Sonoma Charities– Facing a perfect storm!

Sonoma Charities– Facing a perfect storm!

Like everywhere else, Sonoma charities are feeling the double pinch of an increase in demand at exactly the same time sources of funding are drying up.  Sonoma is being particularly hard hit because there are several major fundraising events that have taken a break in 2009.  Most of the cancellation or postponements were implemented before the economy tanked.

Sonoma Paradiso, the biggest fundraiser in the county simply posted a message on their website, with no indication of future plans.

The Hospices of Sonoma website says that they are rebranding as the Pinot Society Wine Auction with the plan of holding their first auction in early 2010.

The Sonoma County Showcase auction was merged with the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction in 2008.

The Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction announced earlier this year that, in a break from past practises, they would ask their beneficiaries to apply for grants AFTER the auction.

In combination these events raised several million dollars for charity, particularly childrens’  charities, every year.  It is just happenstance that it all hit at once, but the combination of circumstances and the tough economy means harder times.

If there is any lesson to be learned, it is that it is always better to own your own event.  Raising money through an umbrella organization may leave you open to unexpected twists and turns.

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