly recommend reviewing the FAQs for Online Submission prior to beginning your application. Click here to download a Word version of the narrative questions.

Proposal Components

Once you’ve opened an online account, you will be asked a series of questions that include your contact information, funding request amount, project start and end date. You will also be asked to answer a series of narrative questions. Applicants will also be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Organization Budget and Project Budget*
  • Board of Directors List
  • Fiscal Sponsorship Form (only for organizations using a Fiscal Sponsor)
  • Letter of Support if collaborating with another agency on the program/project

*Submitting an organization and project budget is required for this grant; use of our template is not mandatory. If you choose not to use our template, please remember to include both an organization and a project 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. If you exit without saving, your unsaved work is lost.
  • 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.

For questions or problems with the online application, please contact Annette Williams, Program Coordinator, 707-303-9639 or

For questions about eligibility and grant criteria, please contact Ariana Diaz De Leon, Program Officer, 707-303-9619 or