Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Santa Barbara Foundation grant programs. If you have additional questions, please contact 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. If you have a change of fiscal sponsorship, please send us an email.
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 processes, deadlines, and reporting requirements. Please review the grant guidelines for each program and initiative prior to submitting a proposal. We encourage you 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.
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.
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 an application you will receive an automatic receipt – please retain this receipt for your records. You can also reference all submissions over the last few years via your agencies profile in the Foundations grants portal. Please contact our Community Engagement Team at CommunityEngagement@SBFoundation.org 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 or email. Please allow time for our review and decision-making process. If you have any questions please contact the member of the Community Engagement Team referenced in the grant program guidelines.
Reporting may take many forms including, but not limited to, surveys, convenings, written reports, and interviews. Please refer to the award letter for reporting requirements. Failure to fulfill reporting requirements may result in the rejection of subsequent grant applications. Some report forms are located on the Foundation’s website as well as through the grants portal.
If unique circumstances exist, the grantee will immediately consult with the appropriate Community Engagement team member to request an extension or alternative option for fulfilling the reporting requirement before the reporting deadline.
As a partner in your efforts, the Foundation is pleased to be acknowledged in any communication materials related to the grant activity. Please refer to your award letter containing more information. 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 for your organization in the past five years can be obtained 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.
Please make sure to visit our Collaboration For Social Impact page for nonprofit sector resources.