News from Napa Valley Community Foundation
September 2014


$1.2 Million to Nonprofits for Immediate Needs


Napa Valley Community Foundation approved $1.2 million in grants that will fund trusted community-based nonprofit agencies to support families and individuals impacted by the earthquake who are in immediate need of assistance.


The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund (the Fund) is managed by Napa Valley Community Foundation and was created with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners following the 2014 Napa Earthquake.  In the past three weeks, 315 additional individual and corporate donors have joined in to support the Fund with gifts of more than $250,000.


On Thursday, September 11, 2014, President Obama declared Napa Valley a major disaster site, unlocking federal funds to help the area recover from the earthquake. The FEMA funds are thus far limited to public sector support, highlighting the importance of philanthropic resources to address broader community needs.


In this first round of funding, Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) will give grants to nonprofit agencies to increase support to families and individuals who are in immediate need of assistance with services such as medical care, counseling, temporary housing, food security, clothing and legal aid.   NVCF's grants include payments to nonprofits to provide direct services to those affected by the quake, and emergency assistance dollars that individuals and families can apply for at several different locations in Napa and American Canyon.  Emergency assistance dollars will be available for short-term rental assistance, and for essentials like food, utilities, car repairs and prescription medications.  Resources for more capital-intensive household needs, such as repairs, will be included in a second phase of grants from the Fund, and fall outside the scope of this initial effort.


Napa Valley Community Foundation will be making grants totaling $1.16 million to 20 nonprofit organizations.  Many of these organizations stepped up in the aftermath of the earthquake to assist households in need; others continue to see increased demand for their services. The organizations that have been approved to receive grants from NVCF are: 

Individuals and families who wish to apply for emergency assistance dollars because of the earthquake may do so starting on October 1 by scheduling an appointment with one of the organizations below.

American Canyon Family Resource Center                   

The next round of grants from the Fund will move beyond short-term recovery and focus on rebuilding.  In this rebuilding phase, homeowners and renters will be able to apply for grants to make critical repairs and replace essential household items, so they can return to their homes or continue to occupy them safely; and business owners will be able to apply for grants or loans to address physical and economic losses stemming from the August 24 earthquake.  Assistance for households and businesses will not come directly from NVCF, but from nonprofit organizations it will select as its partners. 


According to NVCF President Terence Mulligan, eligibility criteria and application materials for households and businesses that need help rebuilding are still several weeks on the horizon.


"We are moving with urgency and compassion, but there is a structure that we need to follow," said Mulligan, referring to IRS regulations, which require public charities like NVCF to verify losses and evaluate the financial capacity of end recipients when providing cash assistance beyond the first hours and days following a natural disaster.  "In other communities that have been hit hard by floods and fires and hurricanes, we know it has taken 8 to 15 weeks to publish guidelines and start taking applications.  We plan to do better, because we know too many families and businesses are enduring real hardships."


NVCF's third and final round of grantmaking, planned for the first half of 2015, will focus on resiliency. In this phase, NVCF will invest in technical assistance and capacity building for local nonprofits and other community agencies, so they can be better prepared to respond to future disasters.


"The need is great, and so is our community's response," said Patrick Gleeson, Board Chair of Napa Valley Community Foundation. "We are rolling up our sleeves to identify the immediate, medium-term and longer-term issues, get grants out the door, and keep the momentum going on our recovery, rebuild, and resiliency mission. Napa Valley Community Foundation is honored to work hand in hand with our nonprofit partners, our lead donor, Napa Valley Vintners, and our 315 generous donors to the Fund.


The Fund is a testament to the outstanding collective community spirit that has built our region's extraordinary reputation and that will carry us through the aftermath of this natural disaster to create an even stronger Napa Valley than before. Together, we will help get people back in their homes, businesses flourishing and back to normal, and back to thriving as a vibrant community."


To learn more, or to donate to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, please visit:


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