At the Santa Barbara Foundation, our mission is to mobilize collective wisdom and philanthropic capital to build empathetic, inclusive, and resilient communities. We accomplish this through strategic grantmaking to local nonprofits, by supporting the charitable giving of individual donors and family philanthropists, and by providing community leadership through collaborative partnerships to tackle our region’s most pressing issues.
If we had to summarize 2022 in one word, that word would be “resilience.” The part of our mission focused on building resilient communities came into sharp focus for us with new challenges of inflation, economic uncertainty, and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
More than ever, our most vulnerable populations needed our nonprofit sector to be strong and flexible to provide services in new ways and at increased volumes.
To support our nonprofit partners — who faced rising costs to meet basic needs, staff burnout, and volunteer attrition in 2022 — we expanded our Capacity Building Grants program, streamlined our grantmaking process, and provided access to training and technical resources. By building local and regional partnerships and coalitions, we coordinated efforts and resources to advance health, digital equity, and access to quality child care for our region’s working families.
In this report, you will learn about other examples of our work this year: work that supported small business owners and self-employed residents with micro-business grants, and work that helped conserve and steward our natural environment so that everyone in Santa Barbara County can enjoy access to outdoor spaces.
As we look ahead to 2023 and mark 95 years of service to Santa Barbara County, we understand that we are one piece of the puzzle. It takes a community of concerned individuals to collectively address the needs of our neighbors. We are honored to be your community foundation. Together with input from local leaders, a broad range of stakeholders, and our generous donors, we invested more than $27 million in over 2,800 total grants in 2022.
Thank you for joining in our efforts to make Santa Barbara County strong and sustainable for generations to come.
Jackie Carrera & Steve Hicks
For nearly 95 years, the Santa Barbara Foundation (SBF) has served our region, advanced the goals of our philanthropic community, and provided leadership to improve the quality of life for all in Santa Barbara County. In service as the county’s community foundation since 1928, SBF Trustees and staff are more committed than ever to meeting the unexpected and enduring challenges our residents face with the goal of building resilient communities.
Resilience determines outcomes when we face difficulties, and collaboration is key to resilience. No one can tackle obstacles alone. That’s why we partner with individuals, families, and nonprofits, as well as partners in education, business, and government to support and develop timely responses to complex issues. From bolstering behavioral health to supporting small businesses and from bridging the digital divide to conserving the natural world around us, SBF — with contributions from our generous donors — supports community initiatives that discover and address root causes across a broad range of issues.
In this report, you will find details of how we accomplish our goals of leadership in action, strategic grantmaking, philanthropic partnership, and supporting the social sector.