A convening will be held on Wednesday, July 24 in honor of the first 17 nonprofit organizations receiving distributions, totaling $685,000. These grant recipients represent the continuum of public and social sector organizations delivering programs and services to students from the very young to those transitioning to college and out to the workforce.

Learning of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s reputation for asset stewardship, its ability to handle complex gifts, and its comprehensive knowledge of needs and opportunities throughout the county, James Dondero, president and co-founder of Highland Capital Management, L.P., approached the foundation as an outlet for one of his charitable passions – excellence in education. After thoughtful conversations, the foundation created a strategy for giving that both aligns with the foundation’s commitment to a “Pathway for Success” for county youth and the expressed charitable interests of the donor. This strategy is a framework that focuses on data-driven organizations and programs working in the areas of early childhood education, elimination of the achievement gap, S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, English, arts, and math) proficiency, access to college/retention, and workforce development. Distributions from the supporting organization’s assets will continue to be given annually to qualified charitable organizations located primarily in Santa Barbara County. The grants are determined by HSBF board members.

“I am impressed with the foundation’s broad reach into the community and appreciate the efforts currently underway in the area of education, which fits extremely well with our broader giving strategy,” said James Dondero. “After meeting with foundation staff, I knew this would be the right place to extend Highland’s philanthropic footprint.”

Highland Santa Barbara Foundation Inc. is just one example of how donors are beginning to think creatively about contributing assets that will have a large, charitable impact in an efficient structure. The Santa Barbara Foundation is poised to help donors with complex giving strategies, providing expertise for those wishing to preserve liquidity and wanting to be more resourceful in their giving strategies.

“Through donors’ passions and the foundation’s expertise, purposeful philanthropy results, going beyond dollars in the community impact achieved,” said Ron Gallo, president & CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “The continuous integration of inspired investments into the community, along with careful stewardship of foundation assets, is the catalyst for positive change that will ensure a successful collective future for all county residents.”

About Highland Capital Management

Highland Capital Management is an SEC-registered investment adviser which, together with its affiliates, has approximately $19 billion of assets under management. Founded in 1993 by Jim Dondero and Mark Okada, Highland is one of the largest and most experienced global alternative credit managers. Highland’s strategies include collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), high yield bonds, distressed credit, public and private equities, structured products and natural resources.

Highland’s diversified client base includes public pension plans, foundations and endowments, corporations, financial institutions, fund of funds, governments, high net-worth individuals, and mutual fund investors. The firm is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and maintains offices in New York, London, Singapore, and Seoul.

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 builds and facilitates philanthropy through donor partnerships; invests in nonprofits; and identifies and strategically addresses important community needs. Guided by compassion for the most vulnerable and those most in need of help, excellence in what it supports and with whom it partners, and integrity with a focus on stewardship and transparency, the Santa Barbara Foundation is invested in a more vibrant, engaged, and meaningfully connected Santa Barbara County…for all.


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