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Santa Barbara Foundation Makes 1st Quarter Investments of $5 Million Throughout County

By Jessica Tade for the Santa Barbara Foundation |

The Santa Barbara Foundation has a commitment to the people of Santa Barbara County — one that derives from its original mission to help improve the well-being of its residents.

Now in its 86th year, the foundation is focused on having a high impact on critical community issues and providing first-rate service to and partnerships with donor investors. By employing a wide variety of tools to build strategic philanthropy, the foundation is helping to bring about a future for Santa Barbara that is sustainable, vibrant and full of possibility.

“A great community foundation must be intentional about keeping up with community changes; about continually acquiring knowledge and expertise; and about finding new ways for philanthropy to work for donor investors, for those working in the social sector, and ultimately, for the people and communities it serves,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “Put another way, it is about building into our DNA a zeal for reimagining our responsibilities and our aspirations as an institution, but far more importantly, for reimagining what we can do together as a community.”

As the first quarter comes to a close, the Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to share the following community investments already made this year:

» 1. Through donor advised funds, donor designated funds and field of interest funds, the foundation made grants totaling more than $4.8 million. This included more than $1 million given to arts, culture and the humanities; more than $1.5 million given to education and youth development; more than $500,000 given to the environment and animals; and more than $500,000 given to health and human services.

» 2. Launched reImagine magazine, a journal of philanthropy delivering stories about the thoughtful and exciting ways people are making big impact in their communities.

» 3. Introduced new community investments opportunities, committing to investing in solutions-oriented projects in seven specific areas of priority — creative communities; safety net service and behavioral health access; education, kindergarten readiness, and expanded availability of child care; family caregiver support; veterans; economic development; and the environment.

» 4. Provided emergency matching grant to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to help address the issue of increased costs for perishable foods due to the drought.

» 5. Presented a $20,000 grant to UC Santa Barbara to support veteran scholarships for returning vets and their dependents.

» 6. Provided a regional grant to Hispanics in Philanthropy to commemorate their 30th anniversary.

» 7. Helped to kick off the Santa Barbara City College Campaign for Student Success with a gift of $25,000.

More information about becoming a donor, reImage magazine and the foundation’s community investment opportunities can be found at

Challenges facing the people and communities of Santa Barbara County are not unique. The Santa Barbara Foundation believes that community philanthropy can play a vital role in seeking the best solutions. The foundation is a home to financial resources and intellectual capital, a convener of people and idea, and a hub for an ever-expanding cadre of those who are working toward a reimagined Santa Barbara County.

— Jessica Tade is the communications director for the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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