Community Support

Another Record Year of Generosity in 2022

Photo: 2022 Community grantees celebrating Dia de los Muertos in the Watsonville Plaza. From left to right: Jessica Evangelista, Arts Council Santa Cruz County; Ruby Vásquez, Estrellas de Esperanza; and Valéria Miranda, Pajaro Valley Arts.

Your generosity is shining

Thanks to donors past and present, we’re celebrating another record year of giving and grantmaking in 2022. In 2021, $24.2 million was awarded in grants in scholarships. But...

$32.6 million awarded in grants & scholarships in 2022!

Together, we are making Santa Cruz County a place where all can thrive.

At a glance:

  • Record-breaking: $32.6 million in grants (29% growth 2021-2022)
  • Investing in Santa Cruz County: 79% of all grant funds stayed local
  • Committed to equity: Majority of Community Grants awarded to organizations leading work with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color communities.
  • Exceptionally active donors: 53% increase in giving from Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) over 2021 and well above national benchmarks for DAF annual giving
  • High impact funding: 70 Community Grants awarded without restrictions, at average size of $25,000
  • Broad reach locally and beyond: 814 nonprofit organizations supported
  • Investing in the next generation: 34 students awarded $250,000 in scholarships
  • Responsive: $3.5 million in Fire Recovery Grants helping folks on the road home


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 & Discretionary 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 2022

2022 Grants List