Field of Interest Funds for Businesses

Maximize impact in an issue area that’s close to your business’s heart.
You select the cause, our community experts do the legwork.


A Field of Interest Fund (FOI) supports a specific issue area that you define. You identify an area of charitable interest – as broad or narrow as you desire. The Santa Barbara Foundation evaluates organizations that do the best work in this area and makes grants on your behalf. You should think about setting up a Field of Interest Fund if you wish to make a long-term impact in a specific area, without doing the time consuming work of selecting individual organizations.

Why open a Field of Interest Fund?

  • Define your Interests. You can select a cause or issue area that is near and dear to your business and your employees.  Your area of interest can be as broad or narrow as you desire.
  • Maximum Impact, Minimum Effort. Our skilled grant makers will find the most effective nonprofits doing work in your area of interest, and strategically make grants using your fund, ensuring your dollars are put to the best possible use, without extra work for your company.
  • We Evaluate and Ensure Effectiveness. Our program staff collect reporting data on the use of funds, evaluate results to inform future decisions, and provide support to nonprofit organizations to maximize their effectiveness.
  • Flexible Funding Options. How you fund your FOI is up to you. You can make a gift from your corporation, invite your employees to contribute to the fund via payroll deduction or online gifts, offer a matching gift for employee contributions, or any combination of these. You can also give complex or unusual assets at fair market value, including cash, real estate, closely-held stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, etc.
  • Choose your Investment Option. We offer four investment options. You can choose to have all funds distributed right away, or allow your fund to grow and be granted over time.
  • Immediate Tax Deduction. You receive the tax deduction in the year that your gift is made to your fund, regardless of when grants are made to nonprofit organizations.

Looking for an even simpler way to support a specific issue area? Prefer to have your gift go into effect this year, without the fees? Make a gift of any size to our Strategic Priorities Fund. Learn more about our current priority areas.

Schedule a Conversation

Want to learn more about opening a Field of Interest Fund or creating a customized philanthropic plan? Schedule a conversation with one of our philanthropic advisors, listed below.