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Community Disaster Relief Fund

1/9 Debris Flow that covers the 101 Freeway in Montecito.
Photo Credit: Paul Wellman, The Santa Barbara Independent


With both natural and human-caused disasters occurring more frequently and with greater severity, the need for financial resources to support nonprofit and government response and recovery efforts is growing exponentially. The Community Disaster Relief Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation is built to address this need and is activated in the aftermath of an emergency to support nonprofit organizations in short-term and long-term recovery.

Santa Barbara County was recently impacted by the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history, and our communities are now responding to the devastation caused by the 1/9 Debris Flow . To provide the needed financial assistance to organizations that are actively engaged in emergency response and recovery operations, the Community Disaster Relief Fund has been activated and is accepting donations.

The Santa Barbara Foundation is collaborating with the Santa Barbara County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SBC VOAD) and has been monitoring the response and needs from nonprofit organizations that are assisting individuals and families that have been displaced from these disasters. These needs will change as we transition into long-term recovery operations, so the foundation will be continuing to assess the situation and make funding decisions as necessary.

All funds received through the Community Disaster Relief Fund will be utilized in support of SBC VOAD member organizations. The Santa Barbara Foundation is not providing housing assistance or financial assistance directly to individuals and families.

Funding decisions will also be made in coordination with the United Way of Santa Barbara County and the Thomas Fire & 1/9 Debris Flow Fund organized in partnership with the United Way of Ventura County. The Santa Barbara Foundation is anticipating that initial grants will be distributed from the Community Disaster Relief Fund in March.

If you would like to join us to support these agencies in recovery efforts please click here.

For frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Community Disaster Relief Fund please click here.

All queries and questions should be directed to Barbara Andersen, Chief Strategy Officer, by phone at (805) 963-1873 or email at
North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101