Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Sonoma County Resilience Fund?

The Sonoma County Resilience Fund was created in October 2017 to address the mid to long-term needs of Sonoma County to recover and rebuild from the devastating fires that have struck our community.

How was the Resilience Fund created?

Community Foundation Sonoma County established a fund to receive donations for disaster recovery on the second day of the wildfires in Sonoma County. As of October, 2019, 7,500 donations have been received totaling over $15 million dollars. We have made over $4.5 million in grants to support the community’s long-term recovery so far.

The Resilience Fund is unique because funding focuses on the medium- to long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. When a disaster strikes, on average 73% goes to immediate relief, leaving significantly less for recovery and rebuilding, a process that can take up to 10 years. Long after attention has shifted away from Sonoma County, the Resilience Fund will provide support that addresses our community’s most pressing needs.

What impact is the Foundation expecting to make with the Resilience Fund?

The Resilience Fund was established to support the most vulnerable people in our community; individuals and families who were struggling to make ends meet prior to the fires and now have greater challenges to living a healthy, safe, stable life in Sonoma County. The purpose of the Resilience Fund is to ensure that financially vulnerable people impacted by the fires are able to heal, rebuild, and thrive. Our long-term vision for the Resilience Fund is everyone in Sonoma County is thriving and stronger than ever.

The Foundation works toward that vision by focusing grant funds on three areas: Helping individuals impacted by the fires, Healing the long-term impacts of trauma, and Housing solutions for our community.

The 2018 goals within each of the focus area are:

  • By September 2019, approximately 500 low-income and undocumented community members will have access to resources that support their ability to remain living and working in Sonoma County.
  • By September 2019, the most economically vulnerable in our community will have access to trauma-informed care in a variety of settings throughout the community (i.e. schools, community centers, churches, etc.)
  • By the end of 2018, establish well-informed, concrete goals and strategies that will allow us to make a first round of grants to advance viable housing solutions.

In addition to grant funding, the Foundation is engaged in a number of community leadership activities to advance the goals and vision of the Resilience Fund (e.g. co-chair of Sonoma ROC).

How did the Foundation decided to focus on (1) Helping individuals impacted by the fires, (2) Healing the long-term impacts of trauma, and (3) Housing solutions for our community?

The Resilience Fund is the largest long-term recovery fund in Sonoma County. To identify where our support is needed most now and into the future, our grantmaking team engaged in a comprehensive community needs assessment, including meetings with hundreds of local nonprofit leaders, surveys to over 450 nonprofit organizations across Sonoma and Napa counties, and interviews with foundations in New Orleans, Houston, San Diego, and other areas impacted by disasters.

What is the Foundation's grantmaking process?

It is anticipated several large grants will be made through the Resilience Fund on an annual basis over the next five years while Sonoma County recovers and rebuilds. The grantmaking process is proactive and by invitation only. Foundation staff consult with local leaders, practitioners, and experts in the field to better understand issues and opportunities to address those issues. When an organization is identified as a potential fit with the Foundation’s goals, the organization is invited to submit a grant application. Program staff assess the alignment of the organization’s project with the goals of the Resilience Fund, the organization’s capacity to effectively implement the project, and the likelihood the project will making a lasting impact in the community well beyond the grant term among other things. A committee that includes representative from nonprofit, business, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors review grant requests and the Board of Directors makes final funding decisions.

Does the Foundation provide financial resources to individuals? Can I apply to the Resilience Fund?

Community Foundation Sonoma County provides Resilience Fund grants to federally-designated 501(c)3 charitable organizations; we are unable to provide grants directly to individuals. Individuals impacted by the fires are encouraged to contact the following agencies:

Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa

  • Phone: 833-513-6977 | email:
  • Address: 987 Airway Court in Santa Rosa
  • Drop-in hours Wednesday at 3 pm, Fridays at 11 am

Community Action Partnership – CAP

  • Phone: 707-544-6911 | email:
  • Address: 141 Stony Circle, Suite 210, Santa Rosa

Can people still make donations to the Resilience Fund?

Yes! Foundation staff are actively engaged in raising additional funds to support the long-term recovery and rebuilding process. You can quickly and easily support the nonprofit Resilience Fund in the following ways:

  • Donate online to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.
  • Mail a check to Community Foundation Sonoma County, 120 Stony Point Rd., Suite 220, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Please indicate “Sonoma County Resilience Fund” in the memo line.
  • Transfer stock or securities; contact a Philanthropic Advisor to begin the process.

To learn about more ways to give, contact us.

If you have questions about the Resilience Fund, please contact us

Karin Demarest

Karin Demarest

Vice President for Community Impact