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10-Year Vision & Direction · 2023-2033

We envision:

  • A West Marin where people of all income levels, cultures and racial backgrounds can thrive
  • A vibrant, connected community of nonprofit and other organizations working in support of West Marin’s diverse populations and priorities
  • Collaborative approaches with multi-sectoral partners that lead to regional solutions for complex issues, supported by robust funding from diverse sources
  • Integrating into all our work the issues of equity and racial justice, environmental health and a sustainable rural economy
  • A West Marin Fund with sufficient board-directed and endowment funds to cover, at minimum, its annual core operating expenses

To achieve the 10-year vision, we will:

  • Move the needle substantially on 2-4 vexing regional issues through collaborative problem solving, forging ideas, and advocating with stakeholders on policies and resources
  • Significantly increase funding and leverage new sources to benefit nonprofits, as well as emerging creative initiatives and region-wide collaboratives in West Marin
  • Strengthen West Marin Fund’s infrastructure, financial resources, and board/staff expertise and diversity

3-Year Goals & Outcomes · 2023-2026

Move the needle on 1 to 3 challenging issues facing West Marin
Significantly increase funding and expand sources of funding to benefit West Marin
Strengthen and prioritize current and ad hoc initiatives for greatest impact in achieving our strategic vision
Build the organization’s competence to ensure robust leadership successions

Program Priorities · FY 2023-26

Early Childhood Equity

This program supports high-quality, affordable pre-school for young children from under-served families in coastal West Marin through grants, educational workshops and action- oriented partnerships at community and county level. We address early childhood inequities by promoting infant and toddler care and development at home and at pre-school. Recent studies show that if children are given high-quality care in their earliest years, including attendance at pre-school, their chances of success in school and beyond are highly likely to increase.

Rapid Response

This program provides urgent funding for unexpected disasters affecting West Marin and its communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic and shut-down, we raised and awarded $500,000 for community support, including food and rental assistance, accommodation for the homeless, student learning during school closures, and mental health services. We provide funding where it is most needed and least available in the short-term, as well as for long-term recovery and rehabilitation where other sources of funding are not available.

Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness

West Marin Fund plays a unique role in supporting organizational effectiveness strategically for the entire West Marin nonprofit community. This program awards nearly $1 million in grants each year to nonprofits serving West Marin, offers free trainings and workshops on a wide range of topics and issues, conducts an annual survey on nonprofit services and capacity, and regularly convenes local executive directors for shared learning and support. We identify new funding opportunities for local nonprofits and support collaborative efforts for increased impact.

Student and Family Enrichment

We support a variety of initiatives across West Marin that enrich the lives of families and students, particularly those with limited access to resources. These include the Tomales Bay Youth Center, extended summer youth programs, after-school programs, music and art classes, and the Giving Through Youth initiative where students in three schools learn about the work of local nonprofits and award grants in the $500-$1,200 range with funding provided by West Marin Fund.

Housing Action

The purpose of this program is to accelerate the development and improvement of dignified housing, particularly for agricultural workers and their families and other low- income workers in West Marin. Through grantmaking, advocacy and convening, we focus on the stability and quality of existing housing in West Marin as well as the creation of new housing. In partnership with the County, Marin Community Foundation, and community organizations, we also work to strengthen the safety net for families when they face displacement from their existing housing.

Community Transportation

Transportation has been identified as one of the top challenging issues in rural West Marin. Seniors, youth, low-income families, ranch workers and people with disabilities are among those most affected by very limited public transport services. In consultation with local nonprofits, school districts, Marin Transit, and other rural communities in California, West Marin Fund is seeking practical solutions to community transportation for residents, workers, and visitors that is affordable, flexible, environmentally friendly, and financially sustainable.

Internet Connectivity for All

This program supports high-speed internet connectivity for West Marin residents who face the greatest barriers to access. In addition to equipment and internet fees, the program provides training and mentoring to uplift digital skills and knowledge so that parents and caregivers can support their children in school and engage with teachers in a meaningful way. The program serves 40 families and aims to reach 150 households by 2026. We partner with Parent Services Project, Marin County Free Library, Shoreline Unified School District and the County of Marin.

Community Responsiveness

As a place-based community foundation serving the extensive coastal region of unincorporated West Marin, we are cognizant of the diverse communities, cultures, peoples and lands that make up this area. We stay informed about emerging initiatives that are grounded in collaboration, inclusivity and stewardship. We welcome input on how to support ongoing services and ensure maximum effectiveness while developing new approaches to address changing community priorities. We strive to bring excellence, compassion, and a spirit of generosity to all that we do.