Frequently Asked Questions

Background

Please explain the retirement of The Orfalea Fund

For over a decade, most of our work has been driven by The Orfalea Fund, which  was intentionally created to achieve ambitious goals in a concentrated time-frame and, with the help of our partners, has transformed Santa Barbara County's disaster readiness status, school food reform, preschool quality, and educational and youth development opportunities.  We set out to create sustainable results, not a perpetual organization.
By December 2015, we will complete the planned spend-down of The Orfalea Fund, while devoting more of our resources to sharing what we have learned – providing the benefit of our experience to other nonprofits, funders, and policy-makers working on early childhood education, food system reform (especially school food), experiential youth development, education, and community disaster readiness.  We have every confidence that our existing partners and other organizations will continue to achieve great successes in these arenas of public concern and community well-being.
As a result of the spend-down, The Orfalea Foundation is not soliciting new grant requests or engaging in new ventures at this time. Our present scope of work is directly related to the long-term sustainability of our existing initiatives and focus areas, in collaboration with current partners. The Orfalea Foundation continues to work for the empowerment of individuals and strengthening of communities as we wind down The Orfalea Fund. On behalf of the Orfalea family and the Orfalea Foundation, we thank you for your partnership and support over the years. 

What is the difference between the Orfalea Family Foundation and the Orfalea Fund? How do I know which to apply to?

The Orfalea Family Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that reflects the personal interest areas of the Orfalea family. The Orfalea Fund is a non-profit public benefit corporation and a supporting organization of the Santa Barbara Foundation, a community foundation and publicly supported charity. We refer to them collectively as the Orfalea Foundation.  Our granting process is initiated by invitation only, and upon receipt of a Letter of Inquiry or Grant Application, the application is directed to the appropriate foundation. 

What We Support

Our project falls somewhat outside the current granting guidelines of the Orfalea Foundation. Is it still worth sending a Letter of Inquiry?

Our mission statement and areas of concentration are provided as strong guidelines to give applicants a good sense of the kinds of projects which are most likely to be funded. Letters of Inquiry can only be submitted to the Aware & Prepare Initiative and School Food Initiative.  Our general granting process is by invitation only and emphasizes projects and programs that fall slightly outside of our initiatives, but that reflect the overall spirit of our mission.

Grantee Eligibility

How do I know if I qualify to submit a grant application?

Currently, our grantmaking process is by invitation only.  If your organization believes it has a project that matches the areas of focus for the Aware & Prepare Initiative or the School Food Initiative, a Letter of Inquiry per the instructions on the Granting section, can be submitted.  Once a Letter of Inquiry is reviewed, and if it is approved, then the applicant is notified to submit a full Grant Application.  For technical assistance please email Rachel@Orfalea.org.

Letters of Inquiry

My organization has two different programs we’d like to request funding for with the Aware & Prepare Initiative. May we submit more than one Letter of Inquiry? Will a separate application be required for each?

There is no need to submit more than one Letter of Inquiry as long as it is made clear that there are requests for two different programs. If approved, we will let you know whether each project requires a separate application. It is important that any organization submitting applications for more than one project (usually larger organizations) make a careful determination that the projects are indeed separate. Two elements of one undertaking, for example, funds for emergency preparedness public education and outreach and funds for disaster kits, would be considered the same project.

The Online Application and Evaluation Reports

How will we know that you received our electronic application? Should we send you a print-out of the completed application form, just to be sure?

A message will appear on-screen at the end of your application session telling you that your application has been successfully submitted. You will also receive a confirmation email from the database administrator once it has been downloaded by the Foundation. Sending a hard copy of the application is not necessary. You may want to keep a print out for your own records. We will contact you if we need further information.

Santa Barbara Foundation

What is the relationship between the Orfalea Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation?

The Orfalea Family Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that reflects the personal interest areas of the Orfalea family. The Orfalea Fund is a non-profit public benefit corporation and a supporting organization of the Santa Barbara Foundation, a community foundation and publicly supported charity. We refer to them collectively as the Orfalea Foundation.  Our granting process is initiated by invitation only, and upon receipt of a Letter of Inquiry or Grant Application, the application is directed to the appropriate entity. The Orfalea Foundation has had a multi-year relationship with the Santa Barbara Foundation, and annually makes a contribution toward their competitive Strategy Grants, Express Grants, and Non-profit Excellence.  This collaboration has produced a greater return per philanthropic dollar and reduces work for agencies that have sought support from both foundations.  For more information on this partnership, please visit our Santa Barbara Foundation Partnership page