2024 Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts Grant Guidelines

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The Santa Barbara Foundation is committed to strengthening nonprofit organizations and building the capacity of the arts social sector through the support of Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts. Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations seeking to further their mission of providing quality performing art opportunities. Funding from the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts has shifted and will be available to qualifying performing arts nonprofit organizations for general operating and programmatic support.  


Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • demonstrate sustained and/or increased demand for the performing Arts
  • are taking steps to sustain or expand organizational capacity to address demand for quality performing arts opportunities
  • demonstrate cultural competence among volunteers, staff, and board members for the communities served
  • seek to dismantle language, cultural, and other barriers that prevent low-income and marginalized populations from accessing artistic, music, and dance programs in Santa Barbara County

Types of Support

Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts Grants are available for a variety of activities in the following areas:

  • General operating
  • Program specific support
  • Expansion of existing programs
  • Pilot Programs
  • Organizations that seek to produce, present and preserve exceptional works from a variety of artistic traditions, and ensure opportunities for participation that reflect the demographic diversity of Santa Barbara County
  • Collaborative efforts to leverage community access to performing arts opportunities

Funding Amounts and Duration

The maximum award for the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts is $15,000. An organization can apply once per calendar year. Due to the increasingly competitive nature of the grant program, partial funding is likely to be awarded. The grant period is up to one year from the award. A final report is required and due within 13 months of the grant award, preferably no later than 30 days after the project’s completion.

Please visit the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for a complete list of what the foundation does not fund.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Towbes Fund for Performing Arts Grant are available to organizations serving all regions of Santa Barbara County.
  • Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered. Organizations using a fiscal sponsor must review the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for additional information and instructions.

Application Process

The Santa Barbara Foundation utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the foundation.

  1. Visit the Santa Barbara Foundations online platform at https://santabarbarafoundation.us-1.smartsimple.com/s_Login.jsp
  2. Click the “Register” button beneath “New to the System?” on the home page.
  3. Select “Nonprofit” when prompted to choose which option you are applying as.
  4. You will need to first search to verify if your organization is already in our system by typing the organization name into the box. If your organization name appears, proceed to section 1 below. If your organization name does not appear, proceed to section 2 below.
    1. If your organization name appears, you will select it and continue to fill in the contact information section to create a user profile for yourself. You will then receive an email with a link to activate your account and create your password.
    2. If your organization name does not appear, you will click on the link to “add a new organization”. You will be prompted to fill in the EIN number for your organization. This will create a search results list and you will select your organization from the list. You will complete the contact information section to create a user profile for yourself. You will then receive an email with a link to activate your account and create your password.
  5. The initial staff contact is the first authorized representative to register and associate their profile account on behalf of an organization. This individual will also be responsible for providing accurate information in the organization profile and updating this information annually. They will also receive email notifications from the platform. Additional organizational contacts can also register and access applications on behalf of an organization already in the system. These additional users will follow the same registration process as the initial organization contact. The system will conduct a duplicate check and associate the user with the existing organization.
  6. After creating your password, you will have access to creating an organization profile and to viewing the current funding opportunities. On the top righthand corner you will see the initial of your first name that you registered under. Please click there and a drop-down menu will open. Select “Organization Profile.” You will be directed to a page with four separate tabs: General, Organization Information, Capacity Building, and Board Information. You can save a draft of your organization profile at any time. Once your organization profile is complete, you must click “Profile Complete”. Please note that your organization profile but be completed in order to submit a grant application.

Application Submittal Procedures

  1. Applications will be accepted only through the online process. Paper applications will not be accepted.
  2. To submit the completed and saved application, while on the “Submit” page, click the “I agree” box under Proposal Authorization. A “Submit” button will appear at the bottom of the page for you to click. If you attempt to submit the application with any errors you will receive a “validation” box listing the errors. Once the errors have been corrected, you may resubmit the application. Please note, some questions have character counts (indicated beneath the question). While you will be able to continue entering text beyond these character counts, you will not be able to submit your application. Please ensure you do not exceed the character count in order to successfully submit your application.
  3. You will receive an automatic email when your grant application has been received. Please retain this receipt for your files.

Important Dates

Spring Cycle Timeline:

February 16, 2024 Application Opens
March 22, 2024 Deadline for application Submission
April 2024 Funds Awarded

Fall Cycle Timeline:

September 6, 2024 Application Opens
October 11, 2024 Deadline for application Submission
November 2024 Funds Awarded

Contact Information

For questions about the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts Grants program and funding eligibility, or technical assistance, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Grants Officer, at (805) 880-9385 Dvallejo@SBFoundation.org or Jessica Sanchez, Director of Donor Relations, at Jsanchez@sbfoundation.org

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