Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Santa Barbara Foundation grant programs. If you have additional questions, please contact a member of our Community Engagement team.
The Santa Barbara Foundation awards grants to organizations certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provide programs and services in Santa Barbara County.
The Foundation supports organizations that do not discriminate in their delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, medical condition, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law. The foundation will consider projects of faith-based organizations, but those projects must be secular in nature and open to individuals of all faiths and/or those of no religious affiliation.
A non-501(c)(3) is eligible to apply under a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status. The sponsoring organization assumes fiscal responsibility for the grant. Through the application process, the foundation will request information and attachments from both your organization as well as the fiscal sponsor.
A 501(c)(3) organization that agrees to serve as a fiscal sponsor on a grant request must comply with the following list of responsibilities:
The Foundation is pleased to offer a range of Community Grant Opportunities. The grant programs have different purposes, application requirements, and deadlines. Please review the grant guidelines for each program and initiative prior to submitting a proposal. You are also encouraged to contact Foundation staff referenced in the guidelines for that program with questions or to discuss the specifics of your project before completing an application.
Most grant programs are offered only once per year. For programs with multiple deadlines such the Small Capacity Building Grant Program, an agency may submit only one grant request per calendar year. The purpose of the multiple deadlines is to provide applicants with the flexibility to submit when a pressing need arises or the timing is advantageous to the project.
Santa Barbara Foundation defines collaboration as a formal partnership of multiple nonprofit organizations working together to achieve greater impact. The scope or complexity of the project will benefit from each organization’s particular expertise or provided services or resources, and will enable more effective and efficient delivery of the program or services.
Collaborative efforts are not defined by solely referrals between agencies, networking, information exchanges, or minor altering of activities.
Santa Barbara Foundation wants to encourage organizations partnering with others to address critical community issues, without jeopardizing funding for their organization. An agency acting as the fiscal sponsor on behalf of a community collaborative that meets specific criteria may be eligible to submit proposals on behalf of its own agency needs as well as the needs of the collaborative. Please contact a member of the Community Engagement team for more information and to discuss your specific circumstances.
The Foundation accepts applications from public entities such as schools, universities, and libraries through an affiliate or supporting 501(c)(3) organization. A qualifying agency has as its mission to secure private funds to augment public resources to enhance the programs and services of the governmental entity. Eligible requests will be considered for activities outside the realm of the primary function/purpose of the government entity (as defined by what the general public views as the government entity’s primary function). In this way, foundation support is provided to enhance, not supplant, public funds. Specifically,
An organization can submit a single application per calendar year to any/all of the grant programs for which it is eligible, regardless of its size or number of sites. Applications must be submitted by the parent organization and with the authorization of its executive director/CEO. Proposal decisions shall be based on priorities developed through input from all of the sites as to their funding needs and preference will be given to requests that encompass multiple sites or serve high need communities.
While the Foundation does not typically subject grants to matching requirements, we encourage grantees to leverage our funding whenever possible to secure additional dollars. In addition, if the proposed project has a matching/challenge opportunity from another funder, please include this information in your application for consideration.
Community grants are not awarded for the following purposes or activities:
Please confirm that you have submitted your grant request to firstname.lastname@example.org or through sbfoundation.org/apply. After submitting to the correct email you will receive an automatic receipt – please retain this receipt for your records. Contact Deanna Vallejo email@example.com if you do not receive a receipt as this means your application has not been received by the Foundation and will not be considered.
Foundation grant programs have review periods that range from six to sixteen weeks, per the award dates listed in the grant guidelines. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by mail. Please allow time for our review and decision-making process and contact a member of the Community Engagement team with questions.
A final report is due within 30 days of the project’s completion and no later than 13 months after the grant award date. Grantees should refer to their award letter to determine Final Report due dates. Failure to submit a final report will result in rejection of subsequent grant applications. If unique circumstances exist, applicant should consult with the appropriate Community Engagement team member immediately for approval and additional instructions.
As a partner in your efforts, the Foundation is pleased to be acknowledged in any communication materials related to the grant activity. If you choose to use the Santa Barbara Foundation logo on any printed or online material, please refer to our press and media resources page.
Lists of community grants awarded in the past five years can be found by contacting us.
The Foundation is committed to building a strong nonprofit sector. In addition to grantmaking, the Foundation staff is available for consultation on community issues and ways the sector can identify and access resources to advance solutions. Additionally, the Foundation’s Philanthropic Services team can assist organizations in funds management, endowment building and planned giving. In some cases, the Foundation acts as fiscal sponsor for community projects or organizations waiting to receive exempt status.
Integral to the Foundation’s goal of supporting the sector is helping to build nonprofit board and staff leadership, and providing avenues for technical assistance on such critical topics as organizational development, fundraising, and strategic planning. The Foundation partners with Leading from Within and The Fund for Santa Barbara to bring these high quality programs and services to the community. In addition, the Foundation supports Santa Barbara’s nonprofit digital hub, the Nonprofit Resource Network (NPRN) to ensure the sector can share and receive important timely information related to events, resources, jobs, and more. Our goal is to supplement these offerings with additional resources in the future.