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Community Building from the Heart



July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022

By David Little

Love and compassion have always been the hallmarks of philanthropy and the qualities that guide us at North Valley Community Foundation. The past few years have required us to perfect another attribute we have always valued: adaptability.

The work we do in the community keeps expanding because the needs keep changing. Consequently, we continually take on new projects that we never would have envisioned years ago.

For decades, NVCF has existed as a place where community members can dream up or contribute to ideas that help make our world better. The Camp Fire in 2018 started us on a slightly different trajectory, as a trusted community builder that allows individuals and organizations to contribute to a larger relief and recovery effort after a disaster.

That model was used to provide help after the devastating Bear/North Complex Fire and last summer’s Dixie Fire. It was used to pool donations to address the COVID-19 pandemic, helping keep individuals and health care workers safe while also assisting small, locally owned businesses. That disaster relief expertise also led to us being asked to help provide water to Glenn County residents whose wells for drinking water have run dry during the prolonged drought.

We’ve launched Thrive, a wellness initiative designed to address the trauma inflicted by multiple disasters and challenges in our area. A key component of Thrive is the CARE Team, which provides suicide prevention help to individuals and families.

As our country faces a reckoning on social justice issues, we’ve stepped into the fray there, too. We’ve partnered with United Way of Northern California on the North State Equity Fund. And we have opened our own Disaster Relief for Indigenous Communities Grant Program.

This year we unveiled Lead, a leadership initiative that taps community leaders to help empower emerging leaders with the lessons we've learned from the disasters we've lived through.

Meanwhile, the original heart of the foundation – the funds we hold on behalf of community members – continues to grow. In the past year alone, we’ve opened more than 40 new funds. Our total number of funds approaches 500.

There’s no telling what the next year will bring, but one certainty is there will be surprises. And we’ll be ready, thanks to incredible donors who step up and contribute whenever we need to plug holes in society’s safety net.


Message from the 



When fires come, when wells run dry, when a pandemic shuts our world down, NVCF responds. For 17 years we’ve done everything in our power to address the disasters and tragedies around us, as well as catalyze amazing opportunities to better our world. Armed with radical innovation, adaptability and love — and arm-in-arm with you – we’ve responded.

In this Annual Report you’ll hear about the more than $55 million we’ve deployed since 2018 in strategic grants to support people impacted by the Camp Fire, and our region’s recovery from those devastating flames. You will also learn about our efforts to address the string of massive fires we’ve had since then, the drought and this pandemic. You will hear about the lifesaving work we are doing to prevent youth suicides, advance social justice and much more.

I get asked all the time where my hope comes from in the middle of such suffering. It’s the same source of hope I’ve had since I was the 29-year-old with a dream to rebuild NVCF. The inspiration is, and always will be, you!

When we come together, we serve each other well.


When we come together, we reduce the suffering around us but also within us.


When we come together, we are all the hope and inspiration we need to address anything we face.

I don't know what the better way is yet but I know we need more togetherness, not less. More compromise, not less. More forgiveness and communication and care for one another, not less.

So whatever views you hold, whatever party you're in, whatever your faith or circumstance or motivation, let us actively and open-heartedly engage the “other side" – all sides.

This is needed now more than ever. We aren't keeping pace with the challenges we face, both in the North Valley and around the globe. We don't have any more time to waste. This simply can't be the world we leave our children. 

This might sound naive or idealistic but the force behind this request is the same force I used all those years ago to inspire the rebirth of NVCF. That force is the inherent good and selflessness of the human heart.





With my love,




July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022

(preaudit numbers)


Net assets, end of year


10-year average investment return



Grants, charitable projects and scholarships made in fiscal year

Charitable funds at NVCF


Money raised in fiscal year for social good


New funds opened in fiscal year

Since 2005*


Money raised


Grants, charitable projects and scholarships made

*In 2005, Alexa Benson-Valavanis was hired to rebuild NVCF

Disaster Relief


Camp Fire grants since Nov. 8, 2018


Dixie Fire grants issued since July 2021


Coronavirus grants issued since March 2020


Bear Fire grants issued

Aaron Rodgers.png

Aaron Rodgers Partnership


COVID-19 Response

Drought Relief.png

Drought Relief

Camp Fire Recovery.png

Camp Fire Recovery

Bear Fire Recovery.png

Bear/North Complex Fire Recovery

Dixie Fire Recovery.png

Dixie Fire Recovery




Meet the Team


“Stronger together” is more than just a saying to us. In the community foundation world, it’s our lifeblood. We recognize we can accomplish almost nothing by ourselves. We would not exist without donors and partners.

This was evident and obvious after the Camp Fire. Government, insurance and lawsuits could not entirely “fix” a $15 billion disaster. Philanthropy would play a critical role plugging holes. Fortunately, many community-based organizations knew that collaboration was the best way to proceed.

The most well-known and vital Camp Fire recovery partnership is the Butte Strong Fund.


NVCF was raising money through its Camp Fire Relief Fund. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. raised millions of dollars through its brilliant Resilience IPA campaign and through the benevolence of the brewery’s owners, Ken Grossman and Katie Gonser. Aaron Rodgers opened a fund at NVCF, the Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund.

NVCF, Sierra Nevada and Aaron Rodgers decided to pool their efforts and form the Butte Strong Fund to stretch those dollars and extend the longevity of what we all knew would be a multiyear recovery effort.

Using the Butte Strong Fund as a model, every program we have at NVCF enlists partners.

We organized Dixie Fire relief efforts that pool the resources of 14 different funders. Our COVID-19 response benefited from partnerships with the Feather River Health Foundation and Aaron Rodgers. Our Thrive initiative works collaboratively with six other organizations focused on health and wellness. The list goes on.

We see every day in our work that so much more can be accomplished when we work together. We salute our many partners for embracing that concept as well.


"The North Valley Community Foundation is an integral part of our community. Their team is knowledgeable, responsive, encouraging and supportive. We have had the pleasure of


partnering with them on multiple fundraisers, and have received several vital grants at critical times for our nonprofit organization. We could not imagine our community without NVCF."

Taylor Storey, Executive Director, True North

Housing Alliance

“We are thankful to NVCF and proud to be a part of their ever-so-strong commitment to our communities. When you partner with NVCF they handle so many details, such as legal and financial, so you can devote your time and energy into your fundraising to have it be successful. The NVCF staff is dedicated and goes the extra mile.”


Fran Wedow, Bridging the Gap for Breast Cancer Fund


individual and community, and I appreciate NVCF’s professionalism, mentorship and humanity. I am fortunate to see NVCF’s concern for some of the most vulnerable in our community. The Camp Fire Collaborative can continue its work because of NVCF’s support.”

“I work with the Camp Fire Collaborative. We help struggling families who need recovery services, which sometimes call for thinking outside the box. North Valley Community Foundation’s staff and leadership sit on several Camp Fire Collaborative committees. I see the genuine concern for the

Bruce Yerman, director of operations, Camp Fire Collaborative

“I can honestly say that we would not be here right now without the help from you guys (NVCF) and Aaron (Rodgers). It was a life-changing thing, and the timing … we couldn’t have been more on the ropes physically and fiscally, any more than we were at that point. The timing was like it was scripted for a savior to come in and do something miraculous — and that’s what happened.”

Chris Yarbrough, owner of Kona’s sandwiches and bakery in downtown Chico


“There would be no Long-Term Recovery Plan in Paradise without the Butte Strong Fund.”

Barry Long, Urban Design Associates



Click here to read the annual report in an electronic PDF format.

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