Support Effective Nonprofits

Discover how your generosity can support ongoing progress in Santa Cruz County.

Supporting your community is one of the most fulfilling and personal experiences you can have. Donate any amount to help grow grantmaking funds that support the arts, education, the environment, human services, health and community development, women and girls, the LGBTQ community, youth and young children in Santa Cruz County. Learn more about our grantmaking funds here. You can also start a Donor-Advised Fund to support the nonprofits of your choice.

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Learn About What You Can Use to Start a Fund

Our Grantmaking Funds

Greatest Needs Fund

The Greatest Needs Fund addresses a broad range of critical and emerging needs in health and human services, economic and community development, education, the arts, and the environment. Grants support trusted nonprofits working to address pressing local issues. Funding supports a healthy and vibrant Santa Cruz County where all can thrive. Gifts to the fund offer us a flexible way to invest in the areas where community partners can do the most good to positively impact our community.

COVID-19 Local Response Fund

The Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in Santa Cruz County. Learn more at

Fire Response Fund

To support the needs of Santa Cruz County residents affected by the August 2020 Lightning Complex fires. The fund addresses the relief and long-term recovery needs throughout the San Lorenzo Valley. Grants support nonprofits responding to victims and programs that aid in the rebuilding and recovery process.

Fund for the Future of the San Lorenzo Valley

An endowed fund for services in the San Lorenzo Valley

Friends of the Foundation Fund

Each year, our donors support more than 800 different causes and charities in Santa Cruz County and beyond. We offer wise investment strategies, local expertise about community issues, and first-class donor services. This fund supports our ability to be the local hub of philanthropy and generosity.

Community Investment Revolving Fund

Our local impact investments pursue opportunities that return both financial and social gains—right here at home. In 2015, we began making low-interest loans. Funds are loaned to nonprofits and businesses solving social challenges and spurring economic growth in key issues in our community. Unlike traditional philanthropy, which typically relies on grants, our impact investments are structured as flexible, cost-effective loans that are expected to be paid back, thus recycling the dollars to consistently fund new initiatives into the future.

Fund for Women and Girls

An Endowed Fund to Power the Future: When a woman thrives, a family thrives. When a family thrives, a community thrives.

Diversity Partnership Fund

The Diversity Partnership Fund strengthens alliances, promotes respect, and enhances services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Santa Cruz County. The Partnerships efforts are vital to creating a more open, welcoming, and diverse county.

Photo credit: Museum of Art and History

Fund for Arts, History & Culture

Promote our community's vibrant artistic life and education, cultural activities, and colorful history.

Fund for Education & Youth

This endowed fund works to level the educational playing field through big investments in the Santa Cruz County College Commitment’s work to lift math skills through improving instruction, early childhood education, after school programs, and efforts to stop the summer learning slide.

Photo credit: Jeremy Lezin

Fund for the Great Outdoors

Support environmental activity from land, forest, and wetland preservation, air quality improvement, education, and more.

Photo credit: Jeremy Lezin

Fund for Human Services

Help individuals and families to obtain basic services and reach self-reliance.

Let’s Chat

We take your generosity personally.

Sam Leask, our philanthropic services director, is happy to help you determine how best to transform your compassion and contributions into benefits for Santa Cruz County that are meaningful to you.

Or call him at 831.662.2060