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Good for Santa Barbara 2018: Noozhawk's 3rd Annual report on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust

188 Nonprofits Awarded Funding at Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends Event

Bank gives $1 million to Santa Barbara and Ventura county nonprofit organizations in annual event

Janet Garufis Click to view larger
Chairwoman and CEO Janet Garufis addresses the crowd Monday at Montecito Bank & Trust’s annual Community Dividends Awards luncheon. The bank gave a total of $1 million to 188 nonprofits in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Montecito Bank & Trust awarded a total of $1 million to 188 nonprofits in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties during its annual Community Dividends Awards luncheon Monday.

The bank has donated $16 million in community dividends to more than 570 nonprofits over the past 16 years, funding organizations in arts and culture, youth and education, social welfare, and health-care services sectors.

“Today is a day for appreciation and for gratitude,” said bank chairwoman and CEO Janet Garufis.

“Appreciation for the important work that each organization does day in and day out, caring for the most vulnerable, healing the sick and lonely, educating our children — our most important resource — lifting our spirit with music and art that reminds us of the beauty around, and being an integral part of the fabric of our resilience.”

Montecito Bank & Trust has provided sponsorships and financial support for programs and operations, financial advising, education forums, financial literacy, and asset and information protection. 

“Today is a day to celebrate service and dedication,” Garufis said.

As the largest locally-owned community bank on the Central Coast, Montecito Bank & Trust is committed to making the communities it serves a better place to work and live, Garufis added.

Monday's celebration began with an hour-long networking reception at the Coral Casino at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, and then nonprofit honorees and bank employees socialized before heading inside to enjoy lunch.

In addition to the monetary donation for chosen nonprofits, the Community Dividends program also provides an educational seminar, and this year's was focused on how organizations can use advocacy to advance their missions. 

The awards were created in 2003 by bank founder and former chairman Michael Towbes, who died last year at 87.

Corporate philanthropy is a cornerstone of the bank’s business model, and community dividends are evident that Towbes’ legacy of financially supporting the nonprofit community continues.

“His vision was part of the inspiration that gave birth to our bank 43 years ago, and his appreciation of your service to our community inspired him to establish community dividends,” Garufis told the crowd.

“His legacy will live on in this wonderful tradition of giving and friendship.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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