Support Effective Nonprofits

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

We’re honored to be your partner in effective giving and our grantmaking funds can impact the areas you care most about from arts and education to the environment and the LGBTQ community. We use our nearly 40 years of philanthropic expertise, extensive knowledge of the nonprofit community, and experience advancing solutions to local issues in our grantmaking decisions. You can also start a Donor-Advised Fund to support the nonprofits of your choice.

Popular Ways To Give

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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.

Veterans Village Fund

“Veterans Village,” a first for Santa Cruz County, will provide a permanent affordable housing solution for veterans and their families including on-site support services.

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.

Rise Together Fund for Racial Equity

The Rise Together Fund for Racial Equity provides grants to advance racial equity in Santa Cruz County. Since 2020, the Fund has fueled an intercultural coalition of local Leaders of Color and a team from the Community Foundation in our collective effort to advance racial equity in Santa Cruz County.

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.

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 the Future of the San Lorenzo Valley

An endowed fund for services in the San Lorenzo Valley

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.

Photo credit: Jeremy Lezin

Fund for the Great Outdoors

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

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