Community Foundation for San Benito County

OVERVIEW: This funder provides matching grants in agricultural preservation, environment, arts & culture, community enhancement, economic development, education & youth, health & social services. It also has a Women’s Fund to support programs for women and girls, and it awards grants to chronically and critically ill children too.

FUNDING AREAS: Community benefit, children with special needs

IP TAKE: Many issues are addressed through the community matching grants. But with your grant application, you must submit proof that you’ve applied for grants with at least two other organizations as well.

PROFILE: The Community Foundation for San Benito County was established in 1992 and supports local ways to give. Grantmaking work began in 2000: since then, the funder has granted over $6 million to local causes and nonprofits. At the time this profile was written, the foundation had around $9 million in charitable assets and over 100 philanthropic funds.

This is a good community funder for grantseekers to know because it manages a wide collection of funds that serve the needs of San Benito County. Community impact grants are typically accepted in February/March, but applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent as early as possible so that funds aren’t as limited. These grants are $10,000 or less and are awarded to groups in the following fields: agricultural preservation, environment, arts & culture, community enhancement, economic development, education & youth, health & social services.

CFSBC also awards grants to children with special needs, and you can refer a child for grant consideration via an online form. Children eligible for these awards must live in the county, have a critical or chronic illness, be under the age of 19, and meet other eligibility criteria.

A list of past grantees can be viewed here. Most recent grants have been between $5,000 and $20,000. Representative and top-earning grantees include San Benito Stage Company, which has received capacity building support, and the SBC Office of Education, which has received support for its Early Learning Equity and Access Initiative.

Finally, CFSBC grant opportunities exist within the Women’s Fund, for which grant applications are typically accepted in February/March as well. These grants are also under $10,000, and follow these interests: financial literacy for teens, poverty prevention, and domestic violence prevention. As the name suggests, these grants must directly serve women and girls in San Benito County.

The application process is all online and very straightforward. The foundation has a grants committee that’s made up of community-oriented residents that meet monthly to make decisions about grant requests. Other committees meet to address the needs of women and girls, Latinos, safety net services, National Philanthropy day, asset development, and finance.

General inquiries can be submitted via online form or by phone at 831-630-1924. Curt Mead, the grants director, is your best point of contact for grant-related questions. Keep up with what this funder is interested in by following its blog.

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