We bring together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things.
Years of service: 38
Their story: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County is a center for giving where people contribute to their passion for today’s issues, support our community’s future, and benefit causes beyond Santa Cruz County. In 1982, floods and mudslides devastated the county. People looking to help were searching for a central organization to send donations to — one that would support the long-term recovery efforts. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County was formed to meet that need. Since then, the foundation and its donors have distributed more than $120 million in grants to nonprofits to meet local needs. The foundation also offers guidance for community members looking to maximize the impact of their giving. Expertise on tax-smart giving solutions, gift planning, and other options helps people reach financial charitable goals. At its core, the foundation aims to bring together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things — working to help all Santa Cruz County thrive, now and in the future.
Fundraising focus: This grant-making public charity, born nearly 40 years ago in the wake of floods and mudslides, recently turned its attention to helping those affected by this summer’s devastating fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Community Foundation’s Fire Response Fund funnels money to nonprofits that supply aid for both short-term relief and the longer-range recovery process in the San Lorenzo Valley and North Coast. Another new fund has been set up to give grants to community-based groups on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic in Santa Cruz County.
Susan continues her lifelong commitment to work that improves lives and strengthens communities. Susan began leading the Foundation in October 2017 and brought experience leading programs that make life measurably better for those that they serve. Her financial expertise and her love of this community make her work as the Foundation’s CEO a “dream job” for her.