About Us

Our community is seeing a renewed energy, growth and spirit, even with all we have endured in 2020. Even more impressive is that all the ground work for the Lake Almanor Community Consortium, the Town Plaza, the Mountain Volunteer Project, and now the development of a new community foundation have been orchestrated by volunteers with no funding. We are a community that does not give up and are more excited than ever to embrace the potential, the opportunities and the change that awaits us.

Our Story

Why a Foundation? Because stuff happens.

In the early morning hours of November 8, 2018, the first plume of the deadliest wildfire in California history was seen over the west shores of Lake Almanor. Over the next 48 hours and the weeks that followed 100’s of people fleeing the fire sought refuge here. The people of the Lake Almanor Basin swiftly stepped up to assist with a community run evacuation center and a system for vetting need and distributing funds.

Ultimately the community raised over $35,000, with the help of the North Valley Community Foundation. 85% of these funds were spent in the first 2 weeks on food, gas, shelter and clothing for the evacuees. The entire community scrambled to put resources, systems and people in place to fill the need.  We were caught flat-footed at the onset and the individual toll on volunteers was heavy. But we were grateful to have been able to serve.

The next disaster came less than 1 ½ years later.  COVID-19.  The Mountain Volunteer Project (MVP), a fledgling idea born of the Community Consortium (see below) was taking root with discussions on how to serve the needs of the non-profit service sector for administrative services and volunteer recruitment and placement. Suddenly, and without resources, funds, and only a handful of volunteers, leaders of the MVP went to work.  They quickly put into place: a needs assessment, a 24-hour help line, and a shopping service for those most vulnerable in the community.

Stuff happens. It was evident that our community needed to put the resources and systems in place for the next unexpected event.

A Community Consortium
In November, 2019 over 65 leaders of both private and public sectors of the Lake Almanor Basin came together to discuss and identify community needs, communicate their own and look for avenues for collaboration.

The list of needs and challenges was long with many common themes between sectors. Though some challenges were obviously outside of our control, it was decided to continue to get together to address those challenges that we could positively affect.  The Almanor Basin Community Consortium was born that day with the hope of addressing some of the basic challenges to our community’s economic, social and environmental health.

Then, COVID-19 hit and though the consortium was put on hold, the need to create the resources and systems for taking action remained high. Below is a brief summary of the challenges outlined at the November 2019 consortium:

Economic
Poor and unskilled employment pool
Seasonality of demand for businesses
Reliable internet
Cost of Insurance and government regulations
Availability and cost of housing for employees
Childcare
Chester beautification and clean up
Social
Limited cultural opportunities for youth and families
Declining and aging population
Increasing number of children in schools with social-emotional issues
Addiction
Disconnect between areas and socio-economic populations
Limited community engagement
Environmental
Fire
Warmer winters
Water quality
Threats to lakes and streams
 
Taking Action
In October of 2020 a small group gathered to discuss the feasibility of creating a foundation to provide the resources for the community to address these challenges as they occur and lay plans for the future.  This group became the Steering Committee for the foundation. Once thoughts were gathered and needs and feasibility were confirmed, the Steering Committee laid out a vision and mission, adopted bylaws and filed Articles of Incorporation for The Almanor Foundation in December 2020.

In March of 2021, the North Valley Community Foundation of Butte County, accepted The Almanor Foundation as a Fund within their organization to allow us to receive donations and contributions while awaiting the approval of our 501c3 charitable status.

Vison, Mission

We envision a community actively engaged in creating opportunities for growth, and an equitable, healthy and rewarding quality of life for all.
Our mission is to be the catalyst that inspires ideas, sparks action and connects members of the community with the funding and resources needed to improve quality of life.
Our mission is pursued through the following specific purposes:

  • To promote and facilitate philanthropy and community engagement
  • To offer planned giving services to individuals, families, businesses, financial advisors, and nonprofit agencies
  • To serve as a neutral convener for community concerns and issues
  • To manage "endowments", "donor advised", "nonprofit incubator" and other funds created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations or public agencies for the purpose of furthering charitable, educational, or religious activities
  • To facilitate and provide grants to qualified nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or religious purposes without regard to geographic boundaries
  • To encourage and inspire ideas, actions and connections and provide the resources to improve the quality of life in the region.

Values

The values we honor in pursuit of our mission are:
 
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship
  • Service
  • Commitment
  • Innovation
  • Adaptability
 
  • Accountability
  • Rural Identity
  • Inclusion
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity

Roles and Functions of the Foundation

Sharing Community Information
  • Compiling information about available resources & services
  • Tracking data about community wellbeing
  • Aggregating information about local organizations
  • Researching community issues and needs
  • Measuring programmatic outcomes and impact
  • Disseminating local news

Aligning Social Action
  • Connecting stakeholders around issues
  • Building coalitions
  • Coordinating efforts with other funders
  • Supporting/serving as the backbone for a collaboration
  • Pooling funds

Engaging the Community
  • Providing avenues for community input, ideas, and connection
  • Community organizing
  • Facilitating community dialogue
  • Strengthening social ties
  • Facilitating civic participation and volunteerism
  • Empowering resident decision-making

Deploying Financial Capital
  • Grantmaking
  • Supporting individuals (scholarships, fellowships)
  • Impact investing
  • Providing platforms to connect givers and recipients

Financial and Donor Services
  • Managing investments/endowment funds
  • Managing transactions for donors
  • Providing philanthropic advisory services
  • Executing donor-driven initiatives
  • Co-creating initiatives with donors
  • Educating donors about community issues
  • Connecting local philanthropists with each other
Expanding Financial Capital
  • Educating the public about philanthropy
  • Soliciting giving from local donors (individual or institutional)
  • Soliciting capital from outside the community
  • Attracting nontraditional donors
  • Developing earned income to support social purpose activities

Community Planning
  • Facilitating our rural planning processes
  • Promoting economic development planning
  • Planning for disaster response and prevention
  • Proactive long-term community planning

Building Community Capacity
  • Promoting nonprofit organizational effectiveness
  • Nurturing civic leaders
  • Growing local entrepreneurs & businesses
  • Developing the skills of local residents
  • Building local government capacity

Advocating
  • Advocating for policy change
  • Influencing existing government & business priorities
  • Influencing public opinion
  • Promoting specific program models, organizations, and interventions
  • Representing the community regionally, nationally, or internationally

Direct Services and Action
  • Providing social services directly
  • Running public/government programs
  • Incubating nonprofits
  • Incubating social enterprises and businesses