Kathleen Woodcock of San Rafael’s Marin Center for Independent Living wins a North Bay Business Journal Nonprofit Leadership Award

Kathleen Woodcock

Director of Community Resources, Fund Development

Marin Center for Independent Living (MarinCIL)

710 Fourth Street San Rafael 94901



Professional background: Mortgage banking, retired in 1990 to raise our three children and help my brother who was rendered quadriplegic in a beach accident in Hawaii. I served on many nonprofit boards raising money for worthy causes that I believed in. In 2007 began consulting. 2008 started full time with MarinCIL

Education: Grad school – Golden Gate University, Undergrad – Dominican University

Number of staff: 15 – although four are part time

Describe your organization: The Marin Center for Independent Living, (MarinCIL) founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1979, has been serving older adults and individuals with disabilities in Marin for 41 years. MCIL’s mission is to assist older adults and people with all types of disabling conditions in achieving their maximum level of sustainable independence as contributing, responsible and equal participants in society.

Keeping people living in the community, in their homes, instead of being institutionalized, is the centerpiece of our efforts.

Our services and community resources provide a critical safety net to individuals living independently and to those regaining their independence after a severe illness, age related disability or life altering accident.

Marin has the highest aging population of all counties in California. Our older adults are aging into disabilities.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am born and raised in Marin; my husband and I raised our three children in Marin as well. I love our beautiful county.

In 1990, my family endured a life changing experience when my younger brother was rendered quadriplegic from a wave accident in Hawaii. It changed all of our lives and how we live our lives.

When my brother was finally discharged from rehab, The Marin Center for Independent Living was the only nonprofit organization that reached out to us. MarinCIL was very instrumental in guiding my family on how to bring home a new quadriplegic – they were amazing.

We had the financial resources to assist my brother, but we didn’t know how to assist him with his new needs.

Fast forward to 2007 when MarinCIL reached out to me to work with them in development. Best thing I ever did – I am able to pay forward the good work of MarinCIL and sing their praises from a unique perspective of having been a recipient of their skilled guidance.

What is your role in the organization?

I am the development director. Three of us make up the executive leadership team of MarinCIL. I raise the money for our amazing program and services

How has your organization been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Gosh in so many ways MarinCIL has been affected by COVID. The second week of March we pivoted to virtual offices and it is working very well, however, staff miss the one on one interaction with their clients.

We have had a huge surge in demand for our services. Six months into 2020, MarinCIL had already served the same number of clients that we served in total last year.

For 2020, we are on target to as least double the number of clients we served in 2019. As an essential business we have been very very busy; there is so much need for our safety net services.

What are the ways your organization responded to increased demands for services, and fiscally, in what has your organization been forced to adjust? Here are some of our accomplishments thru July 2020:

At the onset of COVID-19, The Marin Center for Independent Living was deemed an “essential business”. Over the past several months, the crisis has affected our loved ones, our community and our organization in countless and unimaginable ways.

Marin CIL has been at the forefront serving Marin’s most vulnerable older adults and people with disabilities so they can safely shelter in place with dignity.

Here is a glimpse of some of Marin CIL’s accomplishments.


• Assembled and delivered 2,292 PPE Packs to Marin Seniors in low income housing

• Deployed 130 caregivers to client’s homes

• Assembled a team of 12 ongoing caregivers to work in residential care facilities

• Coordinated delivery of 250 weekly hot meals and fresh groceries to community members

• Delivered 228 gift cards for essential needs totally $60,000

• Distributed 52 laptops and/or Chromebooks to deter social isolation

• Delivered over 200 high voltage batteries as life saving devices in preparation of Public Safety Power Shut Offs

• Facilitated 18 transitions from hospitals and/or skilled nursing facilities to home

• Distributed 6 wheelchairs, 4 shower benches and 7 walkers and 1 walking stick

• Installed 5 grab bars and 2 ramps for clients

• Purchased and delivered 2 air conditioners

Marin CIL has been very busy and the need in our community continues to grow. We humbly thank our loyal and generous benefactors.

What achievement are you most proud of?

My children are my greatest accomplishment.

In terms of work, my greatest achievement was forming the MarinCIL Auxiliary Board in 2008 to help me with fundraising. The Auxiliary Board is an amazing group of women (Angels) from various areas of my life who volunteer their time to raise money for MarinCIL. Our focus is hosting our spectacular Gala, Angels by the Bay. We have so much fun together and work so hard….I absolutely adore these gals.

Another proud moment was in October 2019 when I was awarded $40,000 from the 100Marin Philanthropic Giving Circle. It was transformative gift for us.

What is your biggest challenge today?

Our benefactors really look forward to MarinCIL’s in person annual gala, “Angel by the Bay.”

This event always sells out months in advance and we carry a long wait list. This year, due to covid, we had to cancel it. Our benefactors did not want to participate in a virtual gala so we are being very creative and thinking outside the box to raise the $250,000 that we would have made at Angels.

Thankfully, we raised $280,000 in sponsorship in advance and our generous benefactors know their dollars are being put to very good use.

What is the next major project either under way or on the horizon?

A change of venue for next year’s “Angels by the Bay Gala” at a new super secret cool location…stay tuned!

What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?

My virtual office is pretty darn effective.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

I wish I had a crystal ball!

What other community involvement would you like people to know about?

For the past twenty five years or so I have been a lector, (reading scripture to the congregation) alter server and Eucharistic Minister at my beautiful church, St. Sebastian’s. I do this at weekly Tuesday morning mass and Saturday evening mass.

I served on the social committee at our golf club – Meadow Club. PTA President of Bacich and Kent Schools as well.


Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Jerry Oken and Linda Tavaszi

Current reading: “Where the Crawdads Sing” (it is beautiful)

Most want to meet: Our Pope

Stress relievers: Spending time with my adult children and dinner with my husband, family and friends.

Favorite hobbies: Traveling, hiking, spa days and walking our dogs

Social media you most use: Facebook

Buzz word from your industry you dislike the most: I dislike any acronym that is used in an industry that lay people do not understand. In our nonprofit we tend to use many acronyms

Typical day at the office: Prior to covid, I didn’t spend a tremendous amount of time in the office unless I was writing a grant or working directly with a client. You don’t raise money sitting in an office!

Best place to work outside of the office: Anywhere out in the community - Lunch or dinner with a friend/benefactor. I enjoy working in my home or our cabin in the mountains

Words that best describe you: Faithful, kind, generous, passionate

Anything you want to add?

I am passionate about the good work of the Marin Center for Independent Living…..we do good stuff.

Did I mention our wrap around safely net services: Our Vision: Marin CIL is a progressive leader in providing long term services and supports to older adults and people with disabilities in our community.

Our Impact: Individuals are safer, healthier, more independent, and more engaged in their communities than ever before. Marin has developed a stronger and more integrated delivery system in Marin County.

Programmatic Structure: Marin CIL offers a wide array of services that promote independent living including person centered planning (caregiving, benefits navigation, independent living skills training), housing preservation (assistive technology, home modifications, landlord tenant facilitation, nursing home transition), and advocacy (accessibility, disaster response, emergency preparedness).

In the last year, 80% of our consumers are over the age of 60, 58% had some type of physical disability, 28% were individuals with diverse ethnic and cultural background and approximately 95% are deemed low income using 2019 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D) guidelines.

Kathleen Woodcock

Director of Community Resources, Fund Development

Marin Center for Independent Living (MarinCIL)

710 Fourth Street San Rafael 94901



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