Features ~ Sonoma Valley Sun


Making an impact

Posted on June 6, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Impact100 members will vote on how to distribute $228,000 to area nonprofits

Impact100 Sonoma is a philanthropic organization that brings together women in a common purpose: to award an Impact Grant of $100,000 every year to a Sonoma Valley nonprofit organization that would otherwise not have access to that level of funding.

On June 22, each of the 228 Impact100 members will vote for one of three finalists.

This year Impact100 received a total of 45 Letters of Inquiry from Sonoma Valley nonprofit organizations interested in applying for the $100,000 annual Impact Grant and smaller Community Grants.

The finalists were selected after months of careful review by more than 80 Impact100 Sonoma members serving on grant review committees.

“We are presenting another slate of finalists that will make the selection process very difficult for our members,” said Patti England, who chairs the selection process. Impact100 received applications from 45 different Sonoma Valley nonprofit organizations. “The grant process has introduced us to so many wonderful organizations and enlightened us about the needs of our Valley and the fine work that so many nonprofits are undertaking.”

The  $100,000 Impact Grant will be awarded to one of the following three nonprofit organizations serving Sonoma Valley:

Prevention & Intervention: The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, in partnership with the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Its proposal will expand early learning opportunities for children at high risk of entering kindergarten without the necessary social, behavioral, and academic skills necessary for early learning and school success. This program would establish a new preschool for 48 children at Sassarini School, building on the highly successful model at El Verano School.

Social Outreach: WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center. Its proposal will provide peer grief support services in all seven of Sonoma Valley’s elementary schools as an expansion of its highly successful pilot program, GriefReach.  The program provides expressive arts-based peer grief support as well as grief-related coaching and teaching tools for the 250 faculty and staff employed at these schools.

Women & Girls: Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation. Its proposal will support a Women’s Healthcare Navigator Program providing professional bilingual expertise and health and wellness education tailored to the needs of each individual. Services will help clients to “navigate” the complexities of the health care system, provide help in understanding tests and treatments, and educate about wise health care decisions.

Community Grants finalists

Funded by a $1,000 donation by each member, Impact100 Sonoma will award $228,000 in grant funds this year. In addition to the Impact Grant, the remaining finalists will each receive $20,000. Additionally, a total of $88,000 will be awarded in Community Grants, ranging in size from $5,000 to $15,000.

The finalists are:

Literary Arts Guild-Free Bookmobile of Sonoma is requesting $3000 to purchase and install a galvanized steel carport-type vehicle shelter to house and protect the Free Bookmobile.

Sonoma Valley Community Health Center is requesting $13,000 to replace flooring and chairs as part of their “Waiting Room Improvement Project.”

WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center provides peer grief support for children traumatized by the loss of a loved one. The center is requesting $12,000 to upgrade their Art Room to better serve Sonoma Valley’s grieving children.

Becoming Independent is requesting $5,000 to expand their Healthy Living class which helps teach adults with developmental disabilities how to lead a healthy life.

California Parenting Institute is requesting $15,000 to provide Gang Prevention Parent Support Services – two, ten-week sessions offered to Spanish-speaking parents of middle-school children.

Ceres Community Project is requesting $15,000 to for a 6-month pilot program that will provide healthy meals for seriously ill patients and their families.  Under the supervision of adult chefs, meals will be prepared by teens recruited from local youth organizations.

Hospice by the Bay is requesting $10,000 to support a “Home Away From Home” Hospice Suite, within the Sonoma Valley Hospital’s skilled nursing facility, so that patients can receive end-of-life hospice care in a hospital setting.