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Santa Cruz Community Ventures

Organization Mission

Ventures builds compassionate and equitable local economies that contribute to the well-being of our communities.

Ventures partners with rural Latino working-class families in California’s Central Coast to implement transformational programs that activate and strengthen their economic and political power. Together, we work toward a shared, prosperous economic future where zip code, race, gender, or immigration status do not dictate income or wealth.

The Big Idea 2022:
Semillitas “Small Seeds” Milestones Program

Semillitas (small seeds in Spanish) provides all County newborns their own college savings accounts, and has seeded 2,000+ accounts with an investment of up to $50. Children with college saving accounts are 3 times more likely to go to college and 4 times more likely to graduate.

Our Semillitas Milestones Program provides working-class families additional contributions to a child’s account if parents keep up with health, dental and educational workshops. The goal is to help secure up to $500 for their child’s savings by kindergarten.

A sample milestone is taking the child to Dientes for a first dental check-up when the child turns one (earns a $50 deposit in the savings account). The milestones are determined in collaboration with a cross-section of County leaders and are aligned with our community’s health and educational goals.

You're going to college, kid.

A new mother to her baby during a Ventures workshop

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.