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As one of the largest private sources of funding for area nonprofits, agencies, and college bound students, the foundation makes funds available to identify and strategically address critical community issues – to strengthen the nonprofit sector, to encourage collaboration and partnerships, and to engage and align philanthropic capital with community needs in order to positively impact the county’s common good. On this page, you will find all of the latest news about what the foundation is doing in our many communities in Santa Barbara County.

 

Caring for All Those Who Serve

Alice did not identify herself as a caregiver. Despite the fact that her husband, Howard, was suffering from dementia, in addition to physical and mental disabilities from the Vietnam War, Alice always said she was, “his wife of 55 years,” not his caregiver. As Howard’s dementia progressed, however, Alice knew that she needed help. Exhausted and in despair about how she would find the money for help, she turned to Lompoc Valley Haven, an adult day care center. The executive director, Kathy Concepcion, told her that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would most likely pay for the cost of the program. Alice could not believe it – she had no idea that such resources were available to caregivers of veterans. Read more...

 

 

Coming Together for Santa Barbara County's Veterans

Joel Studebaker's grandfather was an Army veteran from World War I. His father was an Army Air Force veteran from World War II. Many of his friends are veterans from Vietnam. He has seen the psychological, physical and emotional toll that war has on people he loves and respects, which is why he decided that he needed to do something about it. Vietnam veterans are currently one of the largest patient populations that U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) serves. Simultaneously, however, post-9/11 veterans are starting to use VA services at record rates. While the overall veteran population is declining, the simultaneous demand for services by these two veteran populations is draining VA resources and leaving a large gap in veteran care. This gap has made the role of local nonprofit organizations, like Doctors Without Walls, also known as Santa Barbara Street Medicine, even more important in addressing veteran care. Read more...

 

 

Partnering to Support Santa Barbara County Parents in the Search for Quality Child Care

Julio Ortega found himself feeling helpless looking for high quality and affordable child care for his three-year-old son, Abel. Ortega, who is a single parent, tried to find support everywhere. While he struggled to get by financially, his income was just over the limit that is required to qualify for government subsidized programs. He reached out to Children’s Resource and Referral (CRR), the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) and First 5 Santa Barbara County, which is an organization that supports the learning and health of children, prenatal through age five, and their families. With the guidance of these coordinated agencies in 2016, and the support of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s William and Lottie Daniel Child Care Scholarships, Ortega’s son was able to attend St. Mark’s Preschool. Read more...

 

 

Sinking Into the SB Poetry Fund

The late Peter Karoff, the author of this poem, was known for his lifelong passion for philanthropy and his thought-provoking and eloquent poems that inspired those around him to view life with a new perspective. Karoff believed poetry to be a powerful tool of connection, expression and understanding, which is why he had a wish to establish an endowment with the Santa Barbara Foundation to support poetry in the community. Chryss Yost, who served as Santa Barbara Poet Laureate from 2013-15 and is a co-editor of Santa Barbara’s Gunpowder Press, could not be more excited about the potential this endowment has for strengthening Santa Barbara’s poetry community. Yost worked with the Santa Barbara Foundation as a fiscal sponsor to open the SB Poetry Fund. Read more...

 

 

Standing Beautiful in Santa Barbara County

Mark Sylvester, Executive Producer of TEDx Santa Barbara, was blown away the first time he heard Chloe Howard speak. At only 16, Chloe was more eloquent, well spoken and poised than most adults he knew. However, despite all of this, the real reason he was blown away is that she exuded resilience. Chloe was born with a severe foot deformity and spent a large part of her childhood getting operations and learning to appreciate how beautiful she was, despite what others said about her foot. In 2014, she was a victim of assault and bullying at her high school that left her feeling hopeless and self-conscious. Read more...

 

 

Join Santa Barbara Foundation Donors in Disaster Relief

When Scott and Cindy Ackerman left Santa Barbara for South Florida, they knew it would be different. They were prepared for the humidity. They were prepared for the change in scenery. They were not prepared, however, for hurricane season. 2017 marks the first year in recorded hurricane history, which dates back to 1851, that two Category-4 hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, ravaged the United States in the same year. Additionally, this year has brought nearly double the average number of hurricanes to date and the season is not over yet. Read more...

 

 

Breaking Ground in Caregiving Research

Bill had to retire early from work in order to care for his wife who had serious health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease. In focusing solely on her care, he withdrew from activities he previously enjoyed. He felt isolated and began to feel resentful. Thanks to Marian Regional Medical Center’s support for caregivers, a project funded by the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Community Caregiving Initiative, Bill found a support group that motivated him to reengage in some of his favorite activities and began to feel more compassion for his wife. Read more...

 

 

A Year in Review: Exploring the Impact of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan

When a small rural impact center with the mission to regenerate the economy, land and communities of the Cuyama Valley called Blue Sky Center was building its strategic plan, the first place it turned for guidance was to the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. Having participated in the formation of the plan from the start, the Blue Sky Center knows that the breadth and depth of the plan reaches across the county and across multiple sectors. Read more...

 

 

Measuring What Matters

Evaluation. It is almost guaranteed that every nonprofit executive director or program officer who started to read this article just groaned after reading that word. Why has there been so much emphasis on evaluation lately? Is it just another annoying burden that funders are placing on already resource-strapped nonprofits? What does evaluation even mean? More importantly, why does it matter? Read more...

 

Introducing Millennials to Santa Barbara County's Charitable Giving

It was a rather routine visit to a local music store with his “Little” from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Santa Barbara County that changed the way that Phillip Gilley thought about philanthropy. Gilley, a 23-year-old at the time, was seeking a way to make a meaningful connection with his “Little” by sharing his passion for the guitar. Co-founder Roderick Hare, a big Brother himself years earlier, had also experienced the transformative power of music to connect. Read more...

Conspiring for Change for the Next Generation of Leaders

During their first meeting of Leading from Within’s Emerging Leaders program, Patricia Solorio, Executive Director of Central Coast Future Leaders, Inc. (CCFL), and Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director of Future Leaders of America, Inc. (FLA), joked that Ken Saxon, Founder and President of Leading from Within, had conspired for their mutual participation. As they talked, they not only got reacquainted – Solorio fondly reminisced on when Gaona-Macedo was a youth participant in the programs that they are now leading. Read more...

 

Central Coast Climate Collaborative Panel Focuses on Carbon Farming

On August 23, the inaugural 2017 Central Coast Climate Collaborative (CCCC) Summit was held in San Luis Obispo. The event brought together community leaders throughout six Central Coast counties – Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura – to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, build coordinated climate resilience for the Central Coast and to highlight shared challenges, promising solutions and successful regional adaptation approaches. Read more...

Lessons Learned from #AskSBF Drop-in Hours

#AskSBF Drop-in Hours provide nonprofit personnel the opportunity to “drop in” without an appointment to ask detailed questions to the Community Investment Officer for a grant program and receive technical assistance on submitting grant applications. Now that we are half way through 2017, we thought it would be beneficial to reach out to the nonprofits that have participated in #AskSBF Drop-In Hours to learn how we can improve them. Here is some of the feedback we received so far, but we want to hear from you! Read more...

 

Central Coast Climate Collaborative Panel Focuses on Carbon Farming

On August 23, the inaugural 2017 Central Coast Climate Collaborative (CCCC) Summit was held in San Luis Obispo. The event brought together community leaders throughout six Central Coast counties – Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura – to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, build coordinated climate resilience for the Central Coast and to highlight shared challenges, promising solutions and successful regional adaptation approaches. Read more...

Lessons Learned from #AskSBF Drop-in Hours

#AskSBF Drop-in Hours provide nonprofit personnel the opportunity to “drop in” without an appointment to ask detailed questions to the Community Investment Officer for a grant program and receive technical assistance on submitting grant applications. Now that we are half way through 2017, we thought it would be beneficial to reach out to the nonprofits that have participated in #AskSBF Drop-In Hours to learn how we can improve them. Here is some of the feedback we received so far, but we want to hear from you! Read more...

 

 

That's Art and Culture? The Creative Communities Project

Every time Dennis Smitherman, Vice President of the Santa Maria Arts Council, walks into a Creative Communities Project meeting, he is surprised. At the last meeting, he was surprised to see someone from Ganna Walska Lotusland attend to share challenges the garden is facing. At the meeting before that, he was surprised to see an Orcutt winery owner attend to learn more about the project. Each time, he expects a project titled “Creative Communities” to be a meeting filled only with individuals from arts organizations. Read more...

 

Strengthening Community in the Tradition of Santa Barbara's Fiesta

When Barbara Carroll was young, she was a flower girl in Fiesta Santa Barbara. As she danced and twirled about in parades and gave out flowers during the 8-day long festival, she had no idea how big a role Fiesta would play in her life. After her time as a flower girl, Carroll went on to become a parade announcer and volunteer on the Board of Old Spanish Days, the nonprofit that produces Fiesta. Read more...

 

 

Remembering Where We Started: The Conservation Blueprint

Chet Work, Executive Director for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, remembers the early days of the Conservation Blueprint. He remembers when the interested community members toured each other’s ranches, farms and preserves across the county to build a shared understanding of what is valuable in our county. He remembers being amazed that such a seemingly diverse group of individuals could learn that they have so many similar interests. Read more...

 

 

Nonprofit Excellence Spotlight: The Fund for Santa Barbara

Founded in 1980 by a group of Santa Barbara-based community organizers, activists and philanthropists, the Fund for Santa Barbara supports organizations working for progressive social change in Santa Barbara County. In addition to its local grant-making program, the Fund is well known for offering technical assistance in the areas of organizational development, fundraising, community organizing, media strategy, lobbying and advocacy to over 200 community groups each year. Read more...

 

Strengthening Collaboration with the Promotoras to Build a Happier, Healthier Caregiving Community

The mother of an adult with a developmental disability, a wife of a husband with cancer and daughter of an 87-year-old mother who needs assistance, Georgene Lowe, the Coordinator of the Health Linkages Program at the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), is a caregiver. However, Lowe, like many other caregivers, did not always self-identify as a caregiver because of the general lack of awareness about what it means to be one. Read more...

 

First Community Food Access Center Kick-off Celebrates Building a Healthier Future

Sounds of people chopping vegetables, crunching tortilla chips and clanging pans filled El Camino Community Center in Lompoc on May 24 as dozens gathered around to learn how to make a healthy salad during the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s kick-off event for its first Community Food Access Center. Supported by the Santa Barbara Foundation, this Food Access Center is one of the Foodbank’s newest initiatives that aligns with the goals of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. Read more...

 

The Lasting Legacy of Music

Walking down State Street in 1998, Roderick Hare was not expecting to run into his high school choir teacher, Phyllis Zimmerman. At first, she did not recognize him, but when he said his name and she said, “Oh, that voice,” he felt 10-feet tall again. Zimmerman had retired as a teacher, but she had started an a cappella nonprofit choir called Canticle. Shortly after their chance meeting, Hare found himself as Chair of the Board. Read more...

 

Supporting and Empowering Women in Philanthropy

Women are responsible for 86% of household’s consumer purchasing decisions. Women control 51% of personal wealth in the United States. Women are primary breadwinners in 40% of households and hold almost 52% of all management and professional level jobs. With percentages like these only increasing, women are not just a niche market - they are the market.This growing transfer of wealth from men to women is exactly why women’s philanthropy is important to the future of philanthropy, and the Santa Barbara Foundation is proud to be at the forefront of empowering women to make a difference. Read more...

 

Nonprofit Excellence Spotlight: Nonprofit Resource Network (NPRN)

Offering headlines such as, “Hundreds of Central Coast Students and Educators Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Summit,” “April 12 Luncheon to Remember World War I Centennial” and “Recruiting AmeriCorps Members,” the news on the Santa Barbara County’s Nonprofit Resource Network (NPRN) may not be the typical news you would see in the Santa Barbara Independent, Noozhawk or The New York Times. That is because NPRN is not your typical media site. Read more...

 

In Memoriam: Michael Towbes

Known for his keen mind, savvy business sense and big heart, Michael Towbes is remembered as one of the most influential real estate developers, bankers and philanthropists in Santa Barbara County. While Towbes’ generosity and influence will have a long-lasting impact on the community, his ability to lead and inspire others, even in the smallest ways, will be most celebrated in his legacy at the Santa Barbara Foundation. Read more...

 

How to Keep Our Community Investments Team Jumping for Joy (AKA How to Strengthen Your Grant Application)

We love our nonprofits. You are the reason we get up in the morning, skip down the foundation hallways bursting in song and read grant applications as if they are award-winning novels. You are our light, our pride, our joy and the most rewarding part of our work. However, that being said, we thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be helpful to provide all of you awesome nonprofits with a list of ways to keep our community investments team jumping for joy while also strengthening your grant application. Read more...

 

Nonprofit Excellence Spotlight: Leading From Within

On a sunny day in late February, State Assemblymember Monique Limón and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Environmental Council Sigrid Wright sat in the grass at Ted Chamberlin’s ranch in Los Olivos. Brought together that day to talk about innovations in carbon farming, this is not the first time the two had crossed paths. In addition to sharing a passion for Santa Barbara County, they both believe in personal leadership development and are alumnae of programs of Leading From Within. Read more...

 

 

Digging Deep Into the Self: A Chat on the Impacts of Quantified Self With Rajiv Mehta and Gary Wolf

Rajiv Mehta, Founder & CEO of Atlas of Caregiving, and Gary Wolf, Founder & Director of Quantified Self, teamed up to define and explain the concept of the “quantified self” and how it will be used to help achieve the goals of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Community Caregiving Initiative. For a firsthand look at this fascinating tool, come to the April 25 event “Discovery the Quantified Self” in downtown Santa Barbara or contact Phylene Wiggins, Senior Director of Community Investments, at pwiggins@sbfoundation.org. Read more...

 

Serving Those Who Have Served: Introducing the Santa Barbara County Veterans Assessment Project

“I pledge allegiance, to the Flag, of the United States of America,” vowed over 70 veterans, policymakers, service providers and community members at the Santa Barbara Foundation’s convening of Santa Barbara County Stakeholders in Veterans’ Wellness, “Serving Those Who Have Served,” on March 20 in Solvang. The purpose of the convening was to introduce the Santa Barbara County Veterans Assessment Project to important stakeholders and ask for feedback, input and suggestions on the process and methodology to better serve the needs of veterans in Santa Barbara County. Read more...

 

Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint Prepares for Launch with Public Input Meetings in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria

The Santa Barbara Foundation LEAF Initiative joined the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Cachuma Resource Conservation District, along with other community partners, to develop the Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint. The Blueprint will be the first comprehensive compilation of the natural resource and land assets in the county designed to inform conversations about the future of the region and transform how to approach conservation and development in the future. Read more...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Invest $600,000 in Community Caregiving Initiative to Support Research and Innovation

The Santa Barbara Foundation awarded close to $600,000 in grants to advance research and innovation among partner organizations of the Community Caregiving Initiative (CCI). These organizations include the Atlas of Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Association – Central California Chapter, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Family Service Agency, Foundation for Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority (for the Santa Barbara County Coalition in Support of Promotores de Salud), Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization, and the Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation. Read more...

 

What is Nonprofit Excellence? A Conversation with Director of Grantmaking & Nonprofit Excellence, Amy Schneider

The Santa Barbara Foundation's Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Excellence, Amy Schneider, answers questions about the Nonprofit Excellence program and how it supports the community. She discusses the efforts of the foundation's community partners leading Nonprofit Excellence and explains some of the other ways that the Santa Barbara Foundation supports nonprofits. Read more...

 

 

The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Reaches Beyond the Stage with Educational Outreach Initiatives

The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation leads many initiatives and projects in the community to foster artistic expression, culture and collaboration, specifically among youth. The Santa Barbara Foundation recently awarded a capital grant to the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation and both organizations hope to work together in the future to strengthen the arts in Santa Barbara County.
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