Together for justice

The Weingart Foundation’s Transition out of
Santa Barbara County

President’s Message   A Thank You to Our Partners   Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me more about the Weingart Foundation’s history of funding in Santa Barbara County and your decision to no longer provide grants to organizations working in the region?

In the four decades that we have funded in Santa Barbara County, the Weingart Foundation has provided more than $30 million in grants to local nonprofit and community-based organizations working to support low-income and underserved communities.

From the beginning, the Foundation has sought to help build the capacity of the nonprofit sector, with many of our earlier grants in Santa Barbara County focused on capital, direct service, and capacity building projects contributing to important improvements for the County’s strong human service, health, and education organizations. Ultimately, Unrestricted Operating Support became our primary vehicle for strengthening organizational capacity and effectiveness, and we remain strong advocates for fully unrestricted funding in the philanthropic community.

In recent years, the Weingart Foundation has continued to deepen its commitment to those communities facing the greatest barriers to opportunity, justice, and inclusion. Through unrestricted funding, we have also increased our support of community organizing, advocacy, leadership development and civic engagement. And the Foundation increased it’s investment in nonprofits serving the North County, with more than half of the Foundation’s grantmaking in the County over the past five years going to organizations working in the northern region.

For more on why the Foundation has made the decision to no longer fund in Santa Barbara County, please click here.  

What is the timeline for ending Weingart’s grant program in Santa Barbara County?

As of April 17, 2019, the Weingart Foundation is no longer accepting letters of inquiry from organizations working entirely or primarily in Santa Barbara County.

What if my organization submitted a letter of inquiry (LOI) or a full application prior to Weingart’s April announcement to end grantmaking in Santa Barbara County?

All LOIs and applications received in recent months from organizations in Santa Barbara County that are past grantees and broadly aligned with the Foundation’s funding priorities have been placed on hold. They will be reviewed as part of our final round of grants (see below). Foundation staff will be in touch with these applicants later this year.

What do you mean by a final round of grants and who is eligible to receive one?

In the coming months, the Foundation plans to award a final round of Unrestricted Operating Support grants totaling approximately $1.5 million to prior Weingart Foundation grantees working entirely or primarily in Santa Barbara County. This amount reflects our average annual grantmaking in the County.

For these final grants, we will prioritize existing and recent grantees that are strongly aligned with our funding priorities. By recent, we mean organizations that have received a Weingart Foundation grant since January 1, 2016.

In an effort to make the process easy and not place additional burdens on grantees, there will be no application for these final grants. We will make awards based upon our grant history with each organization. However, as noted above, for this final round of grants, consideration will also be given to organizations that currently have LOIs or applications already submitted to and on hold with the Foundation. The final grants will be fully unrestricted, so that organizations can choose to spend the dollars whenever they like, as well as save them for future use. These final grants will have no reporting requirements. Unfortunately, given budget constraints, the grants will be less than past amounts.

Will organizations that work in counties in addition to Santa Barbara County still be able to apply to the Weingart Foundation?

Yes, organizations that continue to do a significant portion of their work in a county other than Santa Barbara County (and within the Foundation’s funding region) are still eligible to apply through our regular grant process. However, if the majority of your organization’s work is in Santa Barbara County, we recommend that you contact our office prior to submitting an LOI to discuss whether your organization continues to align with our funding priorities.

The Weingart Foundation will continue our responsive grantmaking in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

What happens to my current open grant with the Foundation?

If you currently have an open grant with the Weingart Foundation, nothing will change to your funding or its unrestricted nature. However, in an effort to reduce the workload for grantees, you will no longer be required to submit a final report for your current grant.

With whom can I speak to learn more about the process and discuss whether my organization can expect to be considered for a final grant?

For additional information or any questions, please reach out to our program officer for the region, Emilie Neumann, at or (805) 729-4605. She will be available to answer your questions through May 2, 2019. After May 2, please contact Patrick Warfield, administrative assistant, programs, at or (213) 688-6322.