Before you apply

    We believe that the period of time before an application is submitted is often the best opportunity for open communication. We strongly encourage potential applicants to review the material on this web site and carefully consider whether there is a close fit between our goals. If so, we want to hear from you.

    If you have questions, send us an email or call us. We will review project concepts and give you time to rethink and revise. We will spend time with you and be straightforward about whether we see a potential fit.  We recognize that our online application process has a sense of formality to it.  Around that process we look forward to meeting in a less formal fashion with passionate people with great ideas.

    Initial Proposal

    We use a web interface and most communication will be electronic. Your first step will be to draft an initial proposal following the format outlined in the “Initial Proposal” section. Summarize the basic concept of the project - goals, timelines and methodology - and provide an overall budget number. The document should be clear and concise – no more than two pages - outlining your basic concepts. Once that is complete, please return to the “Initial Proposal” section and click on the link provided.

    You will be asked to provide your tax ID number and respond to a brief eligibility quiz. Our system will confirm that your organization is a non-profit in good standing and are eligible to apply. You will then have the opportunity to fill out an electronic form and attach your initial proposal.

    We will review your project based primarily on the first five evaluation questions. We will notify you via email about your status. If you are declined at this point we will tell you whether there may be a fit between your goals and ours in the future. If you have any questions about the reasons for your response, please let us know.

    Full Proposal

    Full proposals are accepted on an invitation only basis. If you are invited to submit a full proposal you will be given a link to the application. Follow the same basic process as the initial proposal. Refer to the section “Full Proposal” and prepare your narrative based on those instructions. Then, use the link in your notification to begin the full application. Most of the required attachments should be in electronic form. For hard copy attachments, please mail them to our office at 26 West Micheltorena, Santa Barbara, California 93101.  Please be aware that the time between when you submit the Initial Proposal and when you may be asked to submit a Full Proposal may be quite short, sometimes just a matter of five or six weeks.

    Once your application is complete, you may be asked to provide additional information. We understand that because of busy schedules, many agencies submit their applications very close to deadlines.  That is fine, and we give each and every proposal a full and thorough review.  However, submitting your proposal early in the cycle allows us to work with you to iron out any details before it goes for full review.

    If you are declined at this level you will be notified by an email explaining why the decision was made. If you have any questions about the reasons for our response, please email or call us for more information.


    Most groups that submit a full proposal will receive a site visit from the Foundation.  The visit is a chance for the applicant to flesh out parts of the proposal, answer and ask questions, and get to know more about the Foundation.  For the Foundation, the visit is a chance to put a face to a name and go deeper into aspects of the project where there may be questions or focused interest.  In general, the visits are informal, take between an hour and an hour and a half, and include up to three Foundation representatives.

    After the grant

    Receiving a grant is just the beginning of the process. First, you will receive a grant agreement and we ask that you read it, sign it, and send it back. Pay particular attention to the reporting requirements.

    Second, beyond the formal requirements, we encourage you to keep us informed about your work on an ad hoc basis. If you receive a grant it is because we are interested in you and your work and we are looking for ways to learn more. Getting funding for later phases of any project will be easier if we are on board all along.

    Finally, we encourage you to revisit the web site and look for changes in our program areas and in this section before you reapply.

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