Grant Opportunities

Our Donors’ Generosity Leads to Opportunity and Impact

Since 1982, we have had the privilege of stewarding charitable gifts from generous locals who wanted to see our community thrive. Together with our donors, we’ve awarded a total of $100 million to local community organizations to date. In 2019, we awarded $2 million in community grants to high-performing nonprofits serving Santa Cruz County, who are aligned with our funding priorities, responsive to the needs of our community, and are making a lasting impact on Santa Cruz County residents and their quality of life.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values drive our actions

Our Mission

To bring together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things

Our Vision

To make Santa Cruz County thrive for all who call it home, now and in the future

Our Values

Accelerating Solutions. Building Trust. Advancing Opportunities.

Grants Overview

Arts, Culture & History, Community Support & Compassionate Care grant pathways were reviewed in February and March. Please congratulate our partner grant recipients. The next chance to apply will be in 2020.

The Borina Special Places Fund supports capital improvement projects that provide a greater sense of history and community well-being. The Fund looks to support the preservation, expansion and creation of facilities that offer:

  • Youth a place to develop,
  • Seniors a place to gather,
  • Historic places to be preserved.

Opportunities to apply are by invitation only. Contact to share your project idea for 2020.

The Resilience & Opportunity Fund provides up to $10,000 to organizations that seek to respond to unanticipated needs, unique opportunities, or to try new approaches to community issues. The Fund is limited. Prior to applying, applicants' first step is to describe the planned project in an email to

The Diversity Partnership Fund grant program seeks to sustain, enhance or expand programs and/or projects designed to strengthen alliances, promote respect, and enhance services for Santa Cruz County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community. The next opportunities to apply will be in Fall 2020. Learn more.

The Rydell Visual Arts Fund’s organizational grant priorities and grant pathway is under review by our advisory committee. We look forward to sharing our revised organizational grant program soon. Local artists nominated for a 2020-21 Rydell fellowship have been invited to apply. Four new fellowships of $20,000 will be announced in January 2020.

Education Initiatives

We have two initiatives underway to prepare children and youth for college and career pathways.

Girls Paving the Way is a three-year program supporting the educational progress and social-emotional learning of a cohort of girls from sixth through eighth grade in Pajaro Valley. This initiative is led by the Educational Partnership Center at UCSC and supported by a variety of youth-serving organizations and funded through our Fund for Women and Girls.

Closing the Math Achievement Gap is a multi-year initiative with Santa Cruz County College Commitment to improve student math scores by supporting math skill acquisition. It is funded primarily through our Borina Fund for Education.

Looking for information on our scholarships? Learn more here.

Eligibility & Criteria for Selection

We partner with 501(c)(3) organizations and/or fiscally sponsored groups to advance our goals and priorities. In addition to alignment with our priority funding areas, we use a variety of criteria in which to evaluate proposals including your organization’s strength of leadership, its ability to attract resources to fuel your mission work, and your record of success towards clearly defined outcomes that respond to local social conditions and challenges.

Have questions about our grants program? Send us an email to get an answer from our team.

Contact Us

Congratulations to our 2019 Partner Grant Recipients!

Community Support Grants

Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy
CASA of Santa Cruz County
Catholic Charities of Monterey Diocese
CERT Auxiliary of Santa Cruz County
Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County
Community Bridges
Dientes Community Dental Care
Digital NEST
Family Service Agency of the Central Coast
Girls Incorporated of the Central Coast
Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County
Health Projects Center
Mountains 2 Sea
NAMI Santa Cruz County
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Salud y Cariño
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers
Save Our Shores
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County
Teen Kitchen Project
Watsonville Law Center

Borina Special Places

Elkhorn Slough Foundation
Evergreen Cemetery - Museum of Art & History
Felton Branch Library
Live Oak Soccer Complex
Pajaro Valley Historical Association
Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance
Watsonville Women's Club

Compassionate Care

Coastal Kids Home Care
Hospice of Santa Cruz County
Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support

Arts, Culture & History

Agricultural History Project
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
Community Arts & Empowerment
El Sistema
Esperanza del Valle
Friends of Olympia Station/Tandy Beal
Japanese Cultural Fair
Jewel Theatre Company
Kuumbwa Jazz
Museum of Art & History
New Music Works
Pajaro Valley Arts
San Lorenzo Valley Museum
Santa Cruz Art League
Santa Cruz County Symphony
Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center
Santa Cruz Shakespeare
Watsonville Film Festival
White Hawk Indian Council

Resilience & Opportunity

Santa Cruz Community Health Centers & Watsonville Law Center

Here to Help

Kevin Heuer


Contact our Director of Engagement & Impact Kevin Heuer at 831.662.2030 or

Grantee Partners

Looking to submit a grant report or new application? Login here.