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Funding Guidelines and Priorities

Guías y Prioridades para los Fondos

The FUND is committed to uplifting grassroots community organizing fighting inequities on the frontlines; groups that address systemic oppression, and leveraging community power for progressive social change. The FUND believes that significant social changes ultimately require broad participation in and democratic control of all social, political, and economic institutions. We understand that social conditions improve most dramatically when those who have been denied power and justice lead on their own behalf to confront, challenge, and change the conditions that have denied them access to justice and equity.

The FUND seeks to fund groups and/or organizations at the forefront of movement building to create systemic social change in our county. The FUND provides seed grants, general support, and project grants to grassroots projects working for social change.

The FUND defines social change as change that addresses the root causes, not symptoms, of social (economic, environmental, political, and racial) inequities in an effort to alleviate those inequities but also the underlying conditions and circumstances that cause and sustain them.

We invite partners who align with our mission to advance movements for Economic, Environmental, Political, Racial, and Social Change to apply.

Below are the funding guidelines and eligibility criteria that all funding requests must meet.

El Fund de Santa Barbara es desvergonzadamente progresista y está buscando apoyar proyectos que abordan las raíces sistémicas de las injusticias sociales. Apoyamos proyectos con un fuerte componente de cambio social.

Definimos al cambio social como el cambio que aborda las raíces sistémicas de las injusticias sociales (económicas, medioambientales, políticas, raciales) con el objetivo de aliviar aquellas injusticias y condiciones y circunstancias subyacentes que las causan y sostienen.

Funding Guidelines

Directrices para el otorgamiento de fondos

Funding Priorities (not applicable to YMC)

​​Prioridades de financiamiento

We do not fund

No financiamos

Eligibility Criteria

Guías y Prioridades para los Fondos

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

Minimum Applicant Eligibility Qualifications for all grant programs

Multi-year eligibility criteria

Emerging Needs Grant Eligibility criteria

Youth Making Change eligibility criteria

Must be youth-led (age 12-24) Youth are leaders in all aspects of the project, including the writing of this grant application.

  • Must meet the Funding Guidelines
  • Must operate in a democratic manner, responsive to and directed by the group of people you aim to serve; Teens in the community must benefit from your project, not just the planning team
  • Must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution
  • Must be located in Santa Barbara County
  • Must have a sponsoring organization, such as a school or community group 
  • Must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), a Federal Tax Identification Number and an organizational bank account
  • Budget and Planned Activities must fall within the funding timeframe for which the proposal is submitted
  • Must not be a currently funded grantee (Racial Equity Fund & Mickey Flacks Social Housing Fund grantees excluded)
A strong project also includes (optional): 
  • Research to find out the most pressing needs in your community.
  • An opportunity for you and other youth planners to develop valuable skills and knowledge.
  • An opportunity for other youth in the community to develop valuable skills, knowledge, or experience.
  • A plan to keep your project running for a year or more.

Racial Equity Fund eligibility criteria

This fund aims to effect the culture and policy for systemic change necessary to advance racial equity and justice, and reverse the legacy of slavery and effects of racism in Santa Barbara County.

This fund provides organizational capacity assistance to:

  • Strengthen the ecosystem of diverse, anti-racism organizations in our community that share a common goal to address the cultural and systemic effects of racism.
  • Increase active participation of historically marginalized communities to influence civic matters that impact our community at large.
  • Develop the pipeline to uplift historically marginalized leaders to positions of decision-making and influence.
  • Increase and sustain investment to strengthen organizations led by historically marginalized leaders who have lacked access to capital.
  • Address and work to change systemic negative narratives about the legacy of slavery in the community.
  • Establish and advance organizational capacity in organizations led by historically marginalized leaders in the following areas:
    • Leadership development
    • Advocacy, policy change, legal analysis, and research
    • Strategic communications
    • Alliance and coalition building
    • Organizational development
    • Community engagement and organizing
    • Innovation and continuous learning
    • Develop organizational and programmatic objectives, conduct evaluation, and assess outcomes.


  • Must meet the General Eligibility Criteria
    • *REFSBC funding cannot be used for lobbying, legal strategy or 501(c)4 work
  • Must be a historically marginalized organization in Santa Barbara County
    • i.e. Serving communities directly harmed by racist policies and marginalized by systemic racism
  • Must include as a core mission of the organization the goal of addressing systemic racism 
  • Projects must take place in Santa Barbara County
  • Work has to be ongoing in Santa Barbara County, new initiatives will not be considered

Other funding programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Guías y Prioridades para los Fondos