SBF 2021 Annual Report: A Letter From Our Leaders

Letter from Our Leaders, Steve Hicks & Jackie Carrera

Explore SBF’s 2021 Annual Report: Mobilizing Collective Resources

At the core of the Santa Barbara Foundation is our community and the collective wisdom and resources we deploy to help solve community challenges. We work in many ways to support community leaders, provide grants, partner with donors and our social sector, and lead initiatives — all in an effort to enhance the lives of all who experience Santa Barbara County. The greatest example in 2021 of the beauty of our community was the effort to Save the San Marcos Foothills with the Santa Barbara Foundation proudly serving as the fiscal sponsor. Over 5,500 donations from $1 to $5 million totaling $18 million was raised in 90 days which enabled the purchase and preservation of the sacred indigenous plot of land that all may now enjoy. What a true community effort.

Community connections deepened as the pandemic continued. When the crisis appeared to subside, a new variant would take shape and spread, sending us back into uncertainty. With each wave, SBF leaned into its partnerships, providing support to small businesses, aiding government entities, and resourcing nonprofit partners to meet day-to-day needs of community members. The Foundation acknowledged the immense toll this took on our nonprofits and provided COVID-19 grants to support their general operations. Our COVID-19 support totaled over $1.9 million in 179 grants to nonprofits and small businesses (please see our COVID-19 Impact Report for the full story). Without a pause, these crisis response programs ran alongside the Foundation’s planned work — administering all of our regular grant programs that support our most vulnerable and working families amounting to over $6.6 million in discretionary investments in our County.

In June 2021, the Foundation supported the launch of the Santa Barbara County Veterans’ Collaborative, addressing a need for better coordination of diverse veterans’ services in the region. This need had been identified in a veteran assessment which had been led by former SBF staff member Kathy Simas, who recently retired after 20 years of service at the Foundation. Through our Collaboration for Social Impact, the Foundation partnered with Datalake and the University of San Diego Nonprofit Institute to provide the 2021 State of the Nonprofits Report for Santa Barbara County which highlights the needs and challenges of our hardworking nonprofit leaders.

This April 2022, we were finally able to open our offices to the public. We were also able to honor our Santa Barbara County first responders and nonprofit leaders, who worked tirelessly through the ongoing pandemic, with two happy hour events with over 350 attendees. The team at the Santa Barbara Foundation is honored to be your community foundation and together with our donors, we have invested $38 million in over 2,700 total grants in 2021 in Santa Barbara County. The community is our heart and soul.

In Community,


Steve Hicks, Chair of the Board, and Jackie Carrera, President & CEO

Explore SBF’s 2021 Annual Report: Mobilizing Collective Resources

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