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What Does My Donation Go To?

Even after twenty five years of being in the community, it’s a fair question to ask – if I make a gift to the Sonora Area Foundation, what does it go to?

When making a gift to the Sonora Area Foundation – or opening a donor fund – you support an over 100 year old tradition of addressing local needs and issues through a community foundation. The Foundation is an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity, which enables you to easily and effectively support the areas of interest that you care about. We help to support a broad range of interests, such as human needs, education, arts and humanities, health, public/society benefit, environment or animals, as examples.

If your interest is education, we hold several donor funds benefiting education in Tuolumne County. For example, the Mrs. Pringle Music Fund is a designated fund for classical music appreciation for any K – 8 school in Tuolumne County. Or, the George James Memorial Education Fund helps TuCARE to provide teacher education in natural resources.

We have three field of interest funds serving educational purposes in Tuolumne County – the Elinor Brown Fund, the J. R. Christensen Family Fund and the Jim and Louise Angelo Family Fund. As always, the Front Porch Charitable Fund provides funding for a variety of educational pursuits throughout the year.

And then, there are the educational scholarship funds. The Foundation holds over 80 such funds that award in excess of $200,000 each year to students seeking to further their education at the vocational school, community college or university levels.

That’s just education – if your passion lies elsewhere, we likely have a way to help you that is simple, proven and accountable.

In fact, it may be easier to answer the question by telling you where your donation does not go. A gift to the Sonora Area Foundation does not pay for the salaries of the Foundation staff, or the cost of informational documents that we may produce, or even for turning the lights on at the office. Those administrative and operational costs were provided for by our founder, native son and longtime businessman Irving J. Symons and his sister, Elaine Symons Baker, through the two supporting organizations created by them, the Irving J. Symons Foundation for Tuolumne County and the Symons Family Fund.

Still not sure? Take a look at our website at and see why thousands of donors have used the Sonora Area Foundation as their vehicle for charitable giving in Tuolumne County. Lin Freer, Cathi Nies and I would love to hear from you so we can make sure that your donation fulfills your expectations.


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