Community Disaster Relief Fund

1/9 Debris Flow that covers the 101 Freeway in Montecito.
Photo Credit: Paul Wellman, The Santa Barbara Independent

With both natural and human-caused disasters occurring more frequently and with greater severity, the need for financial resources to support nonprofit and government response and recovery efforts is growing rapidly. The Community Disaster Relief Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation is built to address this need and is activated in the aftermath of an emergency to support nonprofit organizations in short-term and long-term recovery.

Give Now

When Santa Barbara County was impacted by the Thomas Fire and subsequent 1/9 Debris Flow, our communities were devastated. To provide the needed financial assistance to organizations that are actively engaged in emergency response and recovery operations, the Community Disaster Relief Fund was been activated. It was activated again in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and is actively accepting donations.

The Santa Barbara Foundation is collaborating with the Santa Barbara County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SBC VOAD) and has been monitoring the response and needs from nonprofit organizations that are assisting individuals and families that have been displaced. These needs will change as we transition into long-term recovery operations, so the foundation will continue to assess the situation and make funding decisions as necessary.

All funds received through the Community Disaster Relief Fund will be utilized in support of SBC VOAD member organizations. The Santa Barbara Foundation is not providing housing assistance or financial assistance directly to individuals and families.

Below, you can view infographics representing CDRF donations and CDRF funds distributed in 2018-19.

SBF ultimately raised more than $1.3 million for the Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF) from the sources in the chart above.
Since the disasters, SBF has disbursed over $1 million in CDRF funding to local nonprofits focused on disaster relief and preparedness efforts.











Funding decisions are made in coordination with the United Way of Santa Barbara County and the Thomas Fire & 1/9 Debris Flow Fund organized in partnership with the United Way of Ventura County. Initial grants were distributed from the Community Disaster Relief Fund in March 2018.

If you would like to join us to support these agencies in recovery efforts, please click here. For frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Community Disaster Relief Fund please click here. For more information on the Community Disaster Relief Fund please contact Rubayi Estes, Interim Chief Program Officer, at (805) 963-1873.

We Care: Two Years Later, SBF Continues to Support Disaster Survivors

Featured in County Connections Report: Be a Catalyst for Change BY SAM WATERSTONE Two years after the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, the Santa Barbara Foundation continues to provide […]

Mental Wellness Center Offers Post-Disaster Support to Santa Barbara County Residents

Featured in County Connections Report: Supporting Wellness in Santa Barbara County BY QUINISHA JACKSON-WRIGHT | APRIL 2, 2019 | LEER EN ESPAÑOL In the aftermath of the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, […]


Contact our team to help you with your specific needs.