Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Foundation

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Foundation

The Santa Barbara Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funds for local nonprofit organizations, announced last week that it has donated nearly eight million dollars to different county organizations this year.

Through various donor funds and partnership programs, the foundation gave grants to various agencies, such as the Marian Regional Medical Foundation and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, in order to support the arts, humanities, education and environment. Eighty thousand dollars were also distributed between the Family Ultimate Science Exploration program on campus and the Santa Maria Bonita School District’s Reasoning Mind elementary school math program.

Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services at the Santa Barbara Foundation Jan Campbell said that in the last five years, approximately $5 million in funding has gone to various university programs, from raising $70,000 for the Isla Vista Victims Tribute to funding Arts & Lectures, post doctorates in bioengineering “and beyond.”

“The foundation works closely with our partner, The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, to fund student aid for many local students who attend UCSB,” Campbell said. “The foundation was instrumental in raising funds for the victims of the I.V. tragedy last May.”

According to Vice President of Philanthropy at Marian Regional Medical Center Stephanie M. Grogan, $300,000 in grants from the foundation this year have gone towards Marian Regional Medical Center, a 191-bed hospital that offers advanced technology healthcare.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation grant was very significant for the medical center because it was the first grant from a community partner that we received as a new program,” Grogan said. “It was very significant in leveraging the support of other funding partners that followed.”

Wendy Ibsen, Associate Director for the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships, said the foundation also distributed $20,000 to the Family Ultimate Science Exploration program, which is run by STEM graduate and undergraduate students on campus.

“This money is allowing us to go to every junior high school and expand our efforts. Without this funding, it really relies on just good¬hearted people giving all their time,” Ibsen said, “The funding allows us to actually support some salary, make sure we have plenty of materials and include all of the students in our community.”

According to Campbell, the foundation has been donating money to the community for decades.

“The foundation has supported the Santa Barbara County community since its inception in 1928,” Campbell said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been distributed to many community-based organizations and worthy causes.”

This article is a Daily Nexus online exclusive.