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RESPONDING TO CRISIS: Donate now to either our COVID-19 Response Fund or Fire Response Fund.

Hilary Bryant

Donor Services Officer

As Donor Services Officer of the Santa Cruz County Community Foundation, Hilary supports current and future donors in creating funds for immediate giving, as well as and designing and planning funds for future giving. With over twenty-five years of experience as a local government official, tech entrepreneur, and civic leader, she is excited to share her love of Santa Cruz County with donors and will assist them in achieving their personal philanthropic goals while helping our community thrive.

After she graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Biology, she chose to make Santa Cruz her home. Hilary worked as a real estate broker and met her husband, Dr. David Shuman, a veterinarian. Together, they built Westside Animal Hospital in downtown Santa Cruz. An active volunteer, she was appointed to the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and in 2010, was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council, serving as Vice Mayor in 2012 and Mayor in 2013. During her Council term, Hilary combined her knowledge of regional outdoor resources, business, and technical expertise to help Santa Cruz address critical issues. She worked to grow and retain businesses in Santa Cruz, was active in the endeavor to bring the Santa Cruz Warriors to the City, led efforts to establish the City’s first Open Data Ordinance, and also developed the first Santa Cruz Youth City Council in partnership with eight local schools. Most recently, Hilary co-founded Buoy Labs, a water-saving technology startup, which was acquired by Resideo Technologies in 2019. She also enjoys surfing, swimming, running, biking, and tries to keep up with her two teenagers in all of their various activities.

Hilary believes that it is through active philanthropy that we can best work together to meet community needs, explore new approaches to solving social problems, channel generosity, and create initiatives to improve well-being for all. She is passionate about providing opportunities for youth and expanding efforts to protect our environment. Hilary currently serves on several area nonprofit boards, including the Digital NEST and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. She is committed to playing an active role in building a healthy and vibrant Santa Cruz County for all.

Ask Hilary about...

At a time when our community is facing so many pressing needs, it can be overwhelming to identify effective nonprofits and plan charitable gifts for the future. Hilary believes that meaningful relationships are built on a foundation of mutual trust. She is here to listen and to help current and prospective donors learn about tax-wise giving options and demonstrate how their giving will work to accelerate solutions to our County’s most challenging issues.

Meet Other Staff Members


Sam Leask

Philanthropic Services Director

Susan True

Chief Executive Officer