The 2015 finalists have been chosen!

Impact 100 Sonoma Logo 3 inch filledWe are pleased to announce the three finalists for our $100,000 Impact Grant and the 13 finalists for Community Grants. Impact100 Sonoma will award $263,000 in grants to a variety of Sonoma Valley nonprofit organizations at its May 30th Annual Meeting. This year, the $100,000 Impact Grant will be awarded to one of the following three nonprofit organizations serving Sonoma Valley:

  • 10,000 Degrees: This project, 10,000 Degrees Institute Sonoma Valley Expansion, provides a three-year program that prepares students from low-income households for a successful college experience. The expansion would serve 35 students each year at Sonoma Valley High School and 7-10 students at Archbishop Hanna High School.
  • Audubon Canyon Ranch: This project, Summer Science Learning for Underserved Youth, would include eight immersive five-day summer camps at Bouverie Preserve for 100-160 underserved students. The camps will provide mentor-based, experiential learning, foster interconnections with nature, and increase appreciation for nature’s resilience.
  • On The Move: This project, Sonoma Valley Parent University (SVPU), equips families to increase their knowledge, gain leadership skills and become more involved in their children’s education. This effort would expand their current program to El Verano and Sassarini schools and engage 300 parents in those schools.

With our 2015 membership of 263 women, Impact100 Sonoma will award a total of $263,000 in grants this year. In addition to the $100,000 Impact Grant, the remaining finalists for the Impact Grant will each receive $20,000. A total of $123,000 will be designated to Community Grants, ranging in size from $2,200 to $15,000 and focusing on capital needs, innovation, and collaboration.

The following 13 organizations are the Community Grants finalists:


  • Becoming Independent requests $15,000 to purchase a new vehicle to transport clients with developmental disabilities to work and volunteer sites.
  • Pets Lifeline requests $15,000 for structural enhancements to their kennels and dog play area to increase adoptability by improving safety, comfort, and hygienic conditions for their shelter dogs.
  • Sonoma Community Center requests $10,000 to renovate their primary exhibition space (Gallery 212) with modernized walls, dividers, and electrical upgrades.
  • Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance requests $15,000 to purchase 246 age-appropriate learning tools to enable mentees and mentors to explore the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) together.
  • Sweetwater Spectrum requests $15,000 for structural changes to their 1.2 acre farm that would provide specific design enhancements to better meet the needs of their autistic residents.


  • 4Paws Learning and Wellness Center requests $2,200 to increase the number of Sonoma Valley canine social therapy teams that provide comfort to healthcare patients and assist children struggling with reading.
  • Arts Guild of Sonoma requests $15,000 to support a mobile arts education program at four elementary schools for 1,448 Sonoma Valley K-5 students.
  • Community Matters requests $15,000 to institutionalize the Safe School Ambassador program (an early-intervention program focusing on communication and conflict resolution) at Adele Harrison and Alta Mira Middle Schools.
  • Girl Scouts of Northern California requests $15,000 to expand their pilot Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) extended-learning program for girls and to support their Latina Initiative.
  • Jack London Park Partners requests $15,000 to organize volunteers in invasive species removal in the park and to involve at-risk youth in specific restoration projects.
  • La Luz Center requests $15,000 to offer computer literacy workshops and employment counseling at El Verano Community School for low-income Sonoma Valley Latino adults.
  • Verity requests $15,000 to conduct the Youth Empowerment and Support project at Sonoma Valley schools to aid students in preventing sexual violence from occurring to themselves or to others.

Strategic Partnering/Collaboration: 

  • CERES Community Project requests $15,000 to collaborate with Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and teen-service providers to address critical nutritional needs to improve patient outcomes after they have been released from a hospital stay.

The finalists were selected after months of careful review by more than 70 Impact100 Sonoma members serving on grant review committees.

Grace Meeks, who chairs the selection process for the $100,000 Impact Grant, said, “It is such an honor to be part of a community where there is so much passion for helping others. I wish we could fund all the applicants that apply for the Impact Grant. I believe that this year’s finalist slate will again make the selection process very difficult for our members.” Diana Sanson, who chairs Community Grants, commented, “This year Community Grants received a diverse array of strong proposals from both large and small nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley. Three committees of dedicated women completed the difficult undertaking of reducing the number to a compelling slate of finalists for our membership vote. These women are to be commended for their due-diligence and professionalism.”

At the May 30th Annual Meeting of the Impact100 Sonoma membership,the Impact Grant finalists will present their visions for how the $100,000 grant would impact their organizations and the community. A vote of the entire 2015 membership of Impact100 Sonoma will determine the one nonprofit to receive the $100,000 Impact Grant. Voting for the Community Grants will take place online prior to this meeting. The presentations, a reception, and the announcement of all awards will take place at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall and is open to all Impact100 Sonoma members and invited guests. The meeting is underwritten by Union Bank and sponsored by Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards; Idell Family Vineyards; Alice C. King, J.D. Wine Country Wealth Management, LLC; Carneros Caves Cheese; and Laura Chenel’s Chèvre.

We congratulate our finalists and thank all of the members who have made this selection process run so smoothly. Special thanks go to Constance Grizzell, Grants & Greater Impact; Grace Meeks, who chairs the selection process for the $100,000 Impact Grant; and Diana Sanson, who chairs the selection process for Community Grants. We also wish to thank the following members who chaired review committees: Ann Iverson, Lynn Lancaster, Kathleen Leonard, Lisa Lillienthal, Karen Roche, Erin Selby, Claudia Sims, and Meg Sokoloski.

Impact100 Sonoma has raised a total of $1,192,000 for Sonoma Valley nonprofits since its founding in 2009. Thus far, the organization has awarded 41 grants including five $100,000 Impact Grants: in 2010 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley’s College Bound program, in 2011 to the Sonoma Valley Teen Services’ Skills for Life program, in 2012 to La Luz to expand programs and services at its Family Resource Center, in 2013 to Sonoma Valley Education Foundation to start a pre-school at Sassarini School, and in 2014 to Redwood Empire Food Bank for its Diabetes Wellness Program.