Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $1.2 Million to Local Nonprofits at Annual Community Dividends Event

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Source: Montecito Bank and Trust

 Montecito Bank & Trust kicked off the holiday season on Monday November 22, 2021, as it has for the last 19 years, with the special annual tradition of the Community Dividends awards luncheon. Through this unique giving program, the Bank has granted more than $19 million to local Santa Barbara and Ventura County nonprofit organizations. The Community Dividends $1.2 million investment in the nonprofit community accounts for the majority of the Bank’s annual total investment nonprofit giving of $1.5 million.

Chairman & CEO, Janet Garufis, welcomed 179 nonprofit leaders from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to the Community Dividends luncheon at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachside Resort. She expressed gratitude for the work nonprofit organizations do to lift up communities even when it seemed nearly impossible. “Every year we give thanks for you, but this year we are especially grateful for you, for your staff and your boards and for your commitment to your missions. You did make a difference. You are making a difference”

The nonprofit leaders were joined by the Bank’s board and leadership team, in addition to the specially-trained MB&T Associates who dedicated the last 20 months to the MB&T Relief Center and were responsible for issuing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to a vast majority of the nonprofits in the room. It was a celebration of gratitude, perseverance and partnership.

“The lessons of the last 20 months inspire us to keep looking forward to what’s possible. We have learned a lot - about ourselves, our communities and how a business or an organization can adapt at critical moments, reinvent themselves and persevere through change,” said Garufis.

Forty-six years ago Michael Towbes and a small group of local investors started Montecito Bank & Trust because they believed they could deliver exceptional and personalized customer service and fulfill the needs of the local community. When Mr. Towbes became the single shareholder and owner, the vision of investing a meaningful portion of the Bank’s profits back into the community took shape. Three years ago, Montecito Bank & Trust expanded the Community Dividends program to honor the late founder. The Michael Towbes Impact Dividend provides an organization or a couple of organizations with funding for a special program or activity or extend something they had been working on or dreaming about that would create change that is lasting and impactful. The Impact Dividend honors Mr. Towbes and his desire to do more, give more and make an impact. The total amount of the annual Impact Dividend depends on the success of the Bank. Because of the Bank’s significant growth this year, the Michael Towbes Impact Dividend went to two organizations:

  • The Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc. received $100,000 to support its new 3D Printed Affordable Home Project. The project is part of a new Housing Innovations Program to research and demonstrate innovative technologies that reduce the cost of constructing affordable housing and to encourage sustainability through the use of natural, climate resilient and fire-resistant building materials.

  • Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Bridge Clinic received $50,000 to support its collaboration with Cottage Health Systems to provide medical and behavioral health services to patients who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. The SBNC Bridge Clinic will increase access to treatment at a location close to Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Community Dividends and the Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend primarily focus on supporting organizations or programs that serve low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Dividends are awarded to organizations that serve youth and education, social services, medical and health services, and the arts. A list of all 179 nonprofit organizations that received Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends is below.

After last year’s virtual Community Dividends event, nonprofit leaders and MB&T leadership and associates enjoyed the in-person luncheon and networking, sharing of ideas and building stronger bonds within the community all the more!


Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 46th anniversary on March 17, 2021 and operates 11 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village. Montecito Bank & Trust has a history of unwavering corporate philanthropy in the local communities it serves, annually donating $1.5 million dollars and volunteering over 7,500 hours to nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; mortgage loans, consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides comprehensive trust services and full investment management for all branch office markets. The Bank has earned 21 Best Bank awards in the last 9 years, in addition to numerous accolades for Best Mortgage and Best Financial Services Company in Santa Barbara, Best Investment Company in Santa Ynez Valley and the third Best Bank to Work For in the United States (American Banker Magazine).

2021 Community Dividends® Recipient Organizations

  • 2nd Story Associates
  • 911 At Ease International
  • Adelante Charter School
  • AHA! (Attitude. Harmony. Achievement.)
  • Alano Club of Santa Barbara, Inc.
  • Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara
  • Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter
  • Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara
  • Atterdag at Home, Inc.
  • Atterdag Village of Solvang
  • Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley
  • Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara
  • C.A.R.E.4Paws
  • California Lutheran University
  • California Missions Foundation
  • California State University Channel Islands Foundation
  • Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara
  • Carpinteria Children’s Project
  • Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc.
  • Carpinteria Valley Arts Council
  • Casa Del Herrero
  • Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
  • Casa Serena, Inc.
  • Channel Islands YMCA
  • Child Abuse Listening Mediation, Inc. (CALM)
  • Children’s Resource & Referral
  • City Impact, Inc.
  • CommUnify
  • Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara Inc.
  • Community Conscience / Under One Roof
  • Community Environmental Council
  • Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation
  • Congregation B’nai B’rith
  • Cornerstone House of Santa Barbara
  • Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates of Ventura County
  • Crane Country Day School
  • Direct Relief
  • Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County
  • Dream Foundation
  • Easy Lift Transportation
  • El Concilio Family Services
  • Elings Park Foundation
  • Elverhoj Museum of History & Art
  • Ensemble Theatre Company
  • Environmental Defense Center
  • Explore Ecology
  • Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County
  • Fielding Graduate University
  • Food From The Heart
  • Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
  • Fr. Virgil Cordano Center
  • Friends of the Carpinteria Library
  • Friends of the Library of the Santa Ynez Valley, Inc.
  • Friendship Manor Inc.
  • Ganna Walska Lotusland
  • Girls Inc. of Carpinteria
  • Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara
  • Global Parents for Eczema Research
  • Gold Coast Veterans Foundation
  • Goleta Education Foundation
  • Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
  • Goleta Valley Historical Society
  • Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County
  • Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County
  • Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center
  • HELP of Carpinteria
  • Hillside
  • Hinchee Homes
  • Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
  • Hospice of the Conejo
  • Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura
  • Housing Opportunities Made Easier
  • Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
  • Housing Trust Fund Ventura County
  • Independent Living Resource Center, Inc.
  • Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc.
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
  • Kids & Families Together
  • Laguna Blanca School
  • Leading From Within
  • Lobero Theatre Foundation
  • Los Padres Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties
  • Mental Wellness Center
  • Midland School
  • Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project
  • Momentum WORK, Inc.
  • Montecito Family YMCA
  • Mothers’ Helpers
  • MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
  • Music Academy of the West
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Santa Barbara Chapter
  • National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
  • New House Santa Barbara
  • Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • Organic Soup Kitchen
  • Oxnard Performing Arts Center Corporation
  • Pacific Pride Foundation
  • Partners In Housing Solutions, Inc.
  • PathPoint
  • Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation
  • Planned Parenthood California Central Coast
  • Ride On LA
  • Safety Town of Santa Barbara County
  • Sansum Clinic
  • Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc.
  • Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
  • Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
  • Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation
  • Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation
  • Santa Barbara County Education Office
  • Santa Barbara Education Foundation
  • Santa Barbara Foundation
  • Santa Barbara Hillel
  • Santa Barbara Historical Museum
  • Santa Barbara Humane Society
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
  • Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels, Inc.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
  • Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
  • Santa Barbara Partners in Education
  • Santa Barbara Police Activities League
  • Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation
  • Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
  • Santa Barbara Symphony
  • Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation
  • Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
  • Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community
  • Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Inc.
  • Sarah House
  • Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
  • SCORE Santa Barbara
  • Solvang Friendship House
  • Solvang Senior Center
  • St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Ventura County
  • St. Vincent’s Institution
  • Standing Together to End Sexual Assault
  • State Street Ballet
  • Storyteller Children’s Center
  • Students for Eco-Education & Agriculture, Inc.
  • Studio Channel Islands Art Center
  • Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International
  • Teacher’s Fund
  • Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
  • The Arc Foundation of Ventura County
  • The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens
  • The Foundation for Girsh Park
  • The Foundation for Santa Barbara City College
  • The Howard School
  • The Marjorie Luke Theatre
  • The Oxnard College Foundation
  • The Rona Barrett Foundation
  • The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara
  • Tina Hansen McEnroe & Paul V. McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic at UCSB
  • Transition House
  • UCSB Arts & Lectures
  • UCSB Technology Management Program
  • United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County
  • United Way of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
  • United Way of Ventura County, Inc.
  • Unity Shoppe, Inc.
  • Ventura County Civic Alliance
  • Ventura County Community Development Corporation
  • Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation
  • Ventura Land Trust
  • VNA Health Foundation
  • Westmont College
  • Wilderness Youth Project
  • Wildling Museum of Art and Nature
  • Women’s Economic Ventures
  • Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara
  • Youth and Family Services YMCA: Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Center
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SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 29, 2021 08:22 AM
Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $1.2 Million to Local Nonprofits at Annual Community Dividends Event

If you find this figure to be impressive, then just imagine how much profit this "bank" makes to be able to afford to gift such large sums in order to take advantage of a tax deduction to offset their actual earnings? Then ask yourself from how did this small regional bank make so much money? The answer: The Federal Government gifted it to them. These are PPP funds. These are interest carry profits. They are Federal Government backed mortgage profits. These are our dollars, printed with your grandkids future and gifted to a few wealthy, politically connected parasites.

What a country! We take money from the people, gift it to the 1% and then applaud and reward them for giving <1% back to the very people who gifted them the money in the first place...

Alexblue Nov 29, 2021 12:13 PM
Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $1.2 Million to Local Nonprofits at Annual Community Dividends Event

SBO please provide proof that PPP funds which were given to MBT flowed through to charitable giving.

Please provide data on exactly how much money was distributed by MBT through PPP program and exactly how much of that money has NOT been forgiven and exactly how much of that money is now generating interest and exactly who collects and pockets that interest.

Oh, wait, you won't because you have absolutely no idea.

But you're happy to slam a local bank which is giving money to charity.

I've been an MBT customer for some time now and as long as they exist I will never bank with a big bank--their customer service is fantastic, their community involvement is baked in to their DNA, I can't imagine why anyone would bank with a big bank.

MMMMMmmmmkay.

Shasta Guy Nov 29, 2021 10:20 AM
Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $1.2 Million to Local Nonprofits at Annual Community Dividends Event

It’s money not given to themselves as bonuses. It’s money not given to political campaigns. It’s money not going to the bloated federal or state government. Sure, perhaps they could give more, and perhaps any of us could also be more charitable as well. It takes being profitable and having positive cash flow to be able to have extra to give away.

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