North Valley Community Foundation team shares a common belief in the inherent good of humanity, and the incredible power of each person to make a positive and unique contribution to a better world.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FORMER BOARD MEMBERS
Dr. Bill Wesley Brown
In remembrance of Diane Ruby
Diane Ruby served on our board of directors for nearly 10 years, handpicked by our CEO and president because she is precisely the type of loving individual who can identify with and guide the heart-centered work we do at the foundation. Diane was the co-owner of Sheraton Real Estate Management. Diane died on May 24, 2020. She was 63.
HISTORY OF NVCF
The North Valley Community Foundation traces its history to 1989.
It started as the Chico Community Foundation and was formed by the Chico Chamber of Commerce as a way to make tax-deductible donations to benefit the community. Early examples of programs included a graffiti eradication program and Volunteers In Police Service, or VIPS.
The foundation became independent from the Chico Chamber of Commerce in 1996. The foundation decided to expand its geographic scope and changed its name to North Valley Community Foundation, with the objective of doing work in all of Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties. It later added Colusa County.
The foundation was run by volunteers for years until Bill Hubbard, who had been with the foundation since the beginning, became the first paid executive director in 1997. Hubbard left his position at the end of 2000.
Volunteer board members, especially Joan Stoner and Richard Matson, held the foundation together in the ensuing years until the board hired Alexa Benson-Valavanis to lead the organization in 2005. Benson-Valavanis was the only employee and had an initial annual budget of $35,000. She quickly began the rebuilding effort.
During her time as president and CEO, Benson-Valavanis engineered a new business model focused on engaging and partnering with anyone with a dream to make the world better regardless of wealth, influence or resources. The foundation immediately started opening charitable project funds serving the North Valley and around the globe. We opened funds with zero dollars, and with no start-up costs or minimums so money wasn’t a barrier to entry. Social entrepreneurs from 8 years old to 98 years old poured in with ideas to change the world.
NVCF went from serving a dozen clients to hundreds of clients within the first few years of the rebuild. Assets grew from a little over $1 million to more than $60 million and grants awarded increased from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars to our communities.
One of the most significant programs during the rebuilding years was called the Annie B’s grant program. NVCF launched the first of its kind community-wide grant program that united hundreds of local nonprofits and thousands of donors. The 10-year program resulted in more than $15 million being raised for the local service providers.
By the time the Camp Fire struck the region, NVCF was a mighty team of six people, all but one of whom was a part-time employee. We had the trust, faith and track record necessary to transform overnight into the lead philanthropic disaster response organization after the fire. NVCF raised more than $70 million in donations from across the country after the Camp Fire devastated Butte County on Nov. 8, 2018.
Since then, NVCF has activated grant programs for the Bear/North Complex Fire, the Dixie Fire and others. In addition, NVCF distributed more than $3 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and more than $1 million for drought response in Glenn County.
In 2020 we launched Thrive, an initiative focused on the mental health and well-being of North Valley residents, including suicide prevention among young people.
The longtime core of our organization remains the same and growing — the nearly 500 funds started by community members and organizations who want to act on their ideas for social good anywhere in the world.
If you ask Benson-Valavanis the reason NVCF has been able to raise more than $177 million during her time to address the most dire needs in our region and world, she will point to her team and say: “We trust one another, we respect one another and we love one another. When you build an organization around the people in it and not the other way around, anything — anything — is possible, even changing the world.”
North Valley Community Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and our Employer Identification Number (EIN) is #EIN 68-0161455.
Below are our recent fiscal year financial statements and tax returns.
Governing documents, conflict of interest policy and 990T are available on request. Please email Karsen Bradley, chief financial officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.