Our charitable sector
Napa County’s charitable sector has earned a reputation, statewide, for being vibrant and highly collaborative. At the same time, our community is known for its generosity.
Roughly 500 public charities (PDF) have generated more than $800 million in revenue. We estimate that about $45 million of the revenue is comprised of donations from individuals, families, corporations and foundations.
Investing in community
Our community has critical needs, but not enough organized philanthropic capital to address them. While it’s true that Napa Valley’s nonprofits receive more charitable dollars compared to their peers in other rural California counties, per person foundation giving here lags far behind San Francisco. It’s $678 per person in San Francisco, but less than $100 in Napa County.
Most of the active nonprofits in our Valley have annual budgets between $100,000 and $1 million. They subsist largely on annual donations and smaller government contracts. Virtually none in this group have endowments.
An elusive treasure for most nonprofits is operating revenue: donations or grants that are not restricted to a specific program. Like for-profit businesses, nonprofits need money to run their operations—to pay salaries and benefits, rent and utilities and marketing and outreach expenses. Less exciting than program funding, operating funds are historically the most challenging to raise.
Napa Valley Community Foundation’s view on this point is different. We believe the only thing separating an average program from a stellar one is leadership. We invest in people who do what they say and perform consistently over time.
Challenges facing our nonprofit sector today
- Preparing for a leadership transition as a generation of long-serving nonprofit CEOs approaches retirement
- Ensuring that organizations and programs are financially sustainable
- Finding passionate Board Directors (and involving the next generation of community leaders on nonprofit committees and Boards)
- Building bridges between the Anglo and Latino communities
- Attracting donors who are part-time residents or are new to Napa Valley
Wondering where your gift can help? Read about organizations and issues in Napa Valley in our newsletter.