Liam Murphy

Giving What You Can

Abused, neglected and abandoned by her mother in her early years of life, Rosie was sent to live with her grandparents. She was physically combative and had serious behavior problems. At a loss for how to help her, Rosie’s grandparents reached out to Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM). After working with therapists at CALM, Rosie’s behavior improved. She grew more secure, began succeeding in school and was a much happier little girl. Success stories like this would not be possible without the support of donors like Liam Murphy, who not only serves on CALM’s Board of Directors, but also contributes to CALM, and a number of other organizations, through the donor advised fund that he and his wife, Carolyn, established with the Santa Barbara Foundation.

“After participating in Leading from Within and the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Katherine Harvey Fellows program, I learned that I could have an impact on the community at all levels,” said Murphy, a partner at Hayes Commercial Group. “So, as a way into philanthropy, I became a community volunteer on a committee at CALM and offered my professional expertise in real estate investment. Now, I am on the Board of Directors and I help steer the organization as a whole, which is rewarding and has inspired me to continue to give even more to a number of organizations, including my church and the Santa Barbara Foundation.”

Murphy’s donor advised fund with the Santa Barbara Foundation enables him to recommend grants to a number of different charities, including the areas he is most passionate about – early care and education and youth development.

“As a dad with young kids, I am invested in family development and I find that volunteering and giving back is a really rewarding way to feel that I am impacting my cause,” said Murphy. “One thing that the Santa Barbara Foundation does really well is measuring impact and showing the real results they are having in the community.”

As a next generation donor, Murphy acknowledges that his generation values seeing the direct impact that they are having on the community. However, since that impact can take a long time to be visible, he encourages his peers to start giving in whatever way they can because, in later years, they will be able to see the difference they made in the community.

“I hope that my peers will notice the importance of giving back because even a small commitment, such as volunteering on a committee or writing a hundred dollar check, can have an impact,” said Murphy. “Philanthropy builds a sense of community throughout the entire county and can bridge generational gaps, cross social circles and, ultimately, make our efforts have even more significance.”

Donors like the Murphy family allow the Santa Barbara Foundation to continue to support nonprofits like CALM, and hundreds of other nonprofits that are making a change in our communities. You can join the Murphys and fight for the causes of the nonprofits you care about by donating to the Santa Barbara Foundation today. For more information about how to donate or to set up a fund, please visit our website or contact Jan Campbell, Chief Philanthropic Officer and Senior Vice President, at

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