Coastal West Marin is a special place, cherished by all who live or visit here. In many easily-seen ways, it is a paradise.
But there are other realities here that are harder to detect. The communities of West Marin have a median income of $32,350* – housing costs are 4 times the national average and over half our school children qualify for free or subsidized lunch programs. With no local governments, the 11 unincorporated towns of West Marin rely on our 60+ local non-profit organizations to provide a broad diversity of community services.
The West Marin Fund was created to address these issues and is the only organization that supports the health and well-being of ALL of coastal West Marin. We raise funds to benefit our coastal West Marin communities and to bring these communities together for the common good of the region. * Marin Community Foundation’s ”Portrait of Marin 2012”
In fiscal year 2014-15 the West Marin Fund:
- Raised $360,000, bringing our 4-year total to over $1.2 million.
- Granted 50 small grants to 40 local non-profit organizations. Since the Fund’s inception we’ve given out more than $300,000.
- Convened our 6th and 7th Confabs, free skill-building workshops that we sponsor for the region’s non-profit leadership. “Writing the Perfect Proposal” and “Effective Decision-making” each brought in over 50 non-profit representatives wanting to sharpen their skills in these areas and to update one another on key issues in our communities. The networking reception afterwards brings shared stories about successes and challenges in the field, always a favorite moment.
- Worked to build a diverse and active leadership pool in West Marin through participation in the extraordinary West Marin Collaborative, a team of Anglos and Latinos working together to further integrate our communities. This past year saw two Latino leadership trainings, a community picnic, and the wonderful cultural appreciation dinner: La Mesa de las Abuelas in August.
- Grew the Tomales Bay Youth Center (TBYC) Future Fund, a donor-designated fund that provides greater security for the Youth Center in Point Reyes Station. The Future Fund has donated $23,946 for TBYC’s after-school programs, mentoring, college prep activities, and community service. There continues to be an ongoing $50K matching dollar-for-dollar challenge!
Our Financial Picture
Since our inception we’ve raised $1.2M toward our goal of a $5M corpus and we’ve distributed 150 small grants (representing over 25% of our annual revenue in contrast to the traditional 5% of other foundations). We’ve been serious about getting critical funds to organizations that serve our communities up and down coastal Marin.
We attracted a dozen new individual funding partners, and are pleased to see so many donors renewing their commitments this past year. We count on their – your – ongoing support to sustain our grants and programs.
This summer, in support of our work, the County of Marin awarded us $35,000 to expand our own fundraising efforts and to educate both our local nonprofits and residents about legacy giving: anchoring more funds in West Marin.
Our goal is to establish a significant corpus to ensure funding of West Marin non-profits in perpetuity. In October 2015, we kicked off a campaign to increase our endowment by $500,000 and to expand our dedicated donor base. Stay tuned — you’ll be hearing from us!
For more information about the work of the West Marin Fund and photos of our good work please follow us on http://www.facebook.com/westmarinfund