Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

SONOMA VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

  • Sonoma, CA
  • www.svgreatschools.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation is to enrich the student experience, partnering with the Sonoma Valley Unified School District as the primary fundraising and volunteer resource for innovative programs. We focus on results and report to our donors and community.

The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation supports public school students in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District in the geographic area of Sonoma Valley, CA.

Main Programs

  1. Preschool for All
  2. AVANCE
  3. Summer Reading & Writing Academy
  4. Grade Level Proficiency Project
  5. Bridge to Algebra
  6. Engineering, Design and Technology Academy & Sustainable Agriculture Academy
  7. Valley Vibes Orchestra
  8. School Garden Program
  9. Teacher Support Network
  10. Classroom Grant Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Sonoma Valley is home to bucolic rolling hills and some of the finest wineries in the region; however, behind the scenes, there is a different picture.

In the Sonoma County Human Development Report (2014), the "Springs" area of Sonoma Valley was identified as one of five areas in the county with the highest levels of poverty.

Three of the five schools in Sonoma Valley are located in the "Springs" areas. In the 2014-15 school year, four of the five schools reported student populations with over 60% of students on free or reduced lunch, and over 60% designated as English Language Learners. (http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us)

Specifically, Dunbar Elementary school reported 79% of students as "socio-economically disadvantaged" (on free or reduced-lunch) and 61% designated as English Language Learners; El Verano Elementary School reported 80% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 72% designated as English Language Learners; Flowery Elementary School reported 64% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 55% designated as English Language Learners; Prestwood Elementary School reported 33% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 27% as English Language Learners; and Sassarini Elementary School reported 81% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 71% as English Language Learners.


ruling year

1993

Executive Director

Self-reported

Laura Zimmerman

Keywords

Self-reported

Education, Fundraising

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Also Known As

n/a

EIN

68-0279152

 Number

8374133091

Physical Address

17878 Railroad Avenue

Sonoma, CA 95476

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has a long history of working with the local community to enhance public education in Sonoma Valley, CA. The partnership between SVEF and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) has grown into a strong and innovative model. SVEF funds only programs that support SVUSD's strategic goals, and SVEF will only fund programs with clear goals, measurement, and evaluation. In 2015, SVEF formed a Program Committee for the purpose of gathering and reporting this information to the SVEF Board of Directors, donors, and community. SVEF staff educates and engages the community in our schools through continuous daily outreach.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Preschool for All

Provides a high-quality academic and social foundation for students in Sonoma Valley. Develops important pre-literacy, math, communication and socialization skills.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

212,000

Program 2

AVANCE

Offers a two-generation approach to promote child development and parenting skills in low-income Latino families with children ages 0-3. AVANCE focuses on parent education and connecting families with resources to support their children.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

148,000

Program 3

Summer Reading & Writing Academy

Engages elementary aged students in grades 1-3 in a dynamic, daily, five-week summer reading program focused on improving their reading skills and in turn, increase their love of reading.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

178,000

Program 4

Grade Level Proficiency Project

Uses a combination of professional coaching for teachers and game-like computer software focused on increasing reading and math skills for elementary aged students, primarily focusing on grades 1-3.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 5

Bridge to Algebra

Not available

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

44,000

Program 6

Engineering, Design and Technology Academy & Sustainable Agriculture Academy

Engineering: Provides engineering-based elective classes at Sonoma Valley High School. Students in the program engage in large-scale engineering projects that carry on during the year. The Academy combines strong academics and a demanding technical curriculum that connects theoretical knowledge with real-world applications.

Sustainable Agriculture: Provides students the opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem solving and industry specific technical skills while exploring careers and engaging in projects focused on agriculture.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

168,000

Program 7

Valley Vibes Orchestra

Based on the international El Sistema music program, the program provides intense classical musical instruction to primarily elementary aged students two hours per day, 5 days per week. Develops important cognitive and social-emotional skills through participation in a youth orchestra. Focuses on socio-economically disadvantaged students who might never have the opportunity to receive music instruction.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

196,000

Program 8

School Garden Program

Supports the infusion of garden-based educational lessons in a hands-on outdoor learning environment. Students learn about nutrition, growing and cooking healthy foods, farming, science, math, language, art and poetry.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

11,000

Program 9

Teacher Support Network

Mobilizes community volunteers to support student achievement by giving direct support and individual attention to high school students in the classroom.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Female Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Budget

40,000

Program 10

Classroom Grant Program

Provides funding to educators for small projects that engage students, expand instruction, or enhance curriculum.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

10,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation goals are as follows:

    Goal 1- To support programs which meet the goals of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District's (SVUSD) strategic plan:
    1) Students will enter kindergarten with at least one year of high quality preschool 2) Students will read at grade level by the end of third grade 3) Students will be proficient in English and math but the beginning of 6th grade 4) Students will be ready for college prep classes by 9th grade 5) All students will graduate well prepared for college, career and life.

    Goal 2- Educate the community members about the needs of the school district and continue to engage a new wave of supporters.

    Goal 3- Enlist volunteers who support our schools, via events or work with the students in the classroom.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation engages in the following strategies to ensure the goals are met:

    Goal 1- To support programs which meet the goals of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District's (SVUSD) strategic plan.

    The SVEF Program & Grants Manager and the SVEF Program Committee work closely with representatives from the school district to follow a yearly timeline and clearly documented process to report outcomes and program evaluation results to the SVEF Board of Directors, donors, and the community.

    Goal 2- Educate the community members about the needs of the school district and continue to engage a new wave of supporters.

    The entire SVEF staff connects and educates the community on the needs of the schools and students on a daily basis through community outreach, sponsorship outreach, business partner and donor outreach, SVEF sponsored community events such as educational film nights, biweekly email newsletters, articles in the local newspaper, social media outlets, and much more.

    Goal 3- Enlist volunteers who support our schools, via events or work with the students in the classroom.

    SVEF recruits close to 500 volunteers to provide classroom and project support for Sonoma Valley High School teachers and students through the SVEF Program Teacher Support Network, and recruits an additional 200 volunteers for SVEF's annual fundraiser, The Red and White Ball.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation Executive Director, Program and Grants Manager, Teacher Support Network Program Manager, and the Sponsorship and Business Partner Coordinator work closely and meet at the minimum, monthly, to ensure the organization goals are met.

    The following SVEF committees also meet monthly: Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Development Committee, Marketing Committee, and Program Committee.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    For each program SVEF funds, there are clear goals, measurement and evaluation processes to ensure positive student outcomes. In the program management and reporting process, SVUSD reports to SVEF twice a year with one mid year update, and one final report on outcomes for the year. The Program Committee reviews the program outcomes with SVUSD program staff.


  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    After a several year review process, developed by the Program Committee Chair and the Program and Grants Manager, SVEF now has a solid documented program reporting process and a Program Description Document for each program SVEF funds. The document includes the history and background of the program, program components, goals, measurement, outcomes and evaluation.

    SVEF continues to be successful in recruiting over 700 volunteers every year in support of our schools and students.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Sonoma Valley is home to bucolic rolling hills and some of the finest wineries in the region; however, behind the scenes, there is a different picture.

In the Sonoma County Human Development Report (2014), the "Springs" area of Sonoma Valley was identified as one of five areas in the county with the highest levels of poverty.

Three of the five schools in Sonoma Valley are located in the "Springs" areas. In the 2014-15 school year, four of the five schools reported student populations with over 60% of students on free or reduced lunch, and over 60% designated as English Language Learners. (http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us)

Specifically, Dunbar Elementary school reported 79% of students as "socio-economically disadvantaged" (on free or reduced-lunch) and 61% designated as English Language Learners; El Verano Elementary School reported 80% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 72% designated as English Language Learners; Flowery Elementary School reported 64% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 55% designated as English Language Learners; Prestwood Elementary School reported 33% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 27% as English Language Learners; and Sassarini Elementary School reported 81% as socio-economically disadvantaged and 71% as English Language Learners.


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SONOMA VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

SONOMA VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Laura Zimmerman

BIO

Laura Zimmerman, Executive Director

Like many before her, Laura became involved in school related activities as her children entered the CA public school system. Volunteering for a decade or so, led her to choose a path in the non-profit sector. She worked with Paul Newman's camp for seriously ill children called, “The Painted Turtle," served as a board member on the Sonoma Jazz Plus Board of Directors, bringing music to Sonoma Valley students, and served as the Director of Development for the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance.

Laura has been instrumental in creating an energized partnership with the school district and has brought in a new wave of support from the community, including individuals, businesses and foundations. She believes that our public schools are the avenue that leads students to a successful life in college and career.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Debra Garber

dlvr.it

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?