Putting Empathy into Action

The mission of the Santa Barbara Foundation is to mobilize collective wisdom and philanthropic capital to build empathetic, inclusive and resilient communities.

Since 1928, your community foundation has championed the philanthropic efforts of the people of Santa Barbara County, identifying the areas of greatest need and bringing together generous donors with those who do standout work in the nonprofit community. We are honored to have this position of trust and hope you will join us.

What We Do

For over 90 years, the Santa Barbara Foundation has been a catalyst for change. We analyze issues to identify challenges that burden people every day in Santa Barbara County. We convene community stakeholders to build coalitions and partner with nonprofits and other leaders working on the front lines. Together, we chart a direction and mobilize people like you to support the dynamic initiatives that makes this a better place, now and for generations to come.

  • Strategic Priorities

    We convene people to listen, learn, invest time and resources, and cultivate ideas to solve big problems.

  • Strategic Priorities

    We strategically invest funds to enable the work of nonprofits through a rigorous process of research, planning, due diligence, and evaluation.

  • Strategic Priorities

    We create and manage funds for donors, inspire people to give, and develop strategic investment opportunities to stimulate civic action.

  • Strategic Priorities
    Social Sector Support

    We elevate nonprofits by offering opportunities to learn, grow, and become stronger.

Priorities for Impact

With the goal of creating a community foundation for the times, we recently led an exhaustive exploration into the needs of the widely varied constituencies that make up Santa Barbara County.

As a result, our focus for 2018-2023 is on our vulnerable populations, working families, and the social sector. As we have for over 90 years, we will continue to be a catalyst for change across our county through support of our special initiatives and the causes and organizations that our community is passionate about. Your donations make this work possible. View our 2018-2023 Strategic Priorities Summary.


Partner with Us to Make Real Impact

For more than nine decades our specialty has been charitable giving. Partner with us as your Philanthropic Advisors if you're looking to: build a better community, help your client devise a giving strategy, or support your work as a nonprofit.