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March Update 2014

By March 25, 2014 No Comments

As winter wraps up and spring rains finally green the hills, the West Marin Fund is happy to report on several successful past events and to announce two significant ones coming up.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

The Reports Are In On Our Summer of 2013 Youth Engagement Grants:  We were delighted to see the many creative ways our local nonprofits incorporated youth into their activities last year. Twenty nonprofit organizations used the youth engagement grants they received from the West Marin Fund for a wide range of activities  — from reinvigorating youth centers to internships and youth philanthropy projects.  The Fund will post stories from these reports soon.

La Mesa de las Abuelas (The table of our grandmothers”), an event which the West Marin Fund co-organized with a dynamic team of Latina leaders, was a success in every way. The winter pot-luck dinner brought equal numbers of latinos and anglos to the Dance Palace to share stories about the foods of their grandmothers – and stories of themselves. Said one guest “it was the most intimate and honest bi-cultural event I’ve ever attended, because people felt so welcome to share their stories, and did so.”

The goal of La Mesa was to celebrate the breadth of diversity and life experience in our West Marin towns and to encourage the reflection of that diversity on our local nonprofit boards.  The outcome was a plan to create a Latino Leadership and Empowerment training project. The West Marin Collaborative, facilitated by Maria Niggle, will move this forward with help from the La Mesa planning team.

The best news is that everyone had a great time and came away with new respect for the breadth of diversity and life experience in our West Marin towns.

WMF in the local media:  Both the Point Reyes Light and the West Marin Citizen have published stories lately on the work of the Fund and will continue with a focus on our non-profit grantees and their work.  Authors Ann Boren, Herb Kutchins and Mike Litchfield all offered their journalistic skills on our behalf, for which we are deeply grateful.  Getting the word out about essential services that these non-profits provide is a big part of our work: we want to help them get the attention of constituents and new donors alike.

WHAT’S UPCOMING:

The West Marin Fund announced its third round of small grants – with a deadline of March 14th.  Wanting to support our non-profits with what they actually need, this round is for “What You Most Need To Do Your Work”.  We received 40 proposals, our largest number of requests to date.  Entries include everything from new computers to fundraising consultants to software upgrades and database improvements.

The demand appears large for this $50,000 tranche, so we will seek extra funding from other donors as much as possible.

Our 5th ConFab is April 3rd.  One of the West Marin Fund’s most popular activities are the free, skill building “ConFab’s” that we offer to West Marin nonprofit staff and boards.  Responding to requests for a training on “How to Evaluate Your Staff and Programs,” we’ve put together a 3-part presentation and encourage all local nonprofits to attend.

Our goal is to “lift all boats in West Marin’s non-profit marina”; we hope that both staff and board members alike can come.

The ever-popular wine and cheese networking reception follows. RSVPs required, to info@westmarinfund.org.

Stay tuned for photos and updates from our grants and our ConFab.

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