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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, June 25, 2011

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara Announces 2011 Investees with Check Presentation Ceremony

Over $90,000 granted to environmental initiatives; time and talent of Partners valued at four times monetary investment

Signaling a bold commitment to next generation energy and environmental issues, Social Venture Partners of Santa Barbara (SVPSB) announced their third investment cycle at a press conference at the Santa Barbara Foundation.


By leveraging matching grants from both the Gildea Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation, SVPSB has assembled an impressive funding package worth $93,000, in addition to committing hundreds of hours of Partner consultation in various areas of expertise.

In their continued efforts to identify critical community needs, the SVPSB Partners have selected energy and the environment as the focus for their 2011 giving cycle. Through grantmaking and utilizing their intellectual capital, Partners seek sustainable permanent solutions with visible outcomes that provide measurable change and betterment that lasts and transforms the organizations they invest in.

“Protection of our environment is among Santa Barbara’s most important priorities and SVPSB is committed to enhancing it on both the grassroots and the policy fronts,” said Gerry Flake, chair of the Investment Committee of SVPSB.

“Expanding the reach of our two new investees – one with a deep commitment to educating our kids about their role in the environment, and the other a clear leader in driving public policy on the local, state and national level - will positively impact our community for years to come. Santa Barbara County has been recognized by the United Nations as a unique environmental resource area – one of very few left in this world - and we have chosen to back organizations that will have far reaching impact on Santa Barbara County’s energy policy and the education of tomorrow’s generation in environmental issues.”

SVPSB today presented checks to the Community Environmental Council (granted $56,200), and Art from Scrap (granted $36,800). Each of these grants will fund new initiatives.

The CEC is looking to increase the amount of solar technologies installed in Santa Barbara county as solar energy is widely believed to be the most effective and efficient form of alternative energy. The SVPSB grant will fund a major study on the use of solar energy in the non-residential building sector and develop a business plan and policy recommendations for countywide adoption. This will not only help to protect the environment by reducing consumption of fossil fuels, but will also create economic benefits by supporting new green industries.

CEC is a small organization with a big mission - to move Santa Barbara County away from fossil fuels in one generation. Community partnerships like this are absolutely essential to our success,” said Dave Davis, CEC’s executive director. “This relationship with Social Venture Partners not only provides financial support to our mission, it also infuses CEC with the energy of several dozen community leaders and gives us access to their business acumen, legal advice, and other specialized skills. SVPSB is an invaluable brain trust for us, and we’re pleased to be partnering with them.”

“The Gildea Foundation is very pleased to join SVPSB and the Santa Barbara Foundation in support of the Community Environmental Council’s work to move us toward ‘Fossil Free By 33,’” said Gildea Foundation Executive Director Naomi Schwartz. “Funding partnerships such as these have great potential for expanding each of our individual resources for the betterment of the entire community.”

Art From Scrap tackles the issue of environmental protection by increasing awareness with a key group of change agents – our children. By teaching children that “everything is connected,” Art From Scrap prepares them to make choices with the understanding of environmental impacts and consequences. This type of educational programming is a fundamental part of ensuring that future generations of adults will continue the efforts to protect and restore the environment. The grant will help Art From Scrap implement strategic changes that will expand the high quality environmental education programming they deliver to over 14,000 local children and adults each year. The partnership with SVPSB will include developing a strategic plan that will expand their outreach to a larger portion of the community while creating pathways to self sufficiency.

We are excited that SVPSB’s Partners will be assisting us with their expertise to more clearly present to the community the diversity of Art From Scrap’s environmental education message,” said Cay Sanchez, executive director of Art from Scrap. “This grant and our relationship with SVPSB will aid us in the expansion of our programming at the Watershed Resource Center, with the Creek Kids Series of lessons, at the ReUse Store, and with our numerous Reduce, Reuse & Recycle compost and gardening programs.”

“We are pleased to provide support to Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara as a fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO. “Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara is an outstanding example of a new form of philanthropy and collective giving that effectively matches entrepreneurial energy with community needs to make a positive difference for our future.”

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