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Community Grant Programs - Express Grants

Grants to Santa Barbara County, California Nonprofits
to Expand Organizational Capacity and Program Effectiveness

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Santa Barbara Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $5,000 to Santa Barbara County, California nonprofit organizations, schools, and institutions for activities that will strengthen organizational capacity and increase effectiveness. Funding requests for small capital expenditures may also be considered. The Foundation believes organizations are more effective when they are equipped with thoughtful strategy, strong leadership, sound operations and compelling communication.

Express Grants are available for a variety of activities in the following four areas:

- Organizational development and capacity building: Campaign feasibility studies, strategic planning, board development, executive transitions/succession planning,program evaluation, exploratory strategic alliances, collaborative learning opportunities, emergency and business continuity planning.

- Staff or board training and development: conferences, workshops/training.

- Defined projects: program design and piloting, strategic marketing, communications, or donor development efforts. NOTE: While staff time, consulting services, and other costs related to the proposed project are welcome, these small grants are not intended to support staff positions (e.g., hiring a development director).

- Small capital items and equipment

Proposals with the best chance of being funded clearly state the need, organizational readiness, and commitment to the project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180019

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award for Express Grants is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is up to one year from the award date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility Requirements:

- Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered. Organizations using a fiscal sponsor must review the Eligibility Criteria and FAQs page (see below) for additional information and instructions.

- The Foundation accepts applications from public entities such as schools, universities, and libraries through an affiliate or supporting 501(c)(3) organization. Please see the Eligibility Criteria and FAQs for additional qualifying information and instructions.

- An agency acting as the fiscal sponsor on behalf of a community collaborative may be eligible to submit proposals on behalf of its own agency needs as well as the needs of the collaborative. Please contact a member of the Community Investments team for more information and to discuss your specific situation.

- Express Grants are available for organizations serving all regions of Santa Barbara County

The Foundation supports organizations that do not discriminate in their delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, medical condition, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law. The Foundation will consider projects of faith-based organizations, but those projects must be secular in nature and open to individuals of all faiths and/or those of no religious affiliation.

Express Grants are not made for:
- General operating support
- Program expansion or support for existing programs
- Fundraising events
- Endowment funds
- One-time events, including recurring annual events (other than collaborative learning opportunities)
- Tuition requests for Leading From Within programs
- Debt
- Individuals
- Reimbursement for activities that occurred prior to the grant award date
- Influencing legislation and/or elections (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code); except as that activity may be related to the purpose of the grant, and permitted for 501(c)(3) organizations by applicable law or Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Pre-Application Information:

2018 Express Grant Deadlines:
February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, October 1, November 5

Award Date: Eight weeks following each grant deadline.

Applications received after the deadline will be considered the following month, with the exception of November, which is the final deadline for this time period.

IMPORTANT - Once an account has been created on the online application portal, please allow 48 hours for the registration to be confirmed and for the organization’s profile to be created. (Please note that if you are establishing an account on Friday, the registration confirmation will occur on the following Monday.)

Application and submittal procedures:

Eligibility criteria and FAQs:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions about the Express Grant program, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Investment Associate, at (805) 963-1873 or

North County Headquarters:
(805) 346-6123
2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101
Santa Maria, CA 93455

South County Headquarters:
(805) 963-1873
1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Santa Barbara County