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Coastal Watershed Council

If you’ve attended an arts event, adopted a pet or even just walked on a clean beach, you’ve very likely encountered the work of a local nonprofit. We often don’t see all the things they do for us, but one thing is certain: Santa Cruz County wouldn’t be the same without them.

Santa Cruz Gives is our new holiday fundraising program, based on a model that’s been successful in other communities. Our committee selected 30 local nonprofits from dozens of applicants, who each proposed a special project for this campaign. We created a platform online at to make it easy for you to browse and contribute to the project of your choice, along with a leaderboard to track your favorite nonprofits as donations tick up in real time.

We’ve provided a rundown of all of this year’s nonprofits—and their projects—here to get you started. Hopefully you’ll be as inspired as we are by the innovative thinkers behind these projects, and the important work they hope to do in our community, with your help. The Santa Cruz Gives campaign runs through Dec. 31.

Santa Cruz Gives is presented by Good Times in partnership with the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and the support of Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Santa Cruz County Bank.

Visit the Santa Cruz Gives website for a guide to the nonprofits taking part in this year’s Santa Cruz Gives campaign and to donate.

Pictured: Coastal Watershed Council.