For over 20 years, the Yolo Community Foundation has worked to inspire and support giving and provide philanthropic leadership in our diverse community. A gift to YCF is leveraged, because we use it to support and grow all of the nonprofits in the Yolo community, thus serving all Yolo residents.
Grants to Yolo Nonprofits
In 2021, “Chris” was on the edge of eviction and likely homelessness. Shut-downs were hitting many Yolo County residents hard, limiting their ability to earn income. Chris approached the Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA), one of many local nonprofits that received funding from YCF’s Yolo County COVID-19 Relief Fund. YCCA used this funding to pay Chris’s landlord a portion of the rent owed, saving Chris from eviction. YCCA connected Chris with ongoing food and rental assistance, and Chris has remained housed. YCF’s grant enabled YCCA to bridge a critical gap for Chris, and many others, during this difficult time.
Chris’s story shows how YCF supports lifesaving interventions for local residents. YCF makes donations to many dozens of Yolo County nonprofits, enabling them to care for community members, such as:
- The Davis Arts & Culture Grant, $500,000 to help 20 Davis arts nonprofits recover from the pandemic.
- The Yolo County Air Quality Education Grant, awarded to the Bike City Theater Company for GOOD EARTH, an original musical that gives kids actionable steps for improving air quality.
- Fundholder donations of over $500,000 in grants and scholarships in 2022.
Building Nonprofit Capacity
We provide training through the Yolo County Nonprofit Leaders Alliance (NPLA), a partnership between the Yolo County Library, the Impact Foundry, and YCF. Through the NPLA, we build local nonprofits’ capacity, enabling them to increase their impact in our community. Last year, we piloted the NPLA Executive Directors Circles pilot program, a peer learning and support initiative. Participant Jen Boschee-Danzer, Executive Director of NAMI Yolo County, said this:
“As a new Executive Director, participating in the NPLA ED Circles Program has been an invaluable experience that helped accelerate my learning curve while providing me with support and encouragement. After each session I came away with best practices that could be implemented in my organization immediately, as well as ideas to facilitate future growth. Not only did I develop a community of peers whom I can continue to draw upon for support, I established new organizational partnerships that will continue to strengthen the Yolo County nonprofit community.”
Recent nonprofit capacity building work includes:
- Launched and facilitated the NPLA ED Circles pilot, with 31 participating executive directors.
- Offered NPLA trainings on topics like donor engagement, year-end fundraising, collaboration, and HR
- Fostered collaboration via nonprofit networking events in every city in Yolo County
Mobilizing Donors & Volunteers
YCF also mobilizes local donors and volunteers to support Yolo nonprofits. We do this in a number of ways, like encouraging donors to support Yolo nonprofits on Big Day of Giving (BDOG), via our Yolo Philanthropy Breakfast that kicks off early giving, the Yolo County Nonprofit Directory (delivered to 16,000 Yolo County households with local newspapers), the #GiveYolo video contest (16,000+ views on social media), and our Yolo Outreach Toolkit, which spreads the word about BDOG. International House Davis executive director Shelly Gilbride said this about our efforts to inspire giving:
“I am grateful for YCF’s recent work to make visible all of the ways that nonprofits make our communities better. The BDOG breakfast was an incredible way to celebrate the generosity of our community, and introduce nonprofit leaders to other leaders and to the generous philanthropists that might be interested in our work. It made us all collectively excited to participate in BDOG, and provided us all with the amplification and support we needed to make our BDOG successful. There are so many amazing organizations doing amazing work in Yolo County, and YCF helps each organization find the people who are passionate about supporting their causes.”
Other efforts to inspire giving include:
- Conducted research, like the State of the Yolo Nonprofit Sector Report and the Yolo Donor Survey, to help donors and leaders understand community needs and maximize their impact.
- Honored 27 donors and volunteers on Yolo Philanthropy Day, showcasing the impact that individuals can have on the community.
- Awarded four scholarships through the Yolo Youth Service Award, which promotes volunteerism among the next generation.
We recently celebrated YCF’s 20th anniversary – two decades of inspiring and supporting giving and providing philanthropic leadership in our community. In that time, we've raised over $10 million for philanthropy and granted nearly $5 million – half in the past three years. Help us grow our impact with a donation this Big Day of Giving. Thank you!