The Fund for Santa Barbara

Apply for a Grant



The Fund for Santa Barbara has several grant-making programs.


The Fund was established as a community foundation in 1980 by a group of individuals who shared a vision of a just and humane society offering people an alternative concept in philanthropy. The Fund is dedicated to finding solutions to current and emerging social problems and issues that challenge our society as a whole. Since its inception, The Fund has awarded over $5 million to more than 900 projects.

The Fund believes that significant social changes ultimately require broad participation in a democratic control of all social and economic institutions. Social conditions improve most dramatically when those who have been denied power and justice come together to form coalitions which organize to confront and change the conditions that have denied them access to justice and equity.

The Fund gives preference to projects working to address the root causes of social, economic, environmental and political problems. The Fund focuses away from supporting social services unless they have a significant progressive social change element to the program. The Fund provides seed grants to new grassroots projects, general support or project grants to small organizations, and grants to larger, more established organizations only for specific targeted purposes.

We Invite Applications From Groups Who Are:

  • Working against discrimination based on race, sex/gender, age, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, language, or immigration status;
  • Struggling for the rights of workers;
  • Promoting self-determination in low income and disenfranchised communities;
  • Promoting international peace and organizing locally for a just foreign policy;
  • Working on improving the environment, especially organizing a constituency usually without access to decision makers;
  • Operating in a democratic manner, responsive to and directed by the constituency being served.

We Do Not Fund:

  • Projects involved in electoral campaigns on behalf of candidates or parties;
  • Private (vs. public) interests;
  • Direct labor organizing;
  • Projects located outside of Santa Barbara County;
  • Projects providing direct services without a social change component;
  • Direct support to individuals, capital ventures, or building improvements.

Affirmative Action considerations are among the criteria used in all funding decisions.


The Fall 2014 Funding Cycle is now open!

Fall 2014 Funding Cycle Schedule

Request For Proposals / Applications Available: Monday, July 21st, 2014

Deadline for Proposal Review: Tuesday, September 2nd (please see application for details)

Free Grant Application Workshops:

  • Tuesday, August 5th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in Lompoc
  • Thursday, Augst 14th from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.  in Santa Barbara
  • Thursday, August 21st from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in Santa Maria
  • Tuesday, August 26th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in Goleta

Please RSVP by calling (805) 962-9164, emailing or clicking here to reserve a seat.

Application Deadline: FRIDAY, Septeber 5th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.



Below are the Fund for Santa Barbara Application Packets for the Fall 2014 Grant Cycle in English and Spanish:

For a pdf copy of the Application Packet in English click here.

Para obtener una copia PDF de la Solicitud de la Beca, haga clic aquí.

For your convenience, the following links will take you to MS Word versions of the application. These versions may be downloaded and completed on your computer, but signed hard copies must be submitted by the deadline:

For a word version of the Grant Application, click here.

Para obtener una copia en MS Word de la Solicitud de Beca , haga clic aquí.



*NOTE: The Fund for Santa Barbara does accept the Common Grant Application, but ONLY if you contact staff first by calling (805) 962-9164.

Amount of Funding Available
The maximum award for each individual project is $10,000. The average grant is approximately $6,000.

Technical Assistance
Our Grant Making Committee strongly encourages applicants to attend one of our Grant Writing Workshops held during each funding cycle and to call the office to take advantage of staff assistance before you write your grant proposal.

Repeat Funding
We do accept requests for repeat funding of projects. Such proposals must include detailed information about the outcome of the previous grant, how further financial assistance would advance the goals of the original proposal, and in-depth analysis of the successes and failures of the original grant.

Tax Exempt Status
The Fund for Santa Barbara will accept grant applications from groups regardless of their tax-exempt status as long as their activities clearly fall within IRS tax-exempt guidelines. Fiscal sponsorships are acceptable, but not required.

How to Apply for a Grant
1. Contact us at by phone at (805) 962-9164
2. Consider attending a Grant Writing Workshop to receive more information and support.
3. Return a completed application by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 5th, 2014.

Submitting Your Application

When submitting your application please expect to be in the office for 30 minutes. At this time staff will review your application to assure it is complete. Please do not submit your application with any additional folders, envelopes, or the like. One original copy is required, plus one  unstapled copy. Please submit single-sided.

Multi-Year Grant Program
The Fund For Santa Barbara will be accepting applications for our Multi-Year Grant Program during the Spring Cycle only. Please call (805) 962-9164 for a pre-application and guidelines. The Multi-Year Grant Application is different than the regular cycle grant so any interested applicants must first contact the FUND office.

Emerging Need Grants
Projects that need immediate financial assistance and could not meet the deadline for our regular Fall or Spring Grant Cycle due to extraordinary, unforeseen circumstances may be eligible for an Emerging Need Grant.
We do not consider poor planning, cash flow problems, depletion of funds or insufficient fund-raising efforts to be grounds for an Emerging Need Grant.

Donor Advised Grants
Grants from this program are awarded at the request of a donor. These grants are not available through the regular application process.

Special Funding Opportunity:
Lyn Rue McClurg Endowment Fund for Women’s Rights
This year the Fund will again make appropriate grants from this speciallyl named Endowment Fund. Approximately $1,000 will be distributed in a grant or grants that deal specifically with women’s rights. These funds may be applied for during the regular Spring and/or Fall Funding Cycle, using the standard application.