Best of the County 2023 Readers’ Choice Philanthropy

Best of the County Philanthropy

What’s your favorite cause? Whether supporting a non-profit through donation, volunteering, or taking individual action to help those in the community, Marin County has incredible opportunities to support the people, animals, and land we call home. Here are the 2023 Readers’ Choices for Philanthropy.

Our 2023 Philanthropy category sponsor is Chambers + Chambers.

Best Animal Care

Marin Humane Society, Novato

This independent nonprofit has been caring for and serving the animals of Marin County since 1907. All animals are accepted at their open door shelters and hundreds are adopted every year into loving homes. Between their volunteer foster parents and animal advocacy programs, they can go above and beyond for every furry friend that ends up in their arms. 

Best Annual Gala

Lifehouse Agency: Great Chefs & Wineries

This one-of-a-kind event put on by Lifehouse Agency combines gourmet food, world-class wine and stellar entertainment to support people with developmental disabilities, as well as a weeklong virtual auction and live auction offering coveted luxury experiences.

Best Arts Nonprofit

MarinArts, San Rafael

Marin Arts

This arts and culture organization is constantly throwing the next best party, from author events such as book readings to a night of opera at a local theater. Kids will also love their summer camps and classes. 

Best Community Service

Marin Community Clinics

Marin Community Clinics has been providing healthcare to those without insurance or other means of affording large bills since 1972. Amongst their volunteers are highly trained physicians and nurses who are here to help with whatever you’re dealing with.

Best Disability Care

Lifehouse Agency

Lifehouse Agency
Photos by David Charnack

This hard-working organization believes people with developmental disabilities deserve compassionate support, respect and purpose, and helps these individuals in the Bay Area lead full lives and with a range of services.

Best Educational Nonprofit

Slide Ranch

The natural environment of the Bay Area is truly beautiful and transformative, and Slide Ranch aims to provide as many opportunities to learn about the coast as possible. They partner with various community organizations and educators to encourage students to come outside and explore. 

Best Elder Services

Vivalon, San Rafael


Between its historic Whistlestop program that provides rides for the elderly and disabled, and the Meals On Wheels food-delivery service, Vivalon has more than proven its commitment to putting active and healthy living first and foremost. They also have their popular Jackson Cafe, which offers affordable and accessible meals for all. 

Best Environmental Nonprofit

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon

Once upon a time, Richardson Bay was headed to a life as a business area and residential marina. But concerned citizens rushed to its defense and purchased the land to create a sanctuary for birds and other water wildlife. The bay is open to everyone, so long as you don’t disturb any winter birds in hibernation. 

Best Family Services

Canal Alliance, San Rafael

Canal Alliance is a nonprofit champion of immigrants focused on helping Latino immigrants and their families overcome barriers to success. Their services include assistance with legal services, education, and career programs, social services, citizenship, community, Daca, and financial resources. Canal Alliance believes that when “we support immigrants, Marin becomes a place where everyone can live, learn, work, and succeed.”

Best Food Insecurity Nonprofit

San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, multiple locations

Since 1987, the SF Food Bank has addressed hunger head-on with its food pantry network and home-delivered groceries, and today, over 53,000 households count on its services weekly. Working with communities, food partners, and participants, the SF Food Bank is creating solutions that provide food, increase access, reduce barriers, and change policies for a more equitable society.

Best Fundraising Event

Center for Domestic Peace Celebration of Mothers

The Center for Domestic Peace brings together feminist thought leaders, social justice advocates and inspiring speakers in this annual event, and all of the funds go toward their mission of ending domestic violence in Marin County.

Best Youth Services

Play Marin, Marin City

Every child needs more in their day than just school, and Play Marin is here to provide all kinds of enrichment for kids of all ages. Be that through their impressive sports program that runs through all season, their vibrant summer camps, or their movie trips and craft events, Play Marin helps hundreds of kids explore their passions, build social skills, and simply play.


Chambers + Chambers Architects: 2023 Best of the County Philanthropy

Focused primarily on custom residential and interior design services, Chambers + Chambers is a boutique architectural practice in Mill Valley. Understated elegance, richness in color and texture and classical detailing are signature elements of Barbara Chamber’s award-winning designs.

What got you interested in philanthropy?
Giving is an expression of spiritual gratitude that makes the world a better place for everyone. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for children and so I’m compelled to give to those organizations.
Do you have a favorite charity?
Tribe Rising India is working to lift the Santal tribe out of abject poverty through education. By building the first-ever high school dedicated to Santals, they are overcoming caste prejudice and creating generational change. 
Why is it important for someone to give?
I believe our gifts are meant to be shared. When we do, we change individual lives and also impact our world.