The West Marin Fund enters 2014 with many noteworthy accomplishments, and plenty of enthusiasm for what’s ahead.
We made two rounds of grants in 2013, our first year of grantmaking. The reports on Round One — Capacity Building to Raise Funds — have just come in and we are pleased to see generally excellent results. We see that well-placed small grants leverage significant outcomes for many of our grantees – in some cases doubling or tripling outreach capacity, and in one case turning $1,000. in training into $18,000 in additional funds for the year-end drive.
We also see some needs for grantsmanship training in our community: help for small non-profits to write and report on grants. We will focus an upcoming ConFab on this very issue. With a goal to have all our non-profits thrive, this seems like a good place for shared learning.
Illustrative of the experiences of “capacity building work” are these two quotes from grantees:
“(The consultant’s) fee is not inexpensive and we may not have tried his services without the grant from the West Marin Fund. I can honestly attest that it was the best $2,000 we spent last year.” AND “Database conversions are not easy!”
Thanks to some generous year-end support in 2013, our Board of Directors was able to approve a third round of grants for the first quarter of 2014. We’re surveying local leadership to decide on the best use and on unmet needs, and will make the announcement by the end of January.
An additional activity — the West Marin Fund helped coordinate a third West Marin La Mesa de las Abuelas on January 26. This dinner convened latino and anglo leadership in our communities, with an aim to increase our ability to work together in service of our unincorprated towns. Look for photos and a report in the coming days.
With learning events like our ConFabs, grants, community events and plenty of opportunities for donors to gather and learn as well, we’re proud of the West Marin Fund’s role in serving the landscapes and people that make up our West Marin communities.
Special thanks to the donors who make it possible. We are careful not to take funds from the very non-profits we serve, and are grateful that our donors commit to “additional” philanthropy on our behalf.
Happy New Year!