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:

  • be providing direct services to address behavioral health
  • be well-managed, financially viable, and operate effective programs that primarily serve the needs of poor and underserved communities
  • have developed short-term and long-term strategies for addressing identified organizational needs



Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • demonstrate sustained and/or increased demand for behavioral health services
  • are taking steps to sustain or expand organizational capacity to address demand for services
  • provide holistic approaches to serving clients, undertaken by the agency itself or in partnership with others
  • demonstrate cultural competence among volunteers, staff, and board members for the communities served
  • are addressing barriers that prevent access to services
  • are developing strategies to address the root causes of behavioral health issues


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:

  • services and programs that are not directly providing services to address behavioral health
  • solely food, shelter & safety, or health care (in this grant cycle)
  • clothing or transportation
  • individuals

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


Eligibility Requirements

  • Grants are available to organizations serving all regions of Santa Barbara County.
  • Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered. Organizations using a fiscal sponsor must review the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for additional information and instructions.


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.

  • To apply, go to If you do not already have a log-in for this platform, please proceed to the next steps.
  • On the Welcome to the Santa Barbara Foundation Grants Portal page, click on “Register” and complete the form to create an account for the Grants Portal. You will be asked to furnish an email address, create a password and state the name of your organization. We advise using a perpetual email address (such as or so that the organization’s profile is not exclusively linked to one individual’s email address.
  • IMPORTANT – You will receive an email confirming that your account is active and you will then be able to complete and submit a grant application. Please take this timing into consideration when reviewing application deadlines as you must allow time for your account to be created prior to submitting an application before the deadline. (If you are establishing an account on Friday, the registration confirmation will occur on the following Monday.)
  • Once your account has been confirmed, you may login and complete the grant application.
  • Save your work often and log out at any time.
  • To access the partially completed application again, you will need to log into the account you created to access the grant application.


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