New Sonora Area Foundation Executive Director
My name is Darrell Slocum, and I’d like to introduce myself as the new executive director of Sonora Area Foundation. While not a native to our area, my mom moved my older brothers and me to Tuolumne County when I was four years old. My father passed away when I was two and my mom, who was on disability, could not afford the high cost of living in the Bay Area. As a result, I know what it’s like to grow up poor in a rural area. My early and most prominent memories are of my mom always stretching our dollars and doing more with less.
While at Sonora High, I was elected student body president and invited to attend a national conference in Minnesota. My mom could not afford the airfare however, donations from Sonora area businesses allowed me to attend. Those donors recognized my potential and took a chance. I benefitted at an early age from the generosity of the community and working for Sonora Area Foundation provides an opportunity for me to give back.
Prior to joining the Foundation, I worked as a marketing consultant and my primary client was Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency or ATCAA. During my time with ATCAA, I had the pleasure of working side by side with recently retired executive director, Shelly Hance, and like my mom, she was an expert at doing more with less. Now, I work with area nonprofits on a daily basis and see this trait as a common thread. They provide valuable services to our community while constantly working to maintain a balanced budget. When they experience a shortfall, due to reduced funding, an unexpected expense or implementation of a new program, one of their options is to reach out to Sonora Area Foundation for assistance.
Since the formation of the Foundation in 1990, millions of dollars have been granted to help fill the void. People are often surprised to learn how much is accomplished by our staff of three (and only one full time). However, we too must maximize our dollars and fulfill our motto of For Good For Ever. As such, our support is sometimes in the form of partial funding or a matching grant. Doing so allows us to do more with less. Operating in this fashion has worked well in the past and we will continue stretching our dollars.
The need in our community continues to grow and we hear often from newly formed nonprofits requesting funding for a particular program. As a result, we will continue focusing on bringing new dollars to Sonora Area Foundation by promoting our donor services and encouraging those looking to become part of the solution to place their charitable dollars with the Foundation.
Please consider helping us help our community. Establishing a donor fund is certainly one method. For instance, a Donor Advised Fund provides tax benefits and the flexibility of supporting virtually any charitable enterprise. However, for those interested in other options it might be helpful to know that anyone can donate any amount to any fund at Sonora Area Foundation. Anyone (individual, business, club, organization) can contribute any amount (cash, check, credit card or stocks) to any fund (scholarship, donor advised, field of interest, agency, designated or unrestricted) and, if desired, do so anonymously.
Please contact us with any questions by calling or stopping by the Foundation office in downtown Sonora. We are located at 362 South Stewart Street and our phone number is 209-533-2596