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Response to the Coronavirus

Sonora Area Foundation logoWe’ve been asked what Sonora Area Foundation is doing in response to the coronavirus and the answer will not be a surprise to those familiar with the Foundation. We are right here, working to support the community, engaged and interacting with those on the front lines providing services, monitoring what our community foundation peers are doing to support their communities and, as always, making grants.

While our community has clearly been impacted by the shelter in place mandate, we have seen very few new requests for funding. Why not? Like most of us, our nonprofit organizations are reeling while trying to determine what it all means, how to comply with the state mandate and still provide services and for many, how to handle the increasing requests for services. To further complicate the situation, many nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers and many of them are in the “at risk” category, which means they are not coming in to work. Fortunately, many of those idled from their normal work duties are stepping in and volunteering at various local organizations. As a result, work is getting done / needs are being met and our nonprofit organizations are performing admirably. However, what’s difficult to predict is precisely where things are headed and how bad the situation will become.

We’ve made some modest ($2500 – $5000) proactive grants to Interfaith, Sierra Senior Providers/Meals On Wheels, Give Someone A Chance, Nancy’s Hope and Resiliency Village Project, but we are anticipating the increased need and a significant increase in requests. We are poised and ready to react quickly as we become aware of the needs. However, as a community foundation, one of our primary functions is to serve as a repository for donations from the community we serve (Tuolumne County) to be used to address need. Therefore we are announcing the establishment of the Community Recovery Fund to be used for supporting Tuolumne County as we work through the disruption caused by this epidemic and recover from the eventual impact. Recently our legislature approved the Coronavirus Stimulus Package and included in the plan is a new above-the-line charitable deduction allowing taxpayers to claim up to $300 in cash contributions made to a nonprofit charity (such as Sonora Area Foundation) this year as a deduction from their gross income if they take the standard deduction on their 2020 tax return. This deduction will ultimately reduce the amount of your income that’s taxable and serve as an incentive for those who are in a position to help others in need. We see this as a terrific incentive, and to make it even more appealing, Sonora Area Foundation will match every donation made to the Community Recovery Fund dollar for dollar up to $300.00. Please make your check out to: Sonora Area Foundation and write: Community Recovery Fund in the memo line. Because Sonora Area Foundation does not charge administrative fees, 100% of your donation will be used to support the recovery effort in Tuolumne County. By partnering with our .community and making it easy for our residents to contribute, Sonora Area Foundation is well-positioned to make the appropriate grants necessary to support our nonprofit organizations during this difficult time and expedite the recovery to move our community back to normal as quickly as possible. Thank you in advance for supporting your community by making a donation to the Sonora Area Foundation.