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 $223 million to community organizations to date.

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 Grantmaking is guided by a set of eight principles we apply in awarding funds. Our approach is to provide flexible funding to organizations addressing pressing local issues and creating lasting positive impact. We prefer making grants to support the general operations of nonprofits. We continue to work with leaders of color to make sure that our grant funds are addressing historic and current inequities. You can view our 2023 Community Grant awardees below.

Our Priorities

Our Community Grants are made from endowed funds that have been given to the Foundation over four decades. This year, those funds will provide funding to support:

  • 41% for Youth & Education
  • 35% for Seniors, End-of-Life Care & Historic Preservation
  • 9% for Health & Human Services
  • 7% for Arts, Culture & History
  • 3% for Environment
  • 3% for LGBTQ+ specific causes
  • 2% for Women & Girls initiatives

Impact Profile

We work actively to bridge donors’ interests and local nonprofits’ work to address our county’s needs. To stay accessible year-round and help make everyone’s work efficient, we offer a tool to share a profile of your organization’s impact with us and our donors.

Completing an Impact Profile is not a grant request. But its a chance to provide our donors the answers they're most curious to learn. To create one for your organization, first download the Impact Profile Instructional Worksheet.

After reviewing the worksheet, visit our portal to access the Impact Profile form. Don't have a login to our portal? Sign up here. Your responses will be collected in our online form and made available to donors as they consider grants from their donor-advised fund. We accept them on a rolling basis. If you submitted a Community Grant proposal in March, that will serve as your Impact Profile and no further action is needed.

Click the link to view our Impact Profile FAQs.

Congratulations to our 2023 Community Grant Partners

Agricultural History Project
Asian American Pacific Islander Collective, SC
Association of Faith Communities of SC County
Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Black Surf Santa Cruz
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
CASA of Santa Cruz County
Catholic Charities of Monterey Diocese
Central Coast YMCA - Watsonville Family YMCA
Coastal Watershed Council
Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action
Community Action Board
Community Bridges
Cradle to Career
Dientes Community Dental Care
Digital NEST
El Sistema
Esperanza del Valle
Families in Transition
Food What?!
Girls Inc. of the Central Coast
Grey Bears
Health Projects Center
Housing Matters
Housing Santa Cruz County
Juneteenth Festival (Friends of Parks And Rec)
Life Lab
Monarch Services
Mountains 2 Sea
NAMI Santa Cruz County
O'Neill Sea Odyssey
Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
Positive Discipline Community Resources
PVUSD (Raising A Reader)
Raices y Cariño
Salud y Cariño
San Lorenzo Valley Historical Society
Santa Cruz Art League
Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos
Santa Cruz Black
Santa Cruz Community Health
Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative
Santa Cruz Local
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Santa Cruz Welcoming Network
Save Our Shores
Save the Music Foundation
Second Harvest Food Bank
Senior Legal Services
Senior Network Services
Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center
Teen Kitchen Project
The 418 Project
Tobera Project
United Way of Santa Cruz County
Valley Churches United Missions
Vets 4 Vets Santa Cruz
Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center
Watsonville Film Festival
Watsonville Law Center
Watsonville Wetlands Watch
White Hawk Indian Council

Compassionate Care 2023

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

Diversity Partnership 2023

Birds of a Feather
Diversity Center
Queer Youth Task Force
Santa Cruz Pride
School GSA clubs (25)

Rise Together 2022

Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT)
Aztecas Youth Soccer
Black Surf Club Santa Cruz
Campesina Womb Justice
CA Film & Cultural Center
Community Action Board Santa Cruz County
Digital NEST
Speak for Change Podcast & Everyone's Music School
Housing Santa Cruz County
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Estrellas de Esperanza & Esperanza del Valle
Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative
Santa Cruz Local
Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center
UC Santa Cruz University Library
Watsonville Film Festival
Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan
Healing Events
La Alianza Del Valle Pájaro
BBQueer Fest
Fuerza Santa Cruz
London Nelson Legacy Project
SC Equity Collaboration
Watsonville is in the Heart

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.