The Band Shell in Pershing Park

During the Great Depression, the Santa Barbara Foundation supported outdoor summer concerts at what was then known as Plaza Del Mar. The public concerts raised community morale during the hard economic times.

90 Years of Investing in Our Community

The Santa Barbara Foundation was established in 1928 by Max Fleischmann and a forward thinking group who wanted to enrich the lives of people from Santa Maria to Carpinteria. For more than 90 years, the Santa Barbara Foundation has been a center of civic activity, a vibrant expression of its engaged citizenry, a solver of problems, a partner in philanthropy, and a critical supporter of community organizations and efforts.

The Foundation’s work has benefited countless nonprofit organizations and essential community projects across Santa Barbara County. As we have grown, our goals have remained the same – turning dollars and ideas into community impact. Today, thanks to the unwavering generosity of our community, our assets have grown to exceed $500 million, which reinforces our role as the largest grant maker in our county.

Our Commitment to Transparency

Our commitment to you is to offer clear, transparent information about our financial position and activities as we continue to further the long-term vision and mission of the Foundation through solid financial practices. Our Audited Financial Statements and IRS Form 990 are available to view. We encourage you to contact us with any specific questions.

We Are the Santa Barbara Foundation


Meet the Team

Board of

Meet the Board

Work With Us

The Santa Barbara Foundation is a dynamic organization that thrives on creativity and powerful ideas. We seek individuals who share a commitment to catalyze change and support the common good.

View Open Positions


Contact our team to help you with your specific needs.