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West Marin Fund Summer Update 2015

Reports from our Fall 2014 round of grants are now coming in – we’re seeing new and beautifully upgraded websites, physical upgrades to facilities and many expanded services. Download our SUMMER 2015 UPDATE- PDF to see how our non-profits are helping the West Marin community

Giving Through Youth:
The WMF sponsored a project in youth philanthropy this year, with the generous support of donors Richard Kirschman and Doris Ober. Each of two 8th-grade classes, one in Nicasio and one in Point Reyes Station, gave out $2000 to local non-profits that they had selected through careful research. In all, they chose 9 organizations to receive grants, including a pre-school, an historical society, a food pantry and a library – all while improving math, writing and civics skills.

While our 11 communities share many concerns, there is no regional government to bring them together to discuss common issues.  The Fund holds convening as one of its most important services.

Advisory Council: Twice a year we bring together our advisory council, a group of community leaders who are our eyes and ears throughout West Marin.  With over 500 years of residency among them, we feel well represented.    At our May gathering, Advisors weighed in on how to increase public awareness of the Fund and the issues we address with our non-profits. We are delighted to have added two new members to our Advisory Council, Charlene Harvey of Stinson Beach & San Francisco and Lexi Rome of Point Reyes Station.  Charlene is on the board of the Presidio Trust and knows well the issues of parks management and land conservancies. Lexi has hosted our Advisory Council meetings and will be a key convener for the Fund.

Executive Directors: Quarterly the WMF organizes a gathering of West Marin’s nonprofit Executive Directors to share information and expertise. The last ED breakfast was on June 23.  The action items that emerged from that meeting were 1) a shared need for media training and 2) a collectively organized donor event featuring the best of West Marin’s food and farms, as well as a look at its unique needs.  Our next ConFab will address the media need, and we’ll continue to explore a West Marin event.

Latino Engagement: There’s an ongoing collaborative effort among West Marin organizations to further integrate our Anglo and Latino communities. This summer we’ll see another cross-cultural La Mesa de las Abuelas dinner, in which Mexican and Anglo participants share their grandmothers’ dishes and stories; and a second Latino Empowerment training. Possible future projects include a series of seminars on starting a small business. We could not be more proud of this work, and the increasing closeness of our Anglo and Latino communities up and down West Marin.