February 2012
Sonoma Valley Fund Newsletter


In This Issue
Endow Sonoma Valley Month Update
Sonoma Valley's Youth Initiative Finds a New Home
Chip's Corner
CFSC Makes 1st Round of Neighborhood Grants
Meyers Financial earns 'Top 10' honor
Professional Advisors
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Endow Sonoma Valley Month Update
There is a lot happening in anticipation of October 2012

Plans are underway for our first ever, Endow Sonoma Valley Month.  The entire month of October 2012 will be dedicated to raising awareness of legacy giving and increasing the number of families and individuals who commit to making a legacy gift in Sonoma Valley.  Our goal is to double the number of legacy gift commitments through these efforts!

Look out for information on events leading up to October in these newsletters.  If you would like to volunteer, we need help in organizing the events, please send an email to Joshua Rymer (   


Sonoma Valley Fund's Youth Initiative Finds a New Home
Sonoma Valley School District to Take Over Aspects of the Program

Sonoma Valley Fund's highly successful Summer Youth Initiative, launched two years ago in the wake of the tragic, violent death of a teenage boy at Maxwell Park, has found a new home within the Sonoma Valley Unified School District.

Beginning this coming summer, the School District will take over and further develo
Angel Island YI Summer Trip
Middle School students visit Angel Island
p the Youth Initiative's summer enrichment curriculum and activities aimed at helping at-risk kids transition smoothly from grade school to middle school and from middle school to high school. "This is a critical time in the lives of these youngsters, and anything we can do to help them focus on what's truly important and develop healthy, inquisitive frames of mind for the coming school year will greatly influence their future academic achievement," said Louann Carlomagno, Sonoma Valley Superintendent of Schools. "The District will continue to use state allocations to fund the summer school program and will seek private foundation monies to continue this valuable program. We are very impressed with results we've seen from Sonoma Valley Fund's Summer Youth Initiative, and we are determined to build on this success for the sake of our students."

According to Sonoma Valley Fund President Barbara Young, some 300 at-risk kids attended Youth Initiative summer school enrichment programs over the past two years, and another 250 youngsters took part in special sessions aimed at avoiding dangerous and unhealthy after-school influences and behaviors. "It's clear that these programs have positively impacted a significant portion of Sonoma's at-risk student population," said Young. "We look forward to working with
the School District to bring about a smooth transition."

Steve Pease has written a short paper describing the experience of incubating the Youth Initiative.  You can read his account of the program and learn about its impact by clicking on:  Reflections on the Youth Inititiative 


Chip's Corner
When is the right time of life to think about planned giving?

Jeanne and Chip Allen
Jeanne and Chip Allen
There is an old saying that "timing is everything." And there is another saying that "it's never too soon, but it might be too late." Both these sayings are certainly true when considering planned giving. Creating a legacy that will help your community can be a very rewarding and generous thing to do and can possibly provide some income tax and estate tax benefits, but you must do it while you're alive and capable of making financial decisions. There is no single "right time of life" for everyone to give back to the community. For some, establishing a planned gift can make sense when they're in their thirties, for others, it may not be until later in life.

In counseling my estate planning clients we discuss the order of planning. Once they have planned for themselves and their family, it is appropriate to think about "What do I want to do for my community?"

Often, during the planning process, opportunities appear to save income taxes while providing gifts to the community. As an example, the gift of highly appreciated stock or real estate to a charity can offset current income. This is truly a "win-win" for the family and the community.

When there is a way to save on taxes AND do something wonderful for the community, my clients benefit and the community benefits.Talk with an estate planning professional who can help identify such opportunities for double wins!! 

For a complete list of the Professional Advisors who have partnered with Sonoma Valley Fund, click here 
CFSC Makes 1st Round of Neighborhood Grants...
...In Sonoma Valley

Community Foundation Sonoma County (Sonoma Valley Fund's parent organization) has made its first round of
The Quetzalen Folk Ballet Group
The Quetzalen Folk Ballet Group
Neighborhood Grants. The Quetzalen Folk Ballet Group in the Springs area of Sonoma Valley was awarded $2,000 to buy costumes for the youngest dancers so that they can participate in performances. Dance classes and events for adults and children bring families together to learn about the history of dance, practice, perform and share their cultural pride with each other and members of the community.


Meyers Financial earns 'Top 10' honor
Congratulations to one of Sonoma Valley Fund's Professional Advisor Partners

Meyers Financial, a Sonoma Valley Fund Professional Advisor Partner, has been awarded status as a "Top 10 business" by The Prime Buyer's Report and is officially certified as "Prime Buyer's Report - Top 10".

The award was based on a ten-point research process conducted by The Prime Buyer's Report, an online consumer report that since 2007 has been publishing the results of independent research about local service businesses in a wide range of industries based on thousands of phone calls and public record searches.

Congratulations to Lillian Meyers and her firm!

To read more about the designation, click here 


Sonoma Valley Fund Partners with Professional Advisors  

Connecting Clients to Thoughtful Giving!  


Philanthropy is a personal decision. Many individuals who have a trusted professional advisor look to that advisor to help guide appropriate philanthropic decisions so that the individual can realize their charitable bequests and legacy giving wishes.


To assist their clients, attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, brokers, insurance agents, registered investment advisors and other professionals have learned to initiate such discussions, listen to their clients, and offer ideas about the many estate planning legacy giving options available.


Many professional advisors have turned to their local community foundations in order to expand their knowledge that can help enrich the charitable giving strategies of their clients. In fact, over 70% of the charitable and legacy gifts given to Community Foundation Sonoma County are sourced through and as a result of a donor's relationship with a professional advisor. That statistic alone has caused Sonoma Valley Fund, affiliated with Community Foundation Sonoma County, to create a focus on broadening and deepening its relationships with professional advisors in Sonoma Valley. The driving premise was that if advisors were more familiar and comfortable discussing the work of Sonoma Valley Fund and Community Foundation Sonoma County, they could pass on that information to their clients.


Sonoma Valley Fund board member Susan Hoeffel began a project in the summer of 2011 that started with interviews and research to understand the opinions, to "size" the number of advisors in Sonoma Valley and to determine the potential to build broader relationships. Sonoma Valley Fund wanted to help the advisors best serve clients that they could interest in charitable giving and supporting the local community.


Research revealed that in mid-2011 there were 8 professional advisors who had partnered with Sonoma Valley Fund (4 estate planning attorneys, 2 financial planners and 2 CPAs). The names of these individuals and contact information are found at Professional Advisors. Each of these 8 advisors has generously agreed to provide a one-hour complimentary consultation for anyone who mentions Sonoma Valley Fund when setting up an initial appointment.


In order to provide this group of "charter advisors" with tools to enable them to have productive conversations regarding legacy giving, Sonoma Valley Fund is in the process of developing ongoing educational and communication aides that can be left in the professional advisors' waiting rooms and/or used in discussions with their clients. The plan is to gather initial feedback on the first set of tools, to amend and improve those tools by using what might be able to be leveraged from Community Foundation Sonoma County and to create ongoing updates delivered via email.


Since last summer 3 additional professional advisors are in the process of partnering with Sonoma Valley Fund and some 30 additional advisors have been identified as potential partners with Sonoma Valley Fund. Therefore, the opportunity exists to more than triple the group of professional advisors who partner with Sonoma Valley Fund.

We expect that many of these experts will be invited to participate in the educational sessions, panels and events leading up to and surrounding Endow Sonoma Valley Month, scheduled for October 2012.

To find a complete list of the Professional Advisors partnered with Sonoma Valley Fund, go to: Professional Advisors 


As always, you can learn more about the Sonoma Valley Fund by visiting our website: Sonoma Valley Fund.


Become a fan of Sonoma Valley Fund on





Barbara Young, President


Sonoma Valley Fund

Sonoma Valley Fund Logo  

Sonoma Valley Fund
Box G
Sonoma, CA 95476
An affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County