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.

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Works to Strengthen Long-term Care Safety Net

There are approximately 65.7 million caregivers in the United States who provide critical support for someone who is ill, disabled, or aged, according to a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. With increasing life expectancy and prevalence of diseases of aging, as well as diminishing financial resources, the long-term care system is expected to undergo significant strain. To prepare for these challenges, the Santa Barbara Foundation recently accepted proposals for innovative ideas and approaches to support caregiver needs. Read More...

 

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Brings People and Nature Together

When a local woman bequeathed $3 million to the preserve, Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Executive Director Jo Ellen Butler and the 12-member board needed help with investing the funds in a secure place that would manage the money and extend personal service. They decided to open an agency endowment fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation, which offers access to a large, diversified investment portfolio, assistance on investment decisions, and an array of support services including planned giving expertise. Read More...

 

Serve Santa Maria Galvanizes Community Volunteers

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Pastor Carl Nielsen of Bethel Lutheran Church led a group of volunteers to New Orleans to help restore the community. Returning home to Santa Maria, he began to wonder what service projects they could do in their own community. At the most recent Serve Santa Maria event in August 2014, more than 350 volunteers donated their time and skills – beautifying the grounds of local schools, completing an extreme makeover of a dilapidated home on West Monroe Street, and providing renovation work at Preisker Park. Read More...

 

Presqu'ile Winery Brings Pinot Noir and Family Philanthropy to Santa Maria

Nestled in the heart of Santa Maria, Presqu’ile Winery looks out over the valley, providing a relaxed atmosphere perfect for enjoying Pinot Noir. Started by the Murphy family, the winery stands as a testament to the crafting of world-class wines, the deep connection of family members, their wish to be good stewards of the land, and their engagement to the communities in which they live. The Murphys are not just bringing excellent Pinot Noir to the Santa Maria Valley, but their own brand of family philanthropy as well. Read More...

 

Former Teachers Create Legacy for Young Artists

One morning in 2006, a group of retired art teachers gathered at a coffee shop and began lamenting the lack of funding for art education in public schools. Wanting to support young artists in Carpinteria, Goleta, and Santa Barbara, the former teachers established the Student Art Fund as an all-volunteer committee of the Santa Barbara Art Association. Each year, the Student Art Fund provides supplemental art supplies for approximately 2,500 students in 77 public school classrooms. Read More...

 

Zhena Muzyka Shares How the Generosity of Others Inspired Her Giving

Before she founded a successful company, pioneered fair trade practices in the tea industry, and penned an inspirational memoir, Zhena Muzyka was a single mom with six dollars in her wallet and a son born with a life-threatening kidney defect. Today, Zhena's Gypsy Tea can be found in 22,000 stores worldwide and the company is a prime example of how businesses can incorporate social responsibility into their models. Read More...

 

Compassion Patrol Responds to Isla Vista Tragedy

After a recent violent rampage in Isla Vista left six people dead and 13 injured, UC Santa Barbara students, faculty, staff, and Isla Vista residents are still trying to heal and move forward from the harrowing ordeal. The Santa Barbara community and many others have rallied around the university and surrounding neighborhood, offering support and resources for those affected by the tragedy. Santa Barbara Response Network is continuing to offer Psychological First Aid, providing compassion to those needing a human connection in the aftermath. Read More...

 

Women's Fund Celebrates 10 Years of Collective Giving

If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, then the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has distinguished itself as one of the most sophisticated giving groups on the Central Coast. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Women's Fund has steadfastly held to a single vision: to change lives together. To date, the Women's Fund has awarded $4.7 million in grants to 64 local nonprofit organizations. Read More...

 

Scholarships for Student Veterans Aid in Transition Home

In 2012 and 2013, the Santa Barbara Foundation's year-end appeal offered the opportunity for donors to direct their giving. Donors designated nearly $33,000 for scholarships, and these funds were then dispersed to provide financial aid for 18 veterans and their dependents attending UC Santa Barbara. While veterans are eligible for financial aid through the Post 9/11 GI Bill, those attending four-year colleges such as UCSB often find that they do not have enough funding to finish their degrees. Read More...

 

Delivering Independence One Meal at a Time

Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels is an independent, volunteer-based nonprofit organization that has served the community since 1971. Two local volunteers, Madeline Blickley and Lilla Burgess, started the program to serve residents in the city of Santa Barbara. From its humble beginning of 18 clients and two volunteer drivers, the organization has since grown to 90 volunteer drivers who bring hot meals to more than 250 clients each year. In 2013, 34,000 meals were delivered to seniors, as well as homebound and disabled residents. Read More...

 

Child Care Scholarships Enhance Early Childhood Education Programs

The Santa Barbara Foundation understands the connection between the time children spend in child care and the opportunity for educational engagement. It continues to offer funding through the William and Lottie Daniel Fund to organizations working to provide high quality pre-school education so that the children receiving instruction enter kindergarten on track and ready to learn. This year, the foundation was able to support eight organizations working within the THRIVE collaborative to provide child care services and pre-school educational programming. Read More...

 

A Different Point of View Helps Youth Become Captains of Their Own Lives

Taking off in an airplane is an exhilarating feeling. Both exciting and terrifying, the momentum pushes you back in your seat until finally, at cruising altitude, you can look out the window and see the seemingly infinite world stretching out below. Unless you are a pilot, or a frequent flyer, this is a rarely seen view, one that inspires feelings of awe and reflection. At A Different Point of View, youth in danger of losing their way are given the opportunity to reflect and find direction, both in their lives and in potential careers through exposure to the aviation industry. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Makes First Quarter Investments of $5 Million

The Santa Barbara Foundation has a commitment to the people of Santa Barbara County – one that derives from its original mission to help improve the well-being of its residents. Now in its 86-year, the foundation is focused on having a high impact on critical community issues and providing first-rate service to and partnerships with donor investors. By employing a wide variety of tools to build strategic philanthropy, the foundation is helping to bring about a future for Santa Barbara that is sustainable, vibrant, and full of possibility. As the first quarter comes to a close, the Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to share the community investments it has made already this year. Read More...

 

Liberia Philanthropy Secretariat Connects Philanthropists to Impactful Giving

Following a coup in 1980, Liberia experienced a long civil war. When the war eventually ended, everything was destroyed and there was no infrastructure, which included the loss of government revenues, educational and financial systems, and industrialization. To help with the assessment of need, the Office of the President started the Liberia Philanthropy Secretariat. Now, the Secretariat Office connects philanthropists to local nonprofits and needs, giving important legitimacy to donors around the world while helping to rebuild the infrastructure of Liberia. Read More...

 

Fast Pitch SB Provides Opportunity for Meaningful Community Change

In front of a full house at the Music Academy of the West, each of 10 nonprofit finalists captivated the audience with three-minute pitches geared toward communicating the messaging and needs of their various organizations. While each finalist organization was provided with a $1,000 grant courtesy of the event host Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara, the culmination of the evening came with the announcement of the recipients of the $5,000 State Street Award, the $5,000 Mission Award, the $10,000 Audience Choice Award, and the $15,000 Grand Prix Award. Read More...

 

Hospitality and Tourism Businesses Share Social Responsibility Ideas

Local businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector recently shared how they are giving back to their community at the Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable's quarterly forum. Hosted by Deckers Outdoor Corporation, the event featured panelists including Bryan Hope of Sustainable Vine Wine Tours, Andy Iro of Uber, and Morgen McLaughlin of the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association. Read More...

 

Safe Passage Project Seeks Sustainable Solutions for Maritime Conflicts

Nearly 200 blue whales visit the Santa Barbara Channel each summer on their annual pilgrimage up the West Coast – the largest concentration of blue whales anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, thousands of container ships transit the channel’s internationally designated shipping lanes each year, elevating the risk of ship strikes on these endangered creatures. Recognizing the many interests at stake, the Environmental Defense Center, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District are leading a collaborative effort to address marine shipping conflicts in the Santa Barbara Channel and implement an incentive-based vessel speed reduction pilot program. Read More...

 

Marian Regional Medical Center Addresses Need for Primary Care

Recent research predicts an impending shortage of more than 45,000 family care physicians by 2020 and it is estimated that approximately 2.6 million Americans will be newly insured as a result of Affordable Care Act legislation. In light of these statistics, Marian Regional Medical Center began to assess its own need for primary care providers, identifying the importance of family medicine doctors in the community. In response to the rising demand for health care access, the hospital instituted the Marian Family Medicine Residency Program to build a strong primary care infrastructure for Santa Maria and the Central Coast. Read More...

 

Santa Barbara Foundation Announces 2014 Scholarship Award Recipients

“I believe being a role model requires a person of character who is willing to share themselves and their abilities with others,” said award recipient, Emma Andersen. “It is about being involved and doing good things for the community.” This sentiment is echoed by all of the Santa Barbara Foundation Spaulding, Fleischmann, and Floro award recipients who have followed their passions in their willingness to give back to the communities they live in. For their great academic success and devotion to community service, each student was given a scholarship award. Read More...

 

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...

 

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 Company 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 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...

 

Foundation News Archive

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