Healdsburg Forever is all about today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Healdsburg Forever’s purpose is to help local nonprofits meet the most pressing needs of our community today and plan for the future. In 19 years of existence, as an all-volunteer board, and 3 committees, we’ve focused on the unique needs of our community and have channeled charitable giving of local donors to effective organizations serving Healdsburg and Geyserville. Sarah Hafner, board member and chair of the communications and outreach committee, said “nonprofits have become an integral part of how the greater Healdsburg community provides services, hence it makes it critically important to support them in carrying out this important mission”. She added that Healdsburg Forever has been instrumental in helping several local nonprofits get off the ground.
History of Giving
Healdsburg Forever has always been about forward thinking.
Local community members had the foresight to establish an endowment which is why Healdsburg Forever is forever. “Thanks to our founders, we give to the givers who support and sustain services to our community,” Hafner said. “It’s inspiring to be involved with nonprofits who provide such good work.” Since 2004, the collective giving of individuals and our endowment proceeds has provided:
- $2.3 Million to community
- 250+ grants
- 70+ nonprofits
- $2 Million in Endowment fund
Initially, Healdsburg Forever’s strategic grant-making committee focused on Community and Capacity Building. This resulted in helping incubate nonprofits in their early stage of their mission. These included: Healdsburg Jazz, Healdsburg Education Foundation, Russian Riverkeeper, Reach for Home, Farm to Pantry and Corazon.
Covid brought newfound independence from the Community Foundation Sonoma County in 2020. In the three years since then, $877,000 was granted to nonprofits addressing critical safety net needs. Our community stepped up as did our board and committee members. The key to our success is the many local donors who are investing in “give where you live”.
Innovation in New nonprofits making BIG Impact
Jade Weymouth, executive director of La Familia Sana, said as a nascent nonprofit, the support from Healdsburg Forever has been invaluable in helping mostly Latinx families in northern Sonoma County overcome hardships. “Some of the things we’re hearing from clients coming in has to do with unemployment or underemployment, families struggling with mental health concerns, and seniors being socially isolated. We’re trying to help them all,” she said.
Founders Bruce Mentzer & Anthony Solar created a new nonprofit, Farm to Fight Hunger, to serve the most critical needs of food insecurity and lack of fresh produce. They grow, harvest and deliver fresh nutritious produce, free of charge to those in Northern Sonoma County. “As a new nonprofit, the grants from Healdsburg Forever has allowed us to increase our production of culturally appropriate and nutritious food for the Latinx community.
One of the big pushes for Healdsburg Forever is to encourage legacy giving—that is, pledges to support the Healdsburg Forever endowment in an estate plan. This is something that longtime volunteer Taya Levine chose to do last decade; she did it because she knew resources would be responsibly dispersed to support community wellbeing, whatever those future needs may be.
Levine said she recognized the interconnectedness of causes in a smaller region like Healdsburg and sees each cause as a part of the local system, choosing not to support one cause at the expense of another.
She likened Healdsburg Forever to a social safety net, an insurance policy for community wellbeing.
Healdsburg Forever will celebrate its 20th anniversary of grant making in 2024 and is planning an anniversary celebration this spring. Healdsburg Forever’s next fundraising focus will begin in October with a goal of bringing 20 times what was granted in 2004.
“We’re always here to help,” said Hafner. “If everyone in our community contributed to Healdsburg Forever…just think what we could do.”
If you have any questions, please contact: Info@HealdsburgForever.org and a board member will reach out to you.