Napa Valley Vintners make $8.3 million donation to community nonprofits

NapaLearns Receives $275,000

Sarah Klearman, Wine Industry Reporter
Published on October 24, 2020

Donation to 29 local nonprofits despite canceling Auction Napa Valley

The Napa Valley Vintners will donate $8.3 million to 29 local nonprofits, fulfilling a commitment to maintain last year’s charitable spending levels even after the cancellation of this year’s Auction Napa Valley.

The cancellation of the auction – one of NVV’s premiere annual fundraising endeavors – was the first in its almost 40-year history. NVV immediately committed to uphold last year’s level of giving, President & CEO Linda Reiff said in an interview, citing community needs.

“Layers of crises”

Grants to nonprofits will support the creation of healthy families as well as early childhood development, the group said in a press release. This year’s donations are made possible by the Healthy Community Fund – a reserve NVV established in the early 1990s as a kind of rainy day fund, Reiff said.

The “layers of crises” facing the Napa Valley community in the wake of the pandemic and recent wildfires make this year’s grants as important as they have ever been, Reiff said.

“In providing these grants, we are providing help for families at a time when need is far greater than at any other time in any of our memories,” she said, citing the wide range of economic and logistical challenges facing the community.

Reiff praised the grant recipients, all of whom she described as having pivoted to meet the current moment.

“These are the people and organizations on the frontline of this crisis,” Reiff said. “We’re investing in our nonprofit partners so that they might carry out the essential work that’s needed for meeting basic needs in our community, and to help with the recovery of the region.”

Need has been heightened in recent months, according to Charlotte Hajer, director of development for Upvalley Family Centers, a grant recipient. The pandemic forced the nonprofit to move much of its regular programming online.

Impact of COVID-19 felt by all nonprofits

Meanwhile, UpValley Family Centers searched for ways to help people facing unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. Many employees of the region’s hospitality sector lost jobs and healthcare; some struggled to find adequate childcare amid distance learning, and others needed tech support to access what virtual resources were available to them, she said.

One of the most pressing needs among clients has been emergency financial assistance, according to Hajer, who said the UpValley Family Centers has already provided “hundreds of thousands of dollars’” worth of emergency financial assistance to its clientele base.

“That they made a commitment to support existing grantees at the previous year’s level was amazingly reassuring news,” Hajer said. Grants from NVV are especially valuable, she added, because they come with a kind of flexibility that will allow the Upvalley Family Centers to utilize funds where they are most needed.

OLE Health, the recipient of an $800,000 grant from NVV, is still working to assess the impact of the pandemic and wildfires on its client base, said CEO Alicia Hardy. Staff is working to address a “backlog” of patients not seen in person amid early shutdowns, delays in immunization schedules among pediatric patients as well as an influx of new patients, she said.

OLE Health has seen a 125% increase in mental health visits since the pandemic began, she added.

Amid shutdowns, OLE Health launched its own telehealth program. It’s also helped the county establish accessible coronavirus testing, Hardy said. Her “bilingual and bicultural staff” have manned both wildfire evacuation and testing sites over the last few months.

“The grant is really going to support our ability to meet our patients’ changing needs,” Hardy said, describing plans to invest in telehealth and mental health services as well as a campaign to “ensure access to vaccines” for both children and adults in the community. OLE Heath now serves one in five people in Napa County, according to Hardy.


“I have always appreciated the flexibility of the funding that the Napa Valley Vintners provides, because we can put it to the highest and best use immediately,” Hardy added. NVV grants are “a significant source of support” for OLE Health. “We are also grateful they were able to distribute the grants in a timely way, and at a time they are so needed.”

Reiff described the 29 nonprofits as “trusted partners” with deep roots in Napa Valley. NVV is “in awe” of the work they do, she said.

“It’s at times like these we see the collective grit of our community. This is neighbors helping neighbors, and we’re thankful to be a part of it,” she said. “We’re proud to be able to invest and make a difference in caring for the people here.”

List of grant recipients

– Aldea Children & Family Services, $635,000
– Community Health Initiative Napa County, $250,000
– Cope Family Center, $400,000
– Immigration Institute of the Bay Area, $75,000
– NEWS- Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse Services, $245,000
– Planned Parenthood: Northern California, $230,000
– Puertas Abiertas, $100,000
– Rianda Senior Center Association, $90,000
– Collabria Care, $500,000
– Mentis, $450,000
– UpValley Family Centers, $400,000
– OLE Health, $800,000
– Queen of the Valley Foundation, $550,000
– St. Helena Hospital Foundation, $375,000
– 10,000 Degrees, $78,000
– Aim High for High School, $80,000
– Boys and Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, $350,000
– Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga, $200,000
– Child Start, Inc., $100,000
– Community Resources for Children, $100,000
– Napa Valley Education Foundation $250,000
– NapaLearns $275,000
– The Pediatric Dental Initiative, $75,000
– Lilliput Children’s Services, $60,000
– Girls on the Run Napa, $60,000
– CASA, A Voice for Children, $60,000
– Nimbus Arts, $60,000
– On the Move, $400,000
– Parents CAN, $155,000