Community Link
A newsletter of Napa Valley Community Foundation
November/December 2013
Holiday Grab Bag

This time of year is about many things: festive meals with family and friends, reflections on the past and hopes for the future, volunteering at or donating to your favorite charity.


It's also about counting--candles, lights, days, nights--whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, Kwanzaa or Diwali, winter solstice or New Year's Eve. 


One of our traditions at Napa Valley Community Foundation is to publish a "grab bag" of funding ideas for your consideration. In the spirit of counting, this year's grab bag features a dozen or so ideas in total--we'll send a few at a time over the next four weeks.


All organizations and projects featured have been vetted, and all have funding gaps that need closing.


If you'd like to support any of them, you can recommend a grant by logging into your DonorCentral account from the homepage on our website. Or, you can fax us a completed grant recommendation form at 254.7955.  Grant recommendations received by 9 a.m. on December 13 will be mailed by the end of the year.


With wishes for a happy and prosperous holiday season,


Julia DeNatale & Marla Tofle

Philanthropic Services Staff 

Elementary school kids get out of their seats and get moving


Organization:  PE 4 Kids Now, Inc.

What's needed:  $5,000 to produce 10 additional "virtual PE" classroom sets (20 DVDs/set)


Why they exist: To fill a gap in public elementary schools that no longer fund physical education (PE) teachers but are state-mandated to offer PE. PE 4 Kids serves as a "virtual PE teacher" by providing classrooms with physical activity lessons on a set of 20 DVDs that teach youngsters how to make healthy choices, and get them moving.


What they do well: DVDs provide curriculum and complete activity lessons (from warm-up through cool-down), that meet state standards and are age-appropriate. A longtime PE teacher in Napa developed the series, which includes topics like character-education that help fuel kids' ability to make healthy lifestyle choices.


What we learned when we met with them recently: State budget cuts axed PE teachers from Napa Valley Unified School District, and elementary school teachers--who are technically credentialed to teach PE but not trained to do so--have had to step up. PE 4 Kids also trains classroom teachers how to incorporate the PE 4 Kids DVD curriculum into their weekly lesson plans.


People served: 5,200 students in grades K-5 (and their 170 teachers) at 14 elementary schools


Budget & Board: $22,500/5 Board members


Contact: Jim Hard, President,

Cope Family Economic Success 2

Un- and under-banked residents access affordable, mainstream checking accounts


Organization: Bank On Napa Valley

(fiscal sponsor is Cope Family Center)

What's needed: $30,000 for general support


Why they exist: To connect low-income people without bank accounts to affordable, mainstream financial services, as well as financial education classes. Customers are able to open personal checking and personal savings accounts, build a mainstream banking and credit track record, as well as learn about managing their finances and investing for the future.


What they do well: Five local nonprofits (Calistoga, Cope, McPherson, Puertas Abiertas and St. Helena family resource centers) have collaborated with seven banks and credit unions in the Valley to build this unique public-private partnership from the ground up--everything from product design to marketing to developing financial education workshops.  The group is highly engaged and self-governed; working committees (and subcommittees) meet monthly to plan, implement, evaluate and strategize.


What we learned when we met with them recently: Even though economic consequences of not using mainstream financial products are significant--low-wage households spend at least 2 percent of annual income to use costly check-cashing or bill-paying services--it takes multiple interactions around the BONV program for people to decide to open a mainstream bank account.  For most, doing so is a major shift in trust and how they approach their personal finances.


People served: 8,600+ low-wage earning households (23% are unbanked, 73% are under-banked [e.g., no access to savings or credit])


Budget & Board: $52,000/Members of 16 different nonprofits and businesses comprise the BONV Steering Committee


Contact: Michele Grupe, Cope Family Center,


Low-income residents enhance their emotional well-being


Organization: Family Service of Napa Valley (FSNV)

What's needed:  $5,000 for general support



Why they exist: To provide therapy services in English and Spanish to low-income individuals of all ages, with an emphasis on adults and older adults.  FSNV's flagship program is outpatient therapy, which offers counseling to couples and individuals, as well as in group settings. Therapists primarily work with clients out of FSNV's offices, at school sites and assisted living centers for older adults.  FSNV also has a longstanding animal-assisted therapy program.  Newer services include support groups for Spanish-speaking couples.


What they do well: FSNV participates in multi-agency, mental health-service collaboratives, and has done so for many years.  For example, it has a formal partnership with eight other agencies, called the Bridges program, which offers a continuum of accessible behavioral health services. More recently, FSNV has built a three-agency partnership to identify and assist aging residents that are experiencing challenges with cognitive function or depression.


What we learned when we met with them recently: FSNV increased its fee-for-service revenue stream by more than 40 percent this year because the nonprofit became certified to accept low-income seniors that have subsidized insurance (e.g, Medicare and Medi-Cal). This kind of revenue diversification is essential to the organization's financial stability.


People served: 600 individuals (95% of clients are low-income, 55% are Latino, 15% are kids)


Budget & Board: $1.03 million/9 Board members


Contact: Rob Weiss, Executive Director,

Giving together for greater good.


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