United Way Celebrates Local Philanthropic Community with Reception and Awards

United Way of Santa Barbara County celebrates history of partnership with members of the organization’s Alexis de Tocqueville and Leadership giving circles. 

Santa Barbara, CA, May 20, 2024:  United Way of Santa Barbara County hosted local philanthropists and community members to celebrate the organization’s supporters in the Alexis de Tocqueville ($10,000+) and Leadership ($1,000) giving circles. The event was sponsored by City National Bank and Carolwood Estates and held at the El Encanto hotel in Santa Barbara on May 8, 2024.

In brief remarks to the group, Steve Ortiz, President and CEO of United Way stated, “As we move into the next century of service, prepared and equipped for continued growth and innovation for our organization, we are taking care to preserve our commitment to and gratitude for the supporters who are a key part of the past, present, and future of United Way. We are thankful for your dedicated support and hope that you can feel its direct impact on each child, individual, and family who comes to this organization in their time of need.”

The organization is undergoing significant diversification in its revenue and fundraising, with new, contracted revenue secured in partnership with local school districts and community partners to advance work in academic achievement and financial empowerment. The continued support of its Alexis de Tocqueville Society and Leadership giving circles has provided the organization a reliable foundation for this transformative era in the organization’s operations and expansion to serve thousands of local children and families in the community.

The program also included personal remarks from a local mother who recently benefitted from United Way’s newest program, the Resiliency Grants, which provides flexible funding to support needs that impact long-term financial resiliency like rental and utility assistance, medical bills, and car repairs. “United Way’s Resiliency Grant program filled a gap at an important time in our life. United Way was there to help me bridge the financial gap that the surgery left and supported my family when and where we needed it most.”

The event also acknowledged three of the organization’s supporters in each of the giving circles. Presented by United Way’s Board Chair, Cliff Lundberg, the Time, Talent, and Treasure award was given to Dr. John and Sue Burk, locals of Santa Barbara who have supported United Way for more than 20 years. The couple has actively participated and engaged in various initiatives through United Way as well as other community organizations working to advance youth opportunity and academic achievement.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy honored Ms. Jackie Inskeep, a local philanthropist whose experience as an elementary school educator motivated nearly 40 years of contributions to the work of United Way both in her home state of Oregon and in Santa Barbara County. Ms. Inskeep’s dedicated support was key to the establishment and development of multiple programs at United Way in early learning and education.

United Way leadership expressed appreciation to all attendees for their dedicated support and looks forward to continued partnerships in furthering the organization’s mission and vision of more resilient communities.


About United Way of Santa Barbara County

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. UWSBC’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org.

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