Photo by Bert Forbes Photo by Bert Forbes Photo by Bert Forbes Photo by Bert Forbes Photo by Bert Forbes


We work to enhance the quality of life of all residents of San Luis Obispo County, California by focusing on the needs of the residents. We do this by supporting local nonprofits; helping people donate money strategically; and building endowments for future generations of San Luis Obispo County residents.

Through the vision and guidance of the original founders in 1998, The Community Foundation has raised the impact of charitable giving to new heights in the local community. Our endowment has grown to more than $60 million, we have given grants totaling more than $30 million to local nonprofits in our communities, and awarded more than 850 scholarships to local deserving students, worth more than $1.8 million.

Our programs and services help to fill gaps between the programs of local non-profits, businesses, and government agencies. Some of our current programs help youth make positive choices and stay away from gang life; foster literacy skills in children of low-income families; and help coordinate services available to homeless people in the Five Cities region.

We have created a supporting organization and another service to help donors support the emerging needs in our communities; the Real Estate Foundation facilitates the sale of donated real estate to charities designated by the donor, and Charitable Gift Annuities enable donors to establish a legacy with as little as $10,000.

Our services are personal and powerful. It’s never too late to begin your charitable giving plans…contact us…we can help! 

How you can work through us

The Community Foundation can help you fulfill your charitable giving goals:

  • You can help us expand our efforts to address your issues of concern throughout the county by supporting our Leadership Fund
  • You can invest in current and future generations through our Community Needs Fund
  • You can focus on a particular area or cause by donating to an existing, or establishing your own, Field of Interest Fund, such as a scholarship fund
  • You can recommend specific grants to support local nonprofits through a Donor Advised Fund
  • You can discover alternatives to the expense and time of starting your own private foundation.

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County serves the entire San Luis Obispo County. 

We administer more than 300 charitable funds established by local donors. 

These funds enable us to provide grants and services to nonprofit organizations, and scholarships to our County’s deserving students. 

As a community foundation, we:

  • are a tax-exempt public charity with the goal of improving the quality of life in our area
  • connect donors to the causes that matter most to them, now and forever
  • build stronger communities by meeting the critical needs of nonprofits and supporting students through grants and scholarships
  • increase community impact by pooling or coordinating resources from our permanent and donor advised funds
  • take a leadership role in developing special initiatives to explore and tackle critical community issues
  • are governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time and talent
  • are managed by professional staff with knowledge of our community's needs, and expertise in fund management, philanthropy, estate planning and grant making

Recognized for Excellence

A program designed to provide quality assurance has recognized The Community Foundation with the distinction of meeting the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for:

  • operational quality
  • integrity
  • accountability

Being recognized by the Community Foundations National Standards Board means that The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County has a demonstrated commitment to meeting the highest standards for our grantmaking and operations.

Together, all donors actively improve the quality of life for all residents of San Luis Obispo County.

Please contact us to find out how we can work with you to make our community better.

Find a Grant

Upcoming Events