The Santa Barbara Foundation has moved from the historic Hill-Carrillo Adobe, its home for more than 80 years, to a more contemporary headquarters at 1111 Chapala Street. The new offices have updated technology and the additional space necessary for the Foundation to properly serve its many donors and nonprofit organizations in the county.
Community Philanthropist Léni Fé Bland pledged a several million dollar unrestricted planned gift in support of the Santa Barbara Foundation. In honor of this gift, the building will be called the Léni Fé Bland Center.
“Santa Barbara County has never needed its community foundation more, and, being at the very center of philanthropy in this region, our goal is to provide leadership to the philanthropic sector, helping it to expand, build capacity, deepen impact and get results,” said Judy Frost, chair of the Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees. “The new building provides a dynamic and modern office environment to do this important work.”
A substantial portion of the cost of the transition to its new home has been offset by generous gifts from its current and past trustees, and other close friends of the Foundation, including Fé Bland.
“We wish to thank those who helped us streamline our operations and increase our capacity to practice community philanthropy at the highest level,” said Ronald V. Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation.
“I have great faith in the Santa Barbara Foundation; it is a very hands-on organization and provides critical support to worthwhile causes and needed community work,” stated Fé Bland. “I am happy to contribute to the future of such an important institution. They are a value added partner to philanthropy at every level and look after our county’s needs in perpetuity. I definitely know that my money will be put to good use.”
About the Santa Barbara Foundation
The Santa Barbara Foundation is a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy. As one of the largest private sources of funding for area nonprofits, agencies, and college bound students, the Foundation makes funds available to identify and strategically address critical community issues – to strengthen the nonprofit sector, to encourage collaboration and partnerships and to engage and align philanthropic capital with community needs in order to positively impact the county’s common good.
About Baroness Léni Fé Bland
Léni Fé Bland has enriched the lives of many through her generous philanthropic contributions to the community. Her civic and board affiliations include the Granada Restoration Project, CAMA, Santa Barbara Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Transition House, Ensemble Theatre, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, and founding member of the State Street Ballet. She has also supported Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, American Red Cross, Cottage Hospital, Visiting Nurses and Hospice, has been a patron of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and lent her support to the construction of the Fé Bland Forum at Santa Barbara City College. In 1997, Ms. Fé Bland was named the Santa Barbara/Ventura Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropist of the Year. She was also named the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Woman of the Year in 2005 and the Santa Barbara Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2006.
Since 1992, through Ms. Fé Bland’s own Music Scholarship Fund (which is now operated through the Santa Barbra Foundation), she has supported over 1,500 scholarships to help young and talented musicians in a field where financial support is often limited. Many of these musicians are now playing for major orchestras in the United States and beyond.