Giving Tuesday is Here and We’ve Got Your Giving List

By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 30, 2021

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. I love how the holiday allows us to reflect and give gratitude before we launch into the rest of the end-of-year holidays. Oh, and I love the food.

This year I find Thanksgiving especially poignant. For those not felled by COVID, we’re coming up on the two-year anniversary of living with that pandemic. Divisions in our country have been exacerbated by the coronavirus; eviction moratoriums came down hard on those precariously perched while one entrepreneur is well on his way to becoming Earth’s first trillionaire. All by capitalizing on the human addiction to instant gratification. Soon there will be a drone outside my door delivering a box of chocolates I just thought about. 

Which is, once again, why I’m glad I live here. Santa Barbara has always been a massively philanthropic place with more vital not-for-profits per capita than, I believe, anywhere else in the world. A community where you don’t have to look far to find people who are doing good – it’s harder to find people who are not. 

Our friends and neighbors constantly step up and put themselves out there to work at foundations, to work at nonprofits, to volunteer to help others, to donate money… to serve on boards.

Last week, we sent out our second volume of The Giving List Santa Barbara. The book, and its corresponding website (, tell the stories of a curated list of 70 vital nonprofits in Santa Barbara County. It goes without saying that there are important and vital nonprofits in Santa Barbara that are not included in this year’s book. But as a printed publication, we have limited pages to tell these important stories. We hope that you will find this year’s book informative, inspirational, and motivating.

Whatever areas of work speak most deeply to you, whether it’s child welfare, education, social equity, senior care, the environment, the arts, mental health, cancer research, health care… there’s a local organization out there that needs your support – in whatever way you can give – be that with your talent, treasure, or your time.

Recently I decided to become more familiar with our town’s namesake, Saint Barbara. Turns out she was the patron saint of unstable explosives! Moreover, Saint Barbara was locked in a tower by her dad (where he was presumably saving her for marriage), so she has also gained renown as a patron saint of towers, of building, and of engineering. With Santa Barbara’s many historic and beautiful towers she seemed a fitting patron saint for this town. But also, an ironic one. Because so many of our patrons do NOT live in a tower – they go out, they show up, and they do the work. I am constantly inspired by and grateful for these local saints.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 30, is Giving Tuesday. It is touted as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” We hope you will give generously and that our Giving List sheds light on some incredible people and worthwhile organizations that perhaps you did not already know about.

Enjoy your holiday!


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