Founded in 2002 by Virginia Gilmore, the Sophia Foundation exists to serve the Fond du Lac community by fostering systemic change toward healing and wholeness of an individual or a system; and provide opportunities for learning and leadership that enable human beings to become more caring people in relationship to each other.

A supporting organization of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, the Sophia Foundation has a board of directors consisting of family members, community representatives and advisers providing organizational leadership. With a dedication to primarily serve the Fond du Lac area, the Sophia Foundation seeks to foster systemic change toward healing and wholeness for all individuals by supporting programming that fosters learning and leadership that enables human beings to become more caring people in relationship to each other.

Since its founding, the Sophia Foundation has given more than $500,000 in grants and other charitable support to the Fond du Lac area and other regional, national and international programs.

Until 2011, the organization primarily supported annual grants in support of 1) women and children in vulnerable situations such as abuse, literacy, homelessness, addiction; 2) leadership initiatives such as servant leadership and learning circles; and, 3) broader community collaboration efforts such as Opening of the Heart and CCR (Coordinated Community Response against violence).

Where We Are Today - 2011

The following strategies were developed at the 2010 Sophia Foundation board retreat as guidance for the 2011 – 2013 operation years. 

Strategy I: Program Development

Advance Sophia’s community connections, educational outreach and impact by establishing and building a network of community Learning Circles and FDL as a living laboratory for servant leadership principles and practices

Strategy II: Organizational Structure, Board and Planning

Strengthen Sophia’s organizational structure to be more like an “operating foundation” by clarifying and aligning its legal structure with the Fond Du Lac Area Foundation, plan for board development and member succession as well as defining a staffing leadership plan.

Strategy III: Finance and Budget

Looking out over the next three years, develop an operating budget for years I, II and III, and a financial plan that will sustain Sophia’s new program development and staffing plan