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New Bridge Loan Fund Started for Local Non Profits

The West Marin Fund (WMF), a new community foundation created to serve the communities of coastal West Marin, has announced the establishment of a new loan fund to provide bridge loans to local nonprofit organizations.

The West Marin Fund’s first loan, $48,000 to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council Foundation, will allow the continuation of the Council’s water quality testing project through September 2012. The State Water Quality Control Board has funded the work since 2008 but by its policy holds back final payment of funds until the project is completed. The West Marin Fund loan will cover that gap.

The Tomales Bay Watershed Council is the only organization monitoring and testing the water quality of Tomales Bay and its 255 square miles of watershed, an area that encompasses about one-third of Marin County and provides drinking water for 200,000 residents (For more information see

“We appreciate this loan and how easy it was to work with the West Marin Fund in obtaining it,” remarked Carlos Porrata of the Watershed Council. “Large nonprofits can endure gaps in the timing of their funding but small ones like ourselves and many in West Marin do not have the funds on hand to ride through this kind of interruption in cash flow. We’re both thankful and encouraged that the Fund could quickly and nimbly step in to ‘save the day’. We hope others will see fit to support the Council as well.” Neysa King, also of the Watershed Council, remarked that “the West Marin Fund has stepped in to provide an invaluable service to us. It is becoming increasingly evident that outside funding sources are diminishing, and that the legacy of Tomales Bay and the long-term health of this incredible place are up to us. No one will step in to do it for us- we need to work together and to contribute in any way that we can.”

Catherine Porter, Executive Director of the Fund, said: “This loan allows the Watershed Council’s important work to be continued, and their state funding obtained. We expect the bridge loan program to be very useful to West Marin nonprofits who have approved funding but face a delay in obtaining it.”

“Not only will this loan fund benefit our local nonprofits, it provides a terrific opportunity for those who want to invest in the loan fund to do well by doing good,” said Dick Lemon, Chairman of the West Marin Fund. “Investors in the West Marin Fund’s loan pool earn 2% on their funds and have the satisfaction of knowing that their money is being used to support the organizations that support our communities.”

Tomales Bay Watershed Council's Carlos Porrata and Neysa King, and West Marin Fund's Catherine Porter and Dick Lemon exchange documents for the bridge loan.