Sonoma Valley woman honored with national award for philanthropic efforts

Katherine Fulton, who founded Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund during the pandemic, was honored at an Oct. 11 online ceremony.|

Longtime Sonoma Valley resident Katherine Fulton was honored Oct. 11 with the 2022 Willoughby Award from women’s philanthropy collective Philanos during an online ceremony.

Fulton, 67, formed the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, after 25 years working as an adviser and member of nonprofits such as women's philanthropic organization Impact100 Sonoma and grant programs supporting nonprofits such as Sonoma Valley Fund.

Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund uses a collective donor model to gather money from local donors and distribute it to nonprofits in need. The fund raised $1.6 million for Sonoma Valley nonprofits during the pandemic, and has now merged with Sonoma Valley Fund to address other needs, in partnership with Community Foundation Sonoma County, according to the community foundation’s blog in August.

Founded in 2009, Philanos acts as an international network for more than 80 collective women-led giving and grantmaking groups in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Australia and England.

Former Impact100 Sonoma co-president Lynne Lancaster nominated Fulton for the Willoughby Award. The annual award is named for Philanos founder, Colleen S. Willoughby, and includes a prize of $1,000, which Fulton donated to Impact100 Sonoma.

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