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 $112 million to local community organizations to date. In 2020, 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.

Our Grantmaking Overview

Our annual community grants process to strengthen our ability to be a bridge between donors’ goals and your work to address our County’s needs. We seek to be advocates for your work with our donors who direct more than 80% of the grants we award to the causes they care about most.

While our 2021 community grant process and timeline are being finalized this February, we invite nonprofits to submit a one-page profile of their work anytime. These 1 Page Funding Requests are intended to connect you with donors in new and more meaningful ways throughout the year. It will seek to answer the questions donors ask us most often. Download a worksheet below to help populate the template that's also shared below.

We accept these requests on a rolling basis for donor-advisor consideration. Information about our 2021 community grants process will be available in February. You can view our 2020 partner grant recipients here.

To download the documents below, some browsers will require you to right click on the document and select 'open in new window'.

Funding Request Worksheet
Funding Request Template

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.

Information about 2021 grantmaking opportunities will be available in February.

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.

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

Contact Us

Congratulations to our 2020 Partner Grant Recipients!

Community Support Grants

Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy
CASA of Santa Cruz County
Catholic Charities of Monterey Diocese
Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County
Community Bridges
Dientes Community Dental Care
Digital NEST
Families in Transition
Family Service Agency of the Central Coast
Girls Incorporated of the Central Coast
Grey Bears
Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County
Health Projects Center
Housing Matters
Immigrant Legal Services of the Central Coast
Live Oak Cradle 2 Career
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
Salud y Cariño
Salvation Army Watsonville & Santa Cruz
San Lorenzo Valley Historical Society
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County
Senior Network Services
Seniors Council
Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center
Teen Kitchen Project
Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center
Watsonville Film Festival
Watsonville Law Center
Watsonville Wetlands Watch
Youth N.O.W.

Compassionate Care

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

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.