As I prepare to leave the West Marin Fund in other full-time hands, I note that we have accomplished many wonderful things in West Marin over five short years.
Our recent ConFab addressed serious issues seriously… and our community showed up as committed as ever, filling the room with representatives of our many non-profits, who now sound like a well-practiced orchestra of common concern and shared effort.
The recent event for County Supervisor Steve Kinsey brought together a large crowd of local leaders, grantees and Kinsey fans. It also brought out our finest food and wine purveyors and brought home how much we love West Marin, in celebration as in common cause. Photos here.
We now have eleven ConFabs and nine rounds of grants under our belts. We can see the gradual and the dramatic changes that take place — the power of a small grant well-placed. We’re proud of the seeds we’ve planted, and of what is growing.
Incoming grant proposals tell us about the unmet needs in our organizations and communities. There’s no new news here: access to services, affordable housing, youth engagement, Latino leadership and immigrant protections, the challenges our towns face to serve 2.6 million visitors a year, the fraying of neighborhoods as more homes become vacation rentals.
The ConFabs continually serve to “lift all boats” with shared learning. The wine and cheese receptions afterwards are where serious work, and shared love of that work, take place.
Our News page and Grants pages on this site will describe more fully what we’ve been up to. We welcome your questions, insight and comments on any of our activities.
Catherine joined the West Marin Fund as its first Executive Director in early 2012. She comes to the fund with decades of experience with foundation philanthropy — as former Executive Director of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (50 foundations), Coordinator of the Funders Forum on Antibiotic Resistance (12 foundations and 25 NGOS) as board chair and board member of many non-profits and funders (among them the Global Greengrants Fund, and the Jenifer Altman Foundation based in Bolinas). She is a research fellow at Commonweal, a founding member of the Funders Network Coordinators’ Network/FUNCNet, and has been Executive Director of Friends of the Ganges/US for 20 years. Her consulting projects have been local (The Institute at the Golden Gate at Cavallo Point, The California Academy of Sciences), national (Funders Network on a National Water Agenda, Climate Change primer for community foundations) and international. She delights in bringing her experience to West Marin’s unique challenges — and to working within these extraordinary communities and landscapes.