North Valley Community Foundation

NO HURDLES HERE A sports program for Girl Scouts of Sierra Cascade is one of nine programs funded to date by the North Valley Community Foundation’s Healthy Alternatives for Youth Initiative.

NO HURDLES HERE A sports program for Girl Scouts of Sierra Cascade is one of nine programs funded to date by the North Valley Community Foundation’s Healthy Alternatives for Youth Initiative.

North Valley Community Foundation
389 Connors Ct., Ste. B, Chico, CA 95926, (530) 891-1150

The North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) exists to facilitate philanthropy in Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties, and to support community efforts to improve the quality of life in the North Valley. NVCF strives to achieve its mission by providing an efficient mechanism for donors to establish a variety of endowment funds, and by distributing grants to nonprofits and community groups that meet both community needs and donor desires.

The procedure for setting up an endowment fund was the focus of a previous Hometown profile on the North Valley Community Foundation. This article highlights the NVCF’s grant making services.

Such a continued explanation of the foundation’s services appears to be warranted. Sandra Sandoval, North Valley Community Foundation’s director of grants and program management, has found that some people find it hard to understand the nature of a community foundation.

“I’ve noticed that folks that we have worked with in the past still don’t always grasp the concept,” Sandoval said. “So I find I go to a lot of meetings and explain to people exactly what it is we do and what services we offer. I think it’s important to convey that we act as a neutral convener. Our only vested interest is in the betterment of the communities we serve.”

The North Valley Community Foundation supports an array of community programs with grants derived from designated and donor-advised funds, but also with funds that it receives from outside entities for re-granting back to the community.

Since many nonprofits cannot simply rely on charging fees to support their services, they rely on foundation grants. Applying for grants, or even knowing which foundation from which to seek money, can be intimidating.

The NVCF is at the ready to help with that process. It acts as the link, or conduit, between donors and community groups who are on the forefront of meeting the many social, educational, environmental and health needs or our community.

The NVCF provides technical assistance to various community organizations or individuals in pursuit of a grant. The foundation helps identify possible fund sources, assists in the grant making process, and guides the nonprofit through the grant process.

Sandoval works with school groups, libraries and church groups—in addition to social-service organizations—that are looking for funding. The amount of assistance she offers is proportionate to their needs.

“We assist them in obtaining grants. We can help them formulate a grant proposal for submission. We can act as their fiscal sponsor if they don’t have their 501 (c) (3) designation,” Sandoval explained. “In doing that, though, we really manage finances and not programs.”

Last week, the North Valley Community Foundation announced the recipients of its Healthy Alternatives For Youth Initiative. The initiative is a joint effort between the North Valley Community Foundation and the California Endowment to improve and offer programs and services to youth in the North Valley that promote healthy choices that help them develop positive attitudes toward themselves, others and their communities.

Recipients that serve Butte County are: Youth For Change; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County; Community Collaborative for Youth; Community Health Alliance of Oroville; Healthy Chico Kids; and Chico High School.

The Glenn County recipient is the Glenn County Office of Education - 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Tehama County recipients are Tehama County Health Partnership (STATIS) and Sunshine Sanctuary for Kids and Horses.

Recipients serving all three counties are the American Lung Association and Girl Scouts of the Sierra Cascade.

The grant year for the initiative is April 2001 to March 2002. There will be a second funding cycle, the timeline for which is under development.