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Santa Barbara Foundation Awards $2.3 Million in Grants to 45 Nonprofits

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County receives the most funding on 'a day of celebration and challenge' for the county

Although a dismal economy still lingers over the country, nonprofit groups in Santa Barbara are a bright spot, continuing to meet the needs of those locally. One organization committed to their success is the Santa Barbara Foundation, which awarded more than $2.3 million to 45 nonprofit agencies in Santa Barbara County on Thursday.

The day represented “a day of celebration and challenge,” said Ron Gallo, the Santa Barbara Foundation’s president and CEO, who met with the media to talk about the grant process. The economy precipitates a brutal environment for nonprofits, and the business community and the government both have gone through financial strain, but “we are the ones that have to step up,” he said.

And step up the foundation has done. This year alone, the foundation will distribute more than $20 million to hundreds of community organizations. In addition to the 45 larger grants doled out Thursday, all of which were more than $50,000 and took about nine months to select, the group also awarded “mini-grants,” which served as a quick response for nonprofits, Gallo said.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County was the largest recipient announced Thursday, at $110,000. The money will go not only to food distribution, but to educational efforts to foster good nutrition in the community.

The foundation has taken a different approach this year, Gallo said, and is giving out larger grants to fewer recipients, enabling nonprofits to “move the needle” on the issues.

Choosing which organizations would end up with grants was a rigorous process that involved 12 community meetings, and 250 one-on-one meetings with applicants. Initially, the foundation received 277 letters of inquiry about the grants. Those were whittled down to 78, and then to the 45 chosen to receive funding.

Martha Harmon, the foundation’s senior vice president of community investment, said the needs were certainly great from the beginning, and the organization was faced with $14 million in requests.

“There were a lot more good things than we were able to fund,” she said.

The foundation had a clear idea of what needs existed when it began accepting the applications, and that played into which organizations were chosen, according to Harmon.

The foundation conducted an extensive community assessment to see what was most needed in Santa Barbara County, and that data helped it award the grants.

But more work lies ahead — as does more giving from the Santa Barbara Foundation.

“While we’re happy to what we have done, we need to do more,” Gallo said. “We all need to step up.”

Grant Recipients

Basic Needs

» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County — $110,000
» Catholic Charities of Los Angeles — $75,000
» Community Health Centers of the Central Coast — $75,000
» Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County — $75,000
» Good Samaritan Shelter — $75,000
» Peoples’ Self-Help Housing — $75,000
» Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics — $75,000
» Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People — $75,000
» Transition House — $75,000
» WillBridge of Santa Barbara — $59,500
» Child Abuse Listening & Mediation (CALM) — $50,000
» Pacific Pride Foundation — $50,000


» Old Mission Santa Barbara — $50,000
» Santa Barbara Community Youth Performing Arts Center for Viva el Arte — $50,000
» PCPA Foundation — $44,712
» Ensemble Theatre Company — $40,000
» Santa Barbara Community Youth Performing Arts Center for Marjorie Luke Theatre — $40,000
» Artspace for Center Stage Theater — $20,000

Environmental Resource Protection

» Environmental Defense Center — $40,000
» Santa Barbara Channelkeeper — $25,000

Economic Development

» Built Green Santa Barbara — $50,000
» Coastal Housing Coalition — $50,000


» Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara — $75,000
» Easy Lift Transportation — $60,000
» Community Partners in Caring — $20,000
» S.M.O.O.T.H. — $10,000

Cognitive and Behavioral

» Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association — $70,000
» Friendship Adult Day Care Center — $50,000
» Carrillo Counseling Services for New Beginnings — $25,000
» Jodi House — $25,000


» Regents of UCSB — $75,000
» Boys & Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley — $60,000
» Endowment for Youth Committee — $45,000
» United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County — $37,500

Parents and Families

» Cuyama Christian Academy for Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center — $74,750
» Santa Barbara Family Care Center — $60,929
» Marian Medical Center Foundation — $37,699
» Isla Vista Youth Projects — $35,000
» Postpartum Education for Parents — $10,000

Civic Engagement

» Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) — $75,000
» Santa Barbara Partners in Education — $75,000
» Hospice of Santa Barbara for Alliance for Living and Dying Well — $68,600
» Allan Hancock College Foundation — $40,000
» Central Coast Literacy Council — $40,000
» Anti-Defamation League — $25,000

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Noozhawk intern, Lili De Voto of Santa Barbara Middle School, contributed to this report. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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