About the Foundation
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation was established in 2005, to make the community it serves a better place for all of its residents, placing particular value on activities and programs that expand opportunities for the least advantaged, protect our environment or enhance the lives of youth. In so doing, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation makes grants to vital community organizations and works to grow and manage permanent funds to meet the future needs of our region. The Foundation is governed by the Business Council of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Capital and Program Grants
Through its capital and program grants, the Foundation awards funds through a competitive process to qualified organizations in five field of interest areas:  Community Enhancement and Environment, Culture and Recreation, Education and Personal Development, Health and Human Services, and Native American.  Program staff works closely with potential applicants to make sure that proposed projects meet the Tribe’s criteria for funding.  Staff evaluate proposals and make recommendations for the Business Council’s approval.


The Foundation welcomes proposals from agencies that meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  A copy of the final determination letter from the IRS must be submitted with the application.  Note: Under limited circumstances, the Foundation may consider a proposal from an organization that does not have 501(c)(3) status, but that has found an organization with a 501(c)(3) willing to serve as a fiscal sponsor.  A group submitting such a request must contact the Foundation to receive specific requirements and instructions.
  • The proposed project must directly benefit the people of Santa Barbara and/or Ventura and/or San Luis Obispo Counties.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that it has all of the following: a) local leadership in the form of Board representation or an advisory board b) broad-based local support c) local program management and accountability. 
  • Applicants located outside Santa Barbara, Ventura and/or San Luis Obispo Counties must demonstrate knowledge of the Tri-County needs and local organizations providing similar services, as well as having explored opportunities for collaboration.
  • The Foundation supports organizations that do not discriminate in their employment practices, volunteer opportunities, or delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, medical condition, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Any funding request that would support any project of an organization whose own policies run counter to the Foundation’s nondiscrimination policy may be denied even if the requesting organization meets all of the other criteria for funding.


Community Enhancement and Environment
The Foundation is keenly aware and supportive of the need for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, and the development and enhancement of the economic and civic well being of the community.  Included in this field of interest are land acquisition and protection organizations, animal welfare agencies, and groups that enhance neighborhoods and citizen participation.  Specifically, the Foundation supports agencies that:

  • encourage citizen participation in the strengthening of local communities and neighborhoods
  • promote projects and practices that preserve and restore the quality of our natural environment

Culture and Recreation
The Foundation is mindful of the importance of enhancing programs, extending accessibility and broadening the scope and reach of cultural and recreational institutions.  In addition to traditional recreational, cultural and arts institutions, this field of interest also includes community centers and park friends groups.  We support organizations that:

  • promote the creation and appreciation of and accessibility to a diverse mixture of arts and culture
  • provide opportunities for leisure or sporting activities

Education and Personal Development
The Foundation supports the expectation that all members of the community will be afforded an equal opportunity to rise to their potential.  Included in this field of interest are library friends groups; education foundations; youth groups that emphasize educational, age-appropriate activities and leadership; and skill development organizations.  Specifically, we support agencies that:

  • provide or improve access to learning opportunities
  • reach out to our diverse population with a wide variety of educational activities aimed at improving the whole person
  • teach specific skills to a particular population

Health and Human Services
The Foundation recognizes a responsibility to help ensure that health care, prevention/wellness, shelter, sustenance and social services are provided throughout the community.  This encompasses programs that address the basic needs required by all and the special needs required by a few.  Counseling, day care and senior centers, transportation providers, and those agencies that ease entering and leaving this life are included in this field of interest.  The Foundation supports organizations that:

  • address basic needs such as food and shelter
  • strengthen preventive care and improve access to services
  • develop the skills and independence of people with special needs, including those with drug and alcohol addictions, physical disabilities and mental illness
  • educate the public and provide support services for those affected by a specific disease or ailment

Native American
The Foundation is committed to preserving Native American Culture and continuing the traditions established by our Native American ancestors. We encourage organizations that focus on raising the awareness level and appreciation for the history and culture of Native American people.

Specifically, we support organizations that:

  • educate and share Native American culture and tradition with the general public
  • preserve customs and traditions handed down to Native people through the ages
  • teach Native youth about Native traditions
  • celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our nation’s first people



2019 Inter-Tribal