Frequently Asked Questions

Creation of the Foundation


Q.     When and why was the Foundation established?

A.     The concept of the Foundation was introduced by John Doordan during his presidency of the Santa Barbara Club (2011-2015).  Because the Club owns and operates a very old building (1904), it finds itself continually facing maintenance, repair, and restoration needs.  Club members had expressed a desire for a tax-advantaged method of funding capital improvements to the Club’s clubhouse and preserving this architectural gem.  Mr. Doordan undertook research into models of separate fund-raising foundations established by other historical private social clubs throughout the country and recommended an approach to the Club Board of Directors.  In late 2014 the Board retained special legal counsel (Adler & Colvin in San Francisco) to assist in setting up the Foundation and making application to the IRS for tax-exempt status as a charitable entity.  The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the California Secretary of State on February 13, 2015, establishing the Foundation as a California non-profit public benefit corporation, and on September 24, 2015 the IRS determined that the Foundation is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and may receive tax-advantaged donations.

Q.     What are the official stated mission and purpose of the Foundation?

A.     The Santa Barbara Club Preservation Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation organized under California law to engage in charitable and educational activities within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Specifically, its purposes include educating and informing the public by acquiring, restoring, preserving, and maintaining historically and/or architecturally significant buildings and structures in and around Santa Barbara County, including the historic clubhouse and surrounding structures of the Santa Barbara Club.  The Foundation’s Board of Trustees has set as its highest priority ensuring the long-term preservation of the Club’s historic structures while also fulfilling the Foundation’s community-wide mission.

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Governance and Management


Q.     Has the formation of the Foundation changed anything about the Santa Barbara Club itself?

A.     No, absolutely nothing is changed about the Club.  The Santa Barbara Club remains a separate legal entity – a private social club that owns the clubhouse and continues to operate as before with its own Board of Directors and officers.

Q.     Who are the current Trustees and officers of the Foundation?

A:     John Doordan, President; Joanne Schoenfeld, Secretary; Addison Thompson, Treasurer; Edward Birch, Trustee; David Catalfimo, Trustee; Bill Ringer, Trustee; Nancy Robins, Trustee

Q.     Is the Foundation’s Board of Trustees controlled by the Club’s Board?

A.     The Foundation’s Board functions entirely independently of the Santa Barbara Club’s Board of Directors and has a fiduciary duty to the Foundation.   The Foundation’s Bylaws do not require that Foundation Board members be Club members.  However, the Club’s Board of Directors is the official “Designator” for appointing the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Q.     Who decides what projects receive funding from the Foundation?

A.     The Foundation’s Board of Trustees, by majority vote.

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Relationship Between Club and Foundation Funding


Q.     How is Foundation funding related to the Club’s Third Century Fund?

A.     The Third Century Fund predates the creation of the Foundation as the Santa Barbara Club’s method of receiving donations and gifts of money or “in kind” gifts directly to the Club for capital improvements.  Such gifts are not tax advantaged to the donor.  The Third Century Fund will continue to serve its purpose because the Club needs capital funds for improvements and major repairs that will not be fundable by the Foundation.

Q.     Now that the Foundation exists, will Club assessments to members for capital improvements qualify as tax deductible?

A.     No.  Club assessments are imposed on members of the Club by the Club Board and are entirely independent of the Foundation.

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Projects to be Funded by the Foundation


Q.     Which of these parts of the Club’s premises qualify for Foundation funding: exterior, roof, foundation, basic infrastructure, outbuilding, garden & garden wall, parking lot?

A.     Only those portions of the Club structures that are historically significant qualify.  In addition, the Foundation cannot fund projects where there is no intent to educate the public through public viewing of the preserved structures.

Q.     When the City’s Historic Landmarks Commission designated the Club as a city landmark, what exactly was designated by HLC? Is that designation a limitation now?

A.     The Historic Landmarks Commission designated the exterior portions of the building on the Chapala Street and Figueroa Street elevations as well as the historic wall structures along the Figueroa frontage and portions of the Club Room exterior and the Remington Room exterior.  The Club structures and site were subject to HLC review well before designation since the Club’s premises are within Santa Barbara’s “El Pueblo Viejo” District.  Therefore designation as a local historic landmark does not limit the Club in any new way.

Q.     Are there any recent projects of the Club that would have qualified for Foundation funding if it had been available?

A.     Yes.  Long-term projects like exterior window replacement, roof repair, exterior paint (when needed), foundation repair (when needed), structural improvements, restoration, major infrastructure improvements, etc. would qualify for funding if it is available.  Projects like the main dining room, most of the men’s room remodel, main dining room chairs, and the interior of the Remington Room would not have qualified because they are interior, non-structural and not available for public viewing.  

Q.     Will the Foundation support non-structural but preservation-oriented programs, such as scholarships, research studies, or internships?

A.     It is possible that the Foundation will have sufficient funds to support projects and grants that enhance scholarship and education related to historic preservation of architecturally significant sites in our immediate community.  Examples may include research on people, professions, and institutions in Santa Barbara.  These have indirect benefit to the Club because the Club’s history is integral to the history of the larger community.  Club members have founded many local museums and built much of today’s city.

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Donation Procedures and Limitations


Q.     How can donations be made to the Foundation and in what form?

A.     Donations can be accepted in cash and in the form of appreciated securities.  Please visit the “Contributions” tab on the Foundation’s website for more details.  All such donations are tax deductible depending on the donor’s situation.  Bequests via trusts and wills also qualify for tax-favored treatment in your estate planning.

Q.     May donations be earmarked to specific projects?

A.     No.  The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting its priorities and funding the projects it considers meritorious according to criteria consistent with the Foundation’s mission.  From time to time the Board may announce its selection of projects for priority funding, which may aid potential contributors in making contribution decisions, but the Board always retains full discretion to use contributions in the manner that best serves the Foundation’s goals.  All awards of funding will be published on the Foundation’s website.


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