Foundation News

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.

Media Toolkit

The media is a key community stakeholder and we strive to help media professionals with information about our work and our philanthropic leadership.

Waging Peace: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Works to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

In the early 1980s, the height of the nuclear arms race was approaching, and David Krieger began thinking about the need for an organization that educates, engages, and mobilizes the public in organized advocacy to protect and assure humanity’s future. Today, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation breaks through the apathy and awakens people across the globe to the continuing dangers of nuclear weapons. Read More...

 

Wildling Museum Raises Awareness About Wilderness and Natural Spaces

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” President Lyndon B. Johnson made this statement in 1964 when he signed the Wilderness Act into law. The act created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, protecting 9.1 million acres of federal land in the process. Fifty years later, the Wildling Museum is celebrating the anniversary of the act along with its continued commitment to the representation of natural places, a new location, and an entrepreneurial spirit leading toward renewed sustainability. Read More...

 

Women’s Economic Ventures Empowers Local Entrepreneurs

Kathryn and Michael Graham moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 with a dream – to open a specialty cheese shop. With few assets and limited business experience, the Grahams could not qualify for a loan. Then they discovered Women’s Economic Ventures, an organization that fosters the growth of small businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties through training, loans, and consulting. Read More...

 

A Future for the Y - Endowment Fund is Part of Santa Maria Valley YMCA’s Strategic Plan

No two YMCAs operate in the same way, each designed to meet the specific needs of its service area. Founded in the 1930s, the Santa Maria Valley YMCA has long provided important community resources such as youth camps and sports. Today, the organization serves more than 5,800 members with programs including child care, tutoring, diabetes and obesity prevention education, fitness, and more. Read More...

 

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Perform for 2,000 Local Children

“What is a big band? When you leave here today, you are going to know,” challenged Wynton Marsalis to a crowd of 2,000 elementary school students at The Arlington Theatre on March 19. The internationally acclaimed trumpeter, composer, and teacher – along with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – engaged students from Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Hope, Cold Spring, and Montecito Union school districts in an hourlong program focusing on the elements of a big band and promoting an appreciation for Swing Era and jazz music. Read More...

 

Social Venture Partners Brings Compelling Fast Pitch Competition to Santa Barbara

If you have ever watched Shark Tank or American Idol, you have likely been inspired and thrilled by the compelling pitches and performances of contestants competing for a chance to achieve their dreams. Now imagine American Idol or Shark Tank for the nonprofit sector. Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara is sponsoring an exciting competition where nonprofit organizations compete for community recognition and cash awards, all hinging on a compelling, three-minute fast pitch before a live audience. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network Hosts Consensus Building Panel

The Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network serves as a hub for cultivating and celebrating Latina leadership through professional and personal development as well as relationship building. SBLLN recently hosted a dynamic discussion at Antioch University, “Strengthening Relationships Through Alliances and Consensus Building,” featuring panelists who shared their ideas on a range of topics from creating an inclusive working environment to staying focused on a common purpose. Read More...

 

Donor Aspires to Increase Number of College-Bound Students

While many students grapple with decisions such as which college to attend and what major to declare, others have never considered higher education as a possibility. Andrea Rifkin, a Santa Barbara college and career counselor, understands this disparity well. In 2001, she founded Choices College and Career Counseling, a private consulting service for students to learn about the college selection and application process. Her work helping hundreds of youth throughout the county navigate the admissions process has also welcomed students from low-income families on a pro bono basis. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Announces the “New KDB” - Transition to KCRW to Provide Enhanced Cultural and Music Programming

In an effort to reimagine what classical radio might look like in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Foundation will sell KDB 93.7 FM to KCRW, one of the nation’s leading National Public Radio affiliates. Loyal listeners will still be able to hear the sounds of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, while benefitting from increased programming across the spectrums of news, culture, and a variety of music genres. Through the purchase, KCRW will be able to bring its exciting programming to Santa Barbara, broadcasting on 88.7 FM. KUSC radio, the former owner of this frequency, will now move to KDB, where it will continue to provide terrific classical music offerings under the historic KDB call letters. Wanting to preserve an important community asset, the foundation has found a new home for KDB, one that will bring increased cultural relevance to an already vibrant arts community. Read More...

 

Foundation Invests in Goleta Small Business Incubator

From global engineering firms to cloud computing companies, Goleta-based startups have attracted $350 million in capital during the past 10 years. To stimulate this entrepreneurial momentum, the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, City of Goleta, and University of California, Santa Barbara partnered to create the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet. The small business incubator will offer affordable office space to startup businesses, as well as access to services such as seminars, mentoring, and networking. Read More...

 

Be Christmas Project Delivers Cheer to Foster Teens

T’was the week before Christmas, and community volunteers were scrambling to provide gifts for foster teens in North Santa Barbara County. They hoped to give the teens what they wanted most – $100 gift cards and the freedom to choose their own presents. But the volunteers were struggling to meet their goal. The Be Christmas project began in 2010 when Rob Litzinger and Edwin Weaver discovered that some foster youth were receiving two or three presents from service agencies while others received none at all. Additionally, many social workers were digging deep into their own pockets to make sure the youth they cared for were remembered during the holidays. Read More...

 

Cleo Purdy Trust Supports Educational Opportunities for Children

Remember what your first day of school was like? Flutters, uncertainties, questions… “Will I make friends? What will the teacher be like? Will I fit in?” Beyond the normal first day jitters, imagine not being a native English speaker and having to begin kindergarten without adequate language skills. Unable to understand instructions and actively participate in classroom activities, these students quickly fall behind and their academic career becomes one of constant catch up. Addressing this community need, Mobile Waterford provides English language and reading readiness training to hundreds of Latino 4-year-olds who might otherwise enter Santa Barbara elementary schools every fall without the necessary skills to succeed. Read More...

 

Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society Opens Agency Endowment Fund

Wanting to provide care and protection for cats and dogs in the Santa Ynez Valley, a group of dedicated men and women banded together in the 1970s to rescue lost and unwanted animals, often using their own homes to care for pets. Today, this group has come a long way, officially establishing themselves as the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society. For SYVHS, everything hinges on getting animals adopted into loving homes. To further this mission and to help care for animals in perpetuity, SYVHS recently opened an agency endowment fund with the Santa Barbara Foundation. Read More...

 

Warren Featherbone Company Leader Shares His Philanthropic Journey

The Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable recently invited Charles E. “Gus” Whalen, Jr., chairman of The Warren Featherbone Company, to Santa Barbara to share the unconventional journey of his family’s business. Throughout its 130-year history, the company has adapted to changing markets and technologies. Its diverse products have included featherbone for women’s corsets and baby apparel. “The Warren Featherbone Company has survived over all these years because on a regular basis, we asked, ‘What’s next?’" said Gus. "We kept looking for opportunities to adapt to changing times.” Read More...

 

Cathy Pepe, Niki Sandoval, Luis Villegas, and Michael Young Elected to Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees

Cathy Pepe, Niki Sandoval, Luis Villegas, and Michael Young have been elected to the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Board of Trustees, each beginning a three-year term in January 2014. Selected for their diverse interests, experience, and leadership in both professional and volunteer arenas, trustees establish policy, set priorities, and are responsible for guiding the foundation’s activities. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Distributes More Than $22 Million in Grants in 2013 - Grantmaking Addresses Foundation’s Strategic Focus Areas and Initiatives to Provide Community Impact

In 2013, the Santa Barbara Foundation, together with its donor partners, distributed more than $22 million in charitable grants. These community investments helped to fuel the good work of community organizations – primarily in Santa Barbara County –making significant impact by addressing critical challenges and compelling needs. Year end grants are a component of the foundation’s charitable giving. Of the more than $22 million, grants from donor funds comprised more than $11 million or 48% of this amount and foundation funds represented $1.5 million or 7% in year end community impact grants to 32 nonprofits. The 2013 grant program helped to solidify continued community needs and priorities, such as the safety net services for the most vulnerable in the community, as well as new opportunities to partner with key organizations in the areas of health care, education, and environment to improve community outcomes. Read More...

 

Tina and Paul McEnroe - Working Hard to Preserve the Past And Create the Future

Most of us do not remember the complexities involved with learning how to read. For many of us, it just happened as part of our childhood. But for those children who struggle with reading, developing this skill seems like an insurmountable challenge. Indeed, if a child is still trying to decode language after the third grade, they are not fully grasping the information being taught, and thus begin to fall behind in school. In Santa Barbara County alone, 65% of third graders cannot read at grade level. Award-winning educator Tina McEnroe, and her husband Paul, both realizing the tremendous need in the community, were thrilled to be able to open the Tina Hansen McEnroe and Paul V. McEnroe Reading & Language Arts Clinic under the umbrella of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB, so that children could receive the reading skills they need to develop into productive, engaged, responsible adults. Read More...

 

Cuyama Valley Tackles Early Childhood Education

Cuyama Valley is an agricultural community in the northeastern corner of Santa Barbara County challenged by its remote location, poverty, cultural and language barriers, and lack of educational opportunities. The region is home to one elementary school with 132 students and one high school with 76 students, 82 percent of whom participate in the free and reduced meal program. “The Cuyama Valley is a very isolated area, with many of the closest resources over 45 minutes away,” said Lynn Carlisle, executive director for the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center (CVFRC). “A lot of the services you would expect in a city are just not possible because the valley is in such a remote place.” Read More...

 

Literacy Council Offers Workplace Learning Opportunities

Imagine how difficult it would be to maneuver through daily life if you were unable to read or write. You would have trouble taking prescription medications, you would not be able to help your children with their homework, and you could not fill out necessary paperwork in a workplace setting. Everything in your life would become more challenging. Addressing the tremendous need for increased English literacy rates for adults throughout Northern Santa Barbara County, the Central Coast Literacy Council offers programs that provide the skills necessary to read, write, speak, and understand English. With this ability, individuals become less likely to be unemployed, homeless, and engaged with the justice system. Instead, they are more likely to add to the economy and workforce, and make positive contributions to society. Read More...

 

Proof of Citizenship No Longer Requirement for Santa Barbara Foundation Student Financial Aid

The Santa Barbara Foundation has announced that beginning in 2014 its student aid funds can be applied to the best qualified students from Santa Barbara County schools regardless of citizenship status. As the single largest annual donor to the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, the foundation expects to provide $1.6 million next year in the form of student aid and requests that citizenship status no longer be a criterion determining students’ continuation of higher education. Read More...

 

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Provides Hope for Families Facing Pediatric Cancer

“Getting a cancer diagnosis for my baby was the worst day of my life,” said Jill Fanello-Emerson. “It was excruciating to comprehend all the new things we had to learn and to make informed decisions in the blink of an eye. Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) stepped in and took that huge burden completely away so we could concentrate on taking care of Makenna.” Jill represents just one of the 151 families who benefited from TBCF’s services last year. Read More...

 

The Santa Barbara Foundation Appoints Al Rodriguez as Vice President of Community Investments

The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce that Al Rodriguez has joined its leadership team as the vice president of community investments. Al will be primarily responsible for the foundation’s work in communities throughout Santa Barbara County. He will oversee initiatives, grant programs, civic engagement projects, and efforts to strengthen the social (nonprofit) sector. Al will also work closely with the foundation’s donor investors, helping them to connect to the very best opportunities in the county and beyond that capture their philanthropic interests and passions. Read More...

 

Community Rallies in Support of Neighborhood Health Clinics

A financial crisis nearly shut down the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) earlier this year. The closure of SBNC would have had a devastating effect on the thousands of families who have relied on its affordable medical and dental services for over 40 years, concomitantly putting a huge strain on the entire health care system in the region. But the Santa Barbara community rallied to provide leadership and financial support to the clinics, laying the foundation for SBNC to find its way back to stability and sustainability. Read More...

 

Global Neighborhood Fund Promotes International Giving

By asking the question “How big is our neighborhood?” Nancy Koppelman, Connie Smith, and Sandra Tyler began to examine what it meant to be part of a global community. Does our neighborhood end at the county line? At the state line? Or do we acknowledge that we all want the same things – to be good parents, to build fruitful lives, and to take care of each other – thus making us all good neighbors on this planet? It became apparent that the challenges, great needs, and value of a broader view of our neighborhood was crucial. “Our country has a social safety net unlike most of the world,” said Nancy. “We have public health programs, our government is stable, and we have strong infrastructure. It is not until we leave our familiar culture that we see what rich, full lives we have here.” Read More...

 

Local Entrepreneurs Infuse Philanthropy Into Business Models

Approximately 80 percent of businesses in Santa Barbara have one to five employees. A growing number of these small businesses are using their entrepreneurial spirit to design unique corporate giving programs that align with their companies’ goals. At a quarterly forum hosted by the Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable (CPR), three local entrepreneurs recently shared how they have integrated philanthropy programs into their business models. Read More...

 

The Santa Barbara Foundation and Noozhawk Announce the 71st Annual Man and Woman of the Year - Bill Cirone and Anne Smith Towbes

The Santa Barbara Foundation, Noozhawk, and KDB 93.7 FM classic radio honored two exceptional individuals for their long-standing commitment to community volunteerism. On Tuesday, October 15 at the 71st Annual Man & Woman of the Year Awards, a large crowd gathered to recognize Bill Cirone and Anne Smith Towbes for the significant impact they have had throughout the community. Both recipients have been active supporters of a variety of nonprofit organizations. Read More...

 

Alliance for Living and Dying Well Event to Aid with the Completion of Advance Health Care Directives

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well has been providing the community with opportunities to learn more about and to complete advance health care directives for the last four years. To further this work, the alliance will host Get It Done Today! on November 13, an all day event with multiple locations where advance health care directives can be filled out with the assistance of trained staff. For individuals who want to fill out a directive, but do not know where to begin, informational presentations will be provided. Read More...

 

Agency Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault

One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. It is the most under reported and expensive crime, with 63 percent of assaults not reported to police and costing the United States an average of $127 billion annually. The North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center works to address this issue in Santa Barbara County’s northern communities through education, prevention, and counseling programs for children and adults who are survivors of or vulnerable to sexual assault and child abuse. Read More...

 

Nancy Schlosser Creates Fund to Support Education and the Arts

Nancy Schlosser was raised listening to classical music on old phonograph records and has a deep appreciation for music and art, as well as education. She is a longtime supporter of the Santa Barbara community, giving to organizations such as the Scholarship Foundation; Girls Inc.; and Santa Barbara City College. “We had a family foundation for a while because we wanted to teach our children about the power of giving,” said Nancy. “But it got to be a lot of work with the separate tax return. I was delighted to close the family foundation in order to open a fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation.” Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Strings Provides Classical Music Program for Aspiring String Musicians

As a young woman, Mary Beth Woodruff attended the New England Conservatory of Music and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she majored in both music and chemistry. Studying the violin since the age of 7, she continued to play music during her college years. Wanting to pursue her passion for teaching and encourage the next generation of musicians, Mary Beth later moved to Santa Barbara County where she founded Santa Barbara Strings, an in-depth, sophisticated training program for young string musicians. Read More...

 

Goleta Aquatics Program Promotes Senior Wellness

Two friends meet at the Goleta Valley Senior Center each week to participate in an aqua aerobics program. Violet is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and finds the water soothing when she moves around. Dolores has arthritis and cannot swim, but trusted enough to try and cried with happiness at the end of her first class because she was not in pain. Violet and Dolores are just two participants benefiting from the Senior Center's new aquatics program, implemented to promote physical and social health. Read More...

 

Youth Interactive Unveils New Funk Zone Mural

Youth Interactive recently unveiled the latest public art piece created in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The organization worked with young Santa Barbara homegrown street artists in order to repurpose their creative energy into a positive endeavor. The mural unveiling was the kick-off for Youth Interactive Outsider Arts, a program that makes youth a simple promise: Put your art onto something that can be sold, instead of on walls, and Youth Interactive will help you earn money from your art, instead of a criminal record. Read More...

 

Commemorating a Lifetime of Leadership and Service in the Santa Maria Valley

Joe and Jean Olivera have called Santa Maria home for 92 years. They attended Santa Maria High School, married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, raised four children, and recently celebrated their 70th anniversary. Throughout their lives, the Oliveras have epitomized a strong work ethic, commitment to family, and service to their community and country. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara County Funders Provide Investment to Prevent Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics from Closing its Doors

With the closing of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics imminent, Santa Barbara County funders demonstrated their capacity to rapidly meet critical community needs by providing immediate financial support necessary to keep SBNC from closing its doors on July 15. This decision heads off a cascading crisis in the county’s health care system and enables SBNC to continue to provide health care services for over 17,000 families who depend on the clinics as their only option for affordable health care. Read More...

 

Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access Assists Individuals Unable to Afford Prescription Medications

Affordable health care has, over the last few years especially, dominated the national, political conversation in America. No one is more familiar with this landscape than Hilda Zacarías, whose work as the administrator for Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access (APA) in Santa Maria supports the organization to assist individuals struggling to meet their basic health needs and who are unable to afford their medications. APA health advocates provide access to brand name medication for chronic conditions, at no cost to individuals and in collaboration with their physician, by accessing patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. Read More...

 

Granada Books Community Bookstore Breathes New Life into Downtown Book Scene

After large booksellers closed their doors in Santa Barbara and Goleta, Sharon Hoshida began watching the book landscape in Santa Barbara with great interest. When no one stepped up to fill this new void, she got together with Emmett McDonough, Mark Zolezzi, and Andrea McCormick to open Granada Books, a community bookstore. “When Borders and Barnes & Noble closed, it had nothing to do with book buying in Santa Barbara. They closed because of corporate decisions,” said Sharon. “So we did our due diligence and decided to move forward with our plans to open a new downtown store.” Read More...

 

Arts Mentorship Program Expands Opportunities for Aspiring Dancers

In 1997, Alana Tillim and Steven Lovelace founded Santa Barbara Dance Arts to provide contemporary dance education to the Santa Barbara community. Throughout the years, the growing demand for affordable dance classes and studio space prompted them to create the Arts Mentorship Program (AMP), a nonprofit that grants rent subsidies to emerging art groups and dance scholarships to low-income and at-risk youth. Read More...

 

Solvang Friendship House Addresses Senior Care in the Santa Ynez Valley

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to a projected 13.8 million. Solvang Friendship House (SFH) has been working to address this need in the Santa Ynez Valley since 1978, providing a supportive and affordable home for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. With support from the Santa Barbara Foundation, SFH recently implemented the Namaste Care program for residents, designed to bring honor to people who can no longer express who they are or care for themselves without assistance. Read More...

 

HIPPY Program Provides Educational Resources to Guadalupe Families

In the small town of Guadalupe, residents struggle to meet the educational needs of young children, particularly those wishing to attend preschool. THRIVE Guadalupe has set up Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) to fill this need, serving over 40 families every year. Through the program, parents learn how to prepare their children for kindergarten. Read More...

 

SVPSB Hub Panel Inspires Possibilities for Optimized Community Collaboration

Over 100 community members gathered this month to hear a lively panel discussion exploring the concept of the Hub - unique spaces that are optimized for collaboration, learning, and making change happen. Co-sponsored by Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Foundation, the panel discussed how Hub communities provide a home for innovators, entrepreneurs, professionals, venture capitalists, nonprofits, educational institutions, and angel investors. The engaging conversation was especially enlightening to the SVPSB partners who hope to develop a plan for bringing the Hub concept to Santa Barbara. Read More...

 

Enterprise Grants Support Thriving Artistic Community in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative recently awarded four local artists with Arts Enterprise Grants to support entrepreneurial and innovative projects that provide new economic models and expand community engagement. Funded by the Santa Barbara Limited Edition Online Print sales program and the Santa Barbara Foundation, Arts Enterprise Grants were open to artists of all disciplines residing, performing, or exhibiting in the city of Santa Barbara. “Grants are a critical part of supporting a thriving artistic community in Santa Barbara,” said Rod Hare, co-founder and board member of the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative. “Our idea is to hear from artists what projects they are passionate about, provide some necessary funds, but more importantly, surround that artist with individuals from the community who commit to seeing the artist’s vision become reality.” Read More...

 

Morton Salt Family Names Santa Barbara Foundation Guardian of Charitable Fund

In the late 1950s, long before endowment funds became a popular vehicle for charitable giving, the Morton Salt family had the insight to set up a fund with the Santa Barbara Foundation that would benefit organizations they cared about in perpetuity. To date, the Mortons’ legacy has yielded more than $1.2 million in grants and continues to support beloved organizations including Cottage Hospital, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Santa Barbara Foundation. Read More...

 

Marquee Speaker Series Promotes Nonprofit Excellence in Santa Barbara County

In an effort to advance the work of Santa Barbara County nonprofits, The Fund for Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation recently kicked off the second year of the Marquee Speaker Series. The series features outstanding thinkers, writers, and trainers in the nonprofit sector who discuss everything from planning and fundraising to board and leadership development. Read More...

 

Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County Receives $1 Million Gift - Largest Donation from an Individual in DVS’ History

Upon her death last year, Santa Barbara resident Susan Trescher left a bequest of over $1 million to Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County, the largest donation from an individual in the organization’s 37-year history. Susan now takes her place amongst a number of women, and their husbands, whose gifts through the Domestic Violence Solutions Legacy Club work to protect women and children from domestic violence and abuse. As an organization dedicated to providing safe and confidential shelter for battered women and their children as well as emotional support and personal advocacy, Domestic Violence Solutions’ leadership in the community continues to affect necessary social change throughout the county. Read More...

 

Mission & State Website Goes Live - New Enterprise Supports Investigative and Narrative Journalism from the Heart of Santa Barbara

Mission and State, a new investigative and narrative journalism enterprise out of Santa Barbara, launched Thursday, June 6, when missionandstate.org went live with its first roster of stories. The website’s launch is the culmination of efforts begun several years ago by journalists and concerned citizens to bring more in-depth journalism to Santa Barbara and the region. Read More...

 

Therapy Dogs Motivate Students to Develop Reading Skills

Karen and Sandy sit quietly in the library at Hope Elementary School, waiting for their first student to arrive. Every week, they come to the school to read with some of the “shy” first and second grade readers. Valeria, who is 8 years old, has been reading with Karen and Sandy every Wednesday for the last three months. Bounding into the room with a smile on her face, Valeria says, “This is the best part of the day.” Part of her enjoyment comes from reading to Sandy, who is in fact a dog. Read More...

 

Solvang Baker Aims to Rescue Child Laborers in Ghana's Lake Volta Region

During a recent volunteer trip, Nancy Petersen learned of a grave human trafficking situation in Ghana. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old are being sold to local fishermen and forced to work in life-threatening conditions. Nancy returned to her home in Solvang, where she operates Mortensen’s Danish Bakery, and began researching ways to make a difference. She opened the Ghana-Village of Life Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation to change the lives of these children. Read More...

 

Angels Foster Care Addresses Critical Needs in Santa Barbara

Madeline, a foster infant from Santa Barbara County, was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome and additional congenital heart defects to a 16-year-old mother who, herself, was a foster child. Because of limitations in the foster care system, Madeline was left alone to recover at the hospital after undergoing open heart surgery the day she was born. Then Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara stepped in, matching Madeline with the Sprague family when she was released from the hospital. Read More...

 

Public Gardens Partnership Encourages Year-Round Enjoyment of Santa Barbara’s Unique Landscapes

Santa Barbara is a vibrant city, known for its Spanish style architecture and iconic buildings. But tucked within the fabric of the city are many public and private gardens. In order to increase awareness of Santa Barbara’s unique landscapes, and celebrate the beauty of open spaces, a collaboration was formed between private gardens such as Lotusland, Casa del Herrero, Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, and the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department. Now in its second year, the Santa Barbara Public Gardens Partnership held events throughout the month of May, an extension of National Public Gardens Day, to promote community responsibility for the environment and encourage visitors and residents alike to do a little gardening themselves. Read More...

 

Newcomers Discover Philanthropic Opportunities in Santa Barbara County

There is no better way to get to know your community than by volunteering with a nonprofit organization. Following your passion to help others or providing needed service creates an understanding of community issues and opens up a world of friendships. The Newcomers Club, a social group designed to introduce newcomers to Santa Barbara, discovered the value of philanthropy at an introductory meeting hosted by the Santa Barbara Foundation. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Honors 2013 Scholarship Award Recipients for Academic Success and Community Service

“To me, community service is not just something we must do. It is something that truly comes from my heart and it is something that I will continue to do in my future,” said award recipient, Melissa Diaz-Trejo. “My goal is to make a difference in at least one life. By helping out, I know I am one step closer to building an improved community.” This sentiment is echoed by all of the Spaulding and Fleischmann award recipients who have followed their passions in their willingness to give back to the communities they live in. Most have donated their time and efforts to a variety of important issues and organizations, volunteering at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Marian Medical Center, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Pacific Pride Foundation, Direct Relief International, and Santa Maria Valley Animal Shelter, to name a few. For their great academic success and devotion to community service, each student was given an award. Read More...

 

Pacific Pride Foundation Remains Foremost Resource for People Living with HIV/AIDS

For those growing up as part of the millennial generation, a conscious understanding of AIDS has always been a reality. Reaching epidemic proportions in the 1980s and throughout the early 1990s, education became a crucial form of prevention while researchers continued examining the disease. Over 30 years later, AIDS is still to this day a pandemic with no known cure, and education remains the first part of AIDS policy throughout the nation. In Santa Barbara County, estimated to have between 1,500-2,500 people positively diagnosed, the Pacific Pride Foundation is the foremost resource for people living with HIV/AIDS, helping those who are suffering, and those who are most marginalized, receive compassionate health care and social service programs not available through any other organization in the county. Read More...

 

Cactus Society Strengthens Research and Conservation Efforts Through Endowment Fund

Cacti are a vital component of many desert ecosystems, providing food and shelter for animals such as hummingbirds, tortoises, deer, and rabbits. However, several cactus species are now endangered due to illegal seed and plant collection, habitat loss, and climate change. The Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) is one organization working to promote the conservation, knowledge, and appreciation of cacti and succulents through publications, conventions, and a seed bank as well as research grants and travel opportunities to advance the work of botanists around the world. Seeking ways to stay relevant and ensure its long-term capacity, CSSA recently opened an endowment fund with the Santa Barbara Foundation, ensuring their organization would continue to grow in perpetuity. Read More...

 

Corporate Philanthropy Leaders Share Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Since 1990, the Intel Foundation’s charitable giving has grown from $1 million to $110 million. A key factor for its success has been the development of a strategic philanthropy program that directly ties to the company’s corporate values. “Corporate philanthropy is not about playing a golf game or writing a check for the next gala,” said Wendy Ramage Hawkins, executive director for the Intel Foundation. “Senior corporate leaders need to be able to tell stockholders, owners, and bosses that the philanthropy program makes sense for business, builds the company’s reputation, and extends the brand in the community. At Intel, our company leaders understand what we get out of our programs, so they are willing to fund it and they are willing to increase that funding substantially over time.” Read More...

 

Hands Across Santa Maria Volunteer Fair Connects Organizations to New Volunteers

Given the chance, everyone is willing and able to lend a helping hand. Our communities are full of people who go above and beyond with their volunteer commitments, giving up evenings and weekends as well as day-to-day activities in order to make a difference. But where do you start? How do you begin your volunteer story? Earlier this month, the Santa Maria Affiliate of the Santa Barbara Foundation hosted a volunteer recruitment fair at the Abel Maldonado Youth Center, providing an opportunity for folks to learn more about getting involved. Read More...

 

Posse Program Bolsters Academic Success on Westside

Jo Ann Caines, principal of La Cumbre Junior High School and an educator with 25 years of experience on the Westside, continued to face a major challenge. Even if low-income Latino students were succeeding in elementary and junior high, they began to flounder in high school with no peer support in high-level classes, low parent education levels, limited resources in the home, and no immediate academic assistance. To address this achievement gap and to prepare students to pursue higher education, La Cumbre Junior High partnered with San Marcos High School to develop the Posse Program. Read More...

 

Africa Schools of Kenya Launches Campaign in Response to Maasai Request to End FGM

In 2007, Teri Gabrielsen founded Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK) to provide educational programs for Kenyan children. Last year, the Maasai people of Esiteti asked Teri if she would help with the design of an alternative “coming of age” ceremony for the women in their community so that they would not need to perform the traditional ritual of female genital mutilation (FGM), a ceremony signifying a girl's transition to adulthood. ASK is currently in the middle of a 42-day campaign hoping to raise $50,000 in order to make the alernative rite of passage program sustainable, ensuring the safety of hundreds of girls. Read More...

 

Senior Volunteerism Remains Vibrant Force in the Community

Jose Gallardo has been busy his entire life - all 90 years of it. “For so many years, I did not even know what a weekend was!” he said. Serving as a specialized railroad worker during World War II, Jose later started his own milk delivery business and ultimately owned two restaurants. Countless retirees can relate to Jose’s work ethic and as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement, the number of retirees in this country will increase significantly. Doug Dougherty, executive director of the OASIS Senior Center in Orcutt, said he has seen a tremendous increase not only in the demand for senior services but in their volunteer force as well. “Seniors are the most vibrant volunteer force. They have a positive, can-do attitude and they want to be busy. They want to help this community.” Read More...

 

Alliance for Living and Dying Well Provides for Open Conversations about Quality End-of-Life Care

Conversations about death are not the easiest ones to have with family members. Where do you begin? How do you create an environment that is open and non-confrontational? How do you figure out what your final wishes might be? The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is a collaborative working to ease these sometimes tough conversations through its commitment to quality end-of-life care, also providing the community with awareness of the types of care available. “It is not just about getting the right documents in place, but also shifting attitudes about death and dying. This in itself is very transformational,” said Susan Plummer, the alliance’s executive director. Read More...

 

Katherine Harvey Fellows Program Encourages Next Generation of Leaders

The Katherine Harvey Fellows program inspires, motivates, and educates – preparing its participants to become future community leaders. Those who become fellows are immersed in an education that provides the key elements of philanthropic work, grantmaking, and mentoring, engaged in an 18-month experiential learning opportunity that is truly transformational. Founded in 1999 by the Santa Barbara Foundation, the program is now run in partnership with the local, leadership nonprofit Leading From Within, both of which are pleased to announce a 15-member cohort for the class of 2013-2014. Read More...

 

Highland Santa Barbara Foundation Inc. Distributes $685,000 in Grants to 17 Nonprofits - New Supporting Organization to Support Excellence in Education

The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce the distribution of $685,000 in grants to organizations specifically tackling challenges and opportunities surrounding education. The grants were made through the foundation’s newest supporting organization Highland Santa Barbara Foundation Inc. (HSBF). Distributions from the supporting organization’s assets will continue to be given annually to qualified charitable organizations located predominantly in Santa Barbara County. Read More...

 

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara Begins Investing in Santa Barbara Education

Earlier this month, Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara (SVPSB) gathered with invited guests to hear a panel discussion on education needs in Santa Barbara County. Hosted at the Santa Barbara Foundation, panelists included David Cash, superintendent of Santa Barbara Unified School District; Paul Cordeiro, superintendent of Carpinteria Unified School District; Pedro Paz, school board member for Santa Barbara School; Sally Kingston, director for college bound programs and instruction at Carpinteria Unified School District; and Moderator Ben Romo, SVPSB partner and CEO of First Five Santa Barbara. Read More...

 

Hands Across Santa Maria Celebrates Volunteerism

Some are flashy and boldly colored, some are elegantly adorned with glitter and ribbon, and some simply bear a distinctive signature. Each is a one-of-a-kind paper hand created to uniquely represent the “hand” many generous men, women, and young people give to the community regularly through volunteer service. The artistic hands are the kickoff for the Santa Maria Affiliate of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Thanks for Caring: Hands Across Santa Maria project – a unique celebration of volunteerism with the dual mission of recognizing the efforts of current volunteers while inspiring others to get more involved. Read More...

 

Yvette Cabrera Returns to Santa Barbara for Mission and State Journalism Initiative

Yvette Cabrera has just been appointed to the startup journalism project Mission and State, formerly known as the Santa Barbara Investigative Journalism Initiative. The project was created late last year through a Knight Foundation grant awarded to the Santa Barbara Foundation and supported by matching grants from several local foundations and individuals. Mission and State will operate under the umbrella of the not-for-profit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy. Cabrera joins a team ready to enhance the online journalism experience. Read More...

 

Deckers Outdoor Corporation CEO Angel Martinez Shares His Inspiring Philanthropic Journey with the Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable

On Angel Martinez’s first day at a new school in California, the principal glanced at his outfit and promptly took him shopping so he would fit in with the other students at school. This act of kindness left a deep impression on Angel, who was born in Cuba and spent his early years in the South Bronx of New York where his adoptive guardians struggled to make $40 a week. “The odds of me being here, doing what I’m doing and talking to all of you today, are slim to none,” said Angel, speaking to a group of Santa Barbara business and community leaders at the Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable’s 2013 kick-off event, A CEO's Journey in Philanthropy. “I was the beneficiary of help from so many people. I received scholarships that still inspire me today, and I have an obligation to give that back in my own way.” Read More...

 

Uncommon Gifts for the Common Good

In creating a personal giving plan, many donors are thinking outside the box and contributing assets which may result in a larger charitable impact as well as a significant tax advantage. While cash and marketable securities remain the principal type of assets contributed, the foundation has seen an uptick in uncommon or illiquid assets donated by generous and savvy donors to set up funds that carry out their philanthropic passions. Since 2009, the foundation has received gifts of privately held stock, limited partnership shares, real estate, patent royalties, art, and collectables. One of the largest gifts ever received by the foundation was comprised of tranches of corporate bonds. Read More...

 

Legal Aid Foundation Parlays Express Grant into Sustainable Giving Program

From keeping a roof over a family’s head by preventing a landlord’s discrimination to protecting a victim of domestic violence from further abuse, the Legal Aid Foundation provides critical legal services throughout Santa Barbara County. In 2011, Legal Aid received a $5,000 Express Grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation to develop a major gifts program aimed at generating a reliable stream of income for the organization and increasing its capacity to provide legal assistance. Legal Aid used the grant to hire a major gifts consultant who trained both board and staff, and helped the organization host a luncheon that raised $156,000 in cash and pledges. A year later, Legal Aid duplicated the luncheon with similar results. Read More...

 

Donor Advised Fund Helps Peter and Karen Brill Create Impactful Philanthropy

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Karen Brill never thought she would have the opportunity to attend college. Thanks to an anonymous donor, not only was Karen able to attend Bucknell University but she also went on to pursue her M.Ed. in counseling psychology from Temple University. Today, Karen honors that gift by volunteering both her time and resources to organizations benefiting education, children, and the arts. Karen and her husband Peter recently decided to create a donor advised fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation to approach their philanthropy in a targeted and systematic way, ultimately becoming more impactful with their giving. Read More...

 

Youth Interactive Helps Children Find Creative Passions

The Funk Zone has long been home to local artists, working in collaboration and perfecting their craft in an atmosphere of creative energy. Therefore, it seems perfectly fitting that an organization wishing to inspire youth to discover the best part of themselves through the pursuit of their passions, would open its doors. Youth Interactive provides programs focused on technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts, empowering children and teens to become self sufficient through the development of creative skills. Read More...

 

Diane Adam, Fred Gluck, and Chris Slaughter Elected to Santa Barbara Foundation Board

Diane Adam, Fred Gluck, and Chris Slaughter have been elected to the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Board of Trustees, each beginning a three-year term in January 2013. Selected for their diverse interests, experience, and leadership in both professional and volunteer arenas, trustees establish policy, set priorities, and are responsible for guiding the foundation’s activities. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Ends Banner Year Distributing $26 Million in Grants in 2012

Grantmaking Addresses County’s Challenges and Opportunities by Providing $2 Million in Year End Grants to 41 Nonprofits

In 2012, the Santa Barbara Foundation, together with its donor partners, distributed $26 million in charitable grants. These community investments helped to fuel the good work of community organizations – primarily in Santa Barbara County –making significant impact by addressing critical challenges and compelling needs. See recipients...

 

Business Leader Michael Towbes Establishes New Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation to Support the Performing Arts

Long-time Santa Barbara resident and business leader Michael Towbes has established The Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts at the Santa Barbara Foundation to benefit nonprofit performing arts organizations and their venues throughout Southern California. A life-long supporter of theater, dance, and music, Mr. Towbes, along with his wife, Anne Smith Towbes, previously led the $60 million effort to restore the Santa Barbara Performing Arts Center at the Granada Theater and was instrumental in maintaining KDB 93.7 FM as a classic radio station in Santa Barbara. Read More...

 

Foundation News Archive

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