Give Now

Reflections on the 2016 Election from
President & CEO Ron Gallo

Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues of the Santa Barbara Foundation,

This year, our country witnessed one of the most significant and distasteful presidential elections in our nation’s history. And is always the case, we cannot entirely foresee what effects the election of our new President will have on American politics, our communities, our nation and the world. What we do know, however, is that the political discourse during this election cycle has exacerbated the polarization in our society. It has evoked feelings of distrust, disgust and disillusionment among the American people and uncovered vast divisions in how Americans view foreign policy, the economy and social issues. Despite these divisions, the election also showed us that there is still one area that Americans unite: The desire for change.

At the Santa Barbara Foundation, we believe that, more so now than ever, philanthropic organizations are uniquely positioned to bring about this desired change and uphold the common good. Each day, we have the privilege of working with nonprofits and charitable initiatives that improve the lives of all people, regardless of their political, social, economic or geographical identification. It is philanthropy that has the power to bridge the disconnect across politics, communities and issues. It reminds us that what it means to be American is not defined by politics alone, but is shaped by each and every one of us and how we decide to work towards good will in our communities. At the Santa Barbara Foundation, all that we are and all that we do is in pursuit of ensuring that our local communities are resilient and thriving, and this, we believe, is largely dependent on people staying engaged, in dialogue with each other and working together to promote the causes they cherish. The true heart of philanthropy and the birth of positive change begins right here in our community with all of you.

As we move forward under a new administration, I encourage my colleagues and community partners to continue to strive towards building a better and stronger Santa Barbara County. I could not be prouder of all that we have accomplished together this past year and I know that, with the support of our donors, our investments will continue to yield a significant impact and demonstrate the collaborative action that is necessary to tackle our most complex challenges. Our initiatives are gaining momentum and building networks that are leveraging resources and knowledge and, most of all, identifying real and long-lasting solutions that have the opportunity to bring about the change that the American people desire. During this time of uncertainty and as we look to the future, I encourage us to come together and work towards strengthening our community so that we can move towards positive change and truly embody what it means to be the heart of philanthropy in Santa Barbara County.


Ronald V. Gallo, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation
North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101