Behavioral Health Program Area

2019 Grant Guidelines

With the adoption of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 2018-2023 Strategic Priorities, the Foundation continues to acknowledge the importance of meeting basic human needs and values the critical work of agencies throughout the county addressing these needs. In 2019, the Foundation will be intentional in supporting purposeful pathways to build stronger communities. Of particular importance is how critical the provision of health care and behavioral health is to life outcomes of individuals, and how often this is beyond the control of those most impacted.

Behavioral health needs within our communities continue to rise rapidly among all ages and demographics, and individuals with mild-to-moderate mental health impairment are experiencing unusually long wait periods for treatment as a result of the lack of psychiatrists and psychologists within the county. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported that 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental disorder in any given year. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, depression figures are 5% higher than the state average and 13% higher than federal authorities say they should be in Santa Barbara County.

In order to more adequately address the different approaches required by critical areas of human need, the Santa Barbara Foundation has established four separate program areas of funding: Health Care, Behavioral Health, Food, and Shelter & Safety. The timeline for the grant cycle related to the Behavioral Health program area will take place from February through mid-July. Applicants will be required to select the area of funding that most closely represents the mission of the applying organization. Organizations are not eligible to apply for more than one program area.



Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations directly providing behavioral health programs. Funding can be used for operating expenses and/or costs related to sustaining or expanding service delivery programs to meet demonstrated demand.

In summary, funded organizations will:



Priority will be given to organizations that:


Funding Amounts and Duration

The maximum award for Behavioral Health grants is $50,000. The grant review panel may reduce or increase award amounts at its discretion. The grant period is up to one year from the award date. A final report is required and is due within 13 months of the grant award, preferably no later than 30 days following the project completion. If your organization received a Core Support for Basic Needs Grant in 2018, the corresponding final report is independent of this grant application.


Grant Limitations

Grants in the Behavioral Health program areas are not intended for:

Please visit the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for a complete list of what the foundation does not fund.


Eligibility Requirements


ONLINE Application Process

Santa Barbara Foundation utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the foundation.


Important Dates

 March 8, 2019 Application Deadline
July 2019 Funds Awarded
August 16, 2020 Final Report Deadline


Contact Information

For questions regarding the Behavioral Health program area and funding eligibility, please contact Guille Gil-Reynoso, Community Engagement Officer, (805) 963-1873 or

For technical assistance, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Engagement Associate, (805) 963-1873 or