Nonprofit organizations in the City of Santa Barbara employ approximately 10 percent of the workforce, bringing aid to people in need, schools, the environment, and community services.
But who brings aid to the nonprofits themselves in times of distress? The Hutton Foundation.
Founded more than 20 years ago, this organization assists more than 200 nonprofits annually with the help of three full-time employees and several volunteers, even providing office space for nonprofit agencies without homes.
“Nonprofits were getting run out of this market, the rents were so high,” said Hutton Foundation President Tom Parker. “So, we have 11 office buildings that house three to 15 nonprofits each.”
The Hutton Foundation charges half the market rental rates or less; the monthly payments are reinvested in the nonprofit community as grants.
Currently, the Hutton Foundation is elevating its level of community involvement in response to the recent surge of gang-related troubles in the county. By working directly with local schools, the foundation hopes to help redirect misguided youths.
“With this issue, we felt we needed to take the initiative and be quick about it,” said Parker. “Ordinarily, a nonprofit would come in with youth programs, but the money would still need to be provided-often by the school itself. We’re coming straight in with the dollars and supporting the good work the school has already laid the groundwork for.”
Parker and Executive Director Pam Hamlin plan to expand their school involvement in the near future while remaining at the service of the county’s many nonprofits. The Hutton Foundation has contributed more than $22 million to nearly 600 nonprofits in Southern California in the past decade, and the results, said Parker, are clearly visible.
“Think about it. What would our communities look like without our homeless shelters, without services for the poor and underserved, without programs enriching our youth and seniors, without advances in medical, physical, and mental health? This is how the Hutton Foundation measures the return on our investments. It’s in the results we see every day in communities like ours-communities we can be proud of yesterday, today, and into the future.”