Community Support

A Record Year of Generosity in 2021

Amid the ongoing hardship and uncertainty of these times, extraordinary people are coming together to do great things in our community. Thanks to donors past and present, we’re celebrating a record year of giving and grantmaking in 2021.

$24,200,781 awarded in grants & scholarships 2021!

At a glance:

  • Record-breaking: $24 million in grants (92% growth 2019 -2021)
  • Investing in Santa Cruz County: 74% of all grant funds stayed local
  • Committed to equity: 70% of Community Grants awarded to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color led organizations
  • Exceptionally active donors: 40% growth in Donor-Advised grants 2019-2020 (national rate = 27%)
  • High impact funding: Average Community Grant award size = $30,000
  • Broad reach locally and beyond: 750 nonprofit organizations supported
  • Investing in the next generation: 32 students awarded $300,000 in scholarships
  • Responsive: $10 million in COVID-19 Relief Grants and $1.7 million in Fire Recovery Grants (all time)


Donor-Advised Grants are recommended by local people and companies with Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) at the Community Foundation. DAFs are a flexible, tax-smart giving account and donors use them to fulfill long-term and short-term charitable goals. Grants recommended by fundholders undergo due diligence by staff, get approved by our board of directors, and quickly get issued to nonprofit partners.

Community Grants are considered by staff and awarded to high-performing local nonprofits. Funds come from the collective giving of generations of local donors. They are a steady source of funding for local nonprofits responsive to the needs of our community and make a lasting impact on Santa Cruz County residents and their quality of life to support our county’s recovery and wellbeing and address pressing challenges in a variety of areas including COVID and Fire response, racial equity, LGBTQ+ programs, arts, culture & history, environment, education & youth, seniors, health & human services, end-of-life-care and more.

Grants from Nonprofit reserve funds come from distributions from agency endowments which can be started by a nonprofit or a donor and agency flex funds, non-endowed funds established by the board of a nonprofit to support current or long-term work.

See where our grants went in 2021

2021 Grants List