May 2017
Sonoma Valley Fund Newsletter


In This Issue
SVF Releases Deep Study of Valley Philanthropy
Among the Findings
2016 Annual Report Report Released
Corrections and Amplifications
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Sonoma Valley Fund Releases a New Study - Profiling Our Valley and the First-Ever, Comprehensive Look at Nonprofits

Sonoma Valley's nonprofit sector is surprisingly large, but the needs it addresses are even larger, according to a new study released by Sonoma Valley Fund today. 

The SVF study, "Hidden in Plain Sight" contains updated demographic and economic Profile of Sonoma Valley and the first-ever study of the charitable economy.

The Valley's nonprofit organizations had total revenue of more than $113 million in 2014, up 23 percent from 2011. A significant portion - about $34 million, or 30 percent or the $113 million, came from charitable contributions, mostly individuals. By comparison, the operating budget for the City of Sonoma is just over $31 million. Nonprofits are vital to our community.

Yet, the challenges that the Valley and these organizations face are accelerating. The Profile work, conducted by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, shows that the Valley is: growing, graying, diversifying and becoming less equal
  • Almost 25% of residents are 65 years old or older; while the average for California is just 15%. 
  • 20% of families with children are living in poverty, a 70% increase since 2011, even as we approach full-employment. 
  • Latino families are significantly more likely to be living in poverty.
  • All of this creates an ever-larger divide in our community between have's and have not's.
"For the first time, Sonoma Valley has an in-depth, baseline look at our community's needs and its charitable resources," said Peg Van Camp, President of Sonoma Valley Fund. "We envision this as a way to understand both the demand and the supply sides of the Valley's philanthropy. We  began work on this study six months ago, hoping to spur more dialogue about how Sonoma can better address the growing challenges facing our community", Van Camp explained. "We call the report 'Hidden in Plain Sight' because we are struck by how important the implications are for donors and nonprofit staff and boards. This research is a new tool to help our community look ahead in a more strategic and systematic way."

In addition to the details described above, the research reports show that:
  • Latinos now comprise more than one quarter of the Valley's population.
  • The community has made a concerted effort to support youth and education, which has been by far, the largest category of philanthropic giving. Some educational indicators show that that focus may be starting to pay off!
  • There are also clear gaps. Relative to the size of the aging population, few nonprofits exist to provide direct services to seniors. 
  • No Valley nonprofit focuses on housing, arguably one of the Valley's most significant challenge. 
In light of this comprehensive new data, Sonoma Valley Fund's report concludes that "There is a growing disconnect between the scale, interdependence and complexity of the challenges facing the Valley and the current capacities and capabilities of our charitable sector. We have an urgent need to challenge donors and nonprofits alike, to seize new opportunities to work better and smarter, and to collaborate more closely. Especially in light of likely government funding cuts, we need to make sure that the resources we currently have are deployed effectively and efficiently, and at the same time, work to keep expanding the philanthropic pie."

SVF President Peg Van Camp as well as study authors Katherine Fullerton, Nancy Ramsey and past-President Joshua Rymer are available to share these findings with Valley organizations. Should your organization be interested in a briefing, please contact us through the link below.  

The full report and an Executive Summary of "Hidden in Plain Sight: Sonoma Valley and the Charitable Sector that Serves Us," as well as the Sonoma County Economic Development Board's "Sonoma Valley Community Profile" are available and can be downloaded at  www.hiddeninplainsightsonoma.org .
Among the Findings:
  • The Valley's population is growing as fast or faster than the state as a whole.
  • Sonoma Valley is already, on average, significantly older than many other communities across the country, and grew more than 20 percent between 2010 and 2016.
  • Access to housing is a huge problem that is tied to poverty, the future of jobs, the economy, transportation and the community's character. Some 46 of vacant housing is considered 'Seasonal', being used occasionally or as second homes.
  • While the total size of Sonoma Valley's charitable sector is fairly large, most of the organizations are small. Only one in four of the larger nonprofits has revenue of $1 million or more. 
  • Investments in youth development and education seem to be working; preschool enrollment was up 47% from 2009 to 2014. And high school drop out rates among Latinos has plunged, from over 13 percent in 2008-09 to just 1 percent in 2014-15!
Sonoma Valley Fund Releases its 10th Annual Report

As in years past, the report has a full update on the Fund's activities. One highlight is that since 2006, Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Sonoma Valley Fund have awarded almost $4.8 million in grants and scholarships in Sonoma Valley. Moreover, there has been a dramatic increase in grants from the Fund and Community Foundation over the 10-year period - a track record that makes us very proud. 

Average Annual Grant Levels: 
2007 thru 2011 $211,000
2012 thru 2016 $747,000
Total Grants 2007-2016: $4,795,259

In 2016, the Foundation and Fund awarded over $700,000 in grants and scholarships to Sonoma Valley recipients, over three times more than during the first five years of the Fund.

The creation of the Sonoma Valley Fund has heightened awareness in the community regarding charitable giving. And thanks to generous gifts from Valley donors, such as the Ellman Fund and the Hazel and Roland Todd Trust, we increasingly have a stronger impact on our community.

If you would like a hard copy of the annual report, please contact us at SVF Email and we will happily mail you one.
Corrections and Amplifications

None this Time!
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  Facebook  



Donald Van de Mark, Sonoma Valley Fund

New SVF Logo   

An affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County