PLATINUM2024

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Naturally Different

Santa Barbara, CA   |  www.sbnature.org

Mission

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest and most important cultural institutions on the West Coast. Founded in 1916, the Museum serves the southern and central coast of California, including the counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura. Regionally, nationally, and internationally, the Museum is known for its extensive collections, research accomplishments, educational programs, and exhibits enjoyed by adults and children alike. Through the years, the Museum has grown steadily, establishing major collections in anthropology, earth sciences, and zoology, producing scientific works, and offering life-long learning opportunities to school children and adults. Today, we have over 5,700 members and each year we welcome more than 200,000 visitors from around the world to the Museum’s Mission Canyon campus and Sea Center. The Museum operates on a budget of $5.3 million and maintains a staff of approximately 50 full-time and 50 part-time professionals, along with over 800 volunteers ranging from age from 10 to 95.

Ruling year info

1936

President & CEO

Luke J. Swetland

Main address

2559 Puesta del Sol

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-1643378

NTEE code info

Natural History, Natural Science Museums (A56)

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As a repository of natural history, we tell the stories of the first people to inhabit this land, their culture, and their relationship with the natural environment. We hold in our collection the earliest evidence of humans in North America, alongside evidence of mankind's impact on our planet. As part of a society increasingly disconnected from nature, we must forge reconnections and transform citizens into advocates for nature and wildlife. In connecting our visitors with nature, we stand at a unique pivot point, one that looks to our past to learn, to remember, and to understand while also looking to our future in an attempt to preserve, to protect, and to inspire. Through our educational programs, we have the power to share our heritage, to learn from our past, and to shape the attitudes of the future using that knowledge.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Quasars to Sea Stars program

The Museum offers many educational programs for students of all ages; however, is particularly well-regarded for its Quasars to Sea Stars program, a science-based education and work program for local teens.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who visit the Museum through School and Teacher Services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The mission of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world.

The spirit of discovery drives our research, exhibits, and educational programs. We encourage involvement by making science fun and accessible and inspiring our audiences to explore the vast mysteries of nature. We embrace sustainability as a critical element in all we do. We recognize that society's long term success requires an understanding and respect for nature's limits, and we strive to lead by example, illuminating the connections between research, policy and personal responsibility. We pursue a broad web of relationships and partnerships to facilitate communication and mutual understanding, leveraging our resources and technology to bring the Museum into the lives of the widest possible range of professional and community groups. Despite all of the Museum's wonderful galleries, truly, our most powerful exhibit is our natural setting and the authentic immersion experience that we can provide children and families. Through our outdoor education programs the Museum strives to reconnect visitors with nature by empowering them to explore the incredible natural world around them.

Founded in 1916, the Museum is known for its extensive collections, research accomplishments, educational programs, and exhibits enjoyed by adults and children alike. Throughout the years, the Museum has grown steadily, establishing major collections in anthropology, earth sciences, and zoology, producing scientific works, and offering life-long learning opportunities to schoolchildren and adults. Unlike other organizations, the Museum and Sea Center provide school groups and visitors of ages with opportunities to have a direct and meaningful engagement with nature. Each of our facilities provides a unique immersion experience with the natural world. The Mission Creek campus is situated along Mission Creek and includes 5 acres of urban oak woodland. The Sea Center quite literally hovers above the ocean. Visitors not only have an opportunity to observe and touch living creatures but can utilize oceanographic research equipment such as an Ekman Grab to reach down to the ocean floor and bring up samples of sand, rock, shells and ocean life to examine. While we work closely with many institutions to provide education and cultural experiences, the Museum alone has the unique setting, the depth of expertise, vast collections, and a long history in the community to inform and propel visitors to have a direct and meaningful engagement with nature.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest and most important institutions on the West Coast. Founded in 1916, the Museum is known for its extensive collections, research accomplishments, educational programs, and exhibits enjoyed by adults and children alike. Throughout the years, the Museum has grown steadily, establishing major collections in anthropology, earth sciences, and zoology, producing scientific works, and offering life-long learning opportunities to schoolchildren and adults.
The Museum serves as a place to support children with a passion for learning about nature, parents with responsibility for nurturing and expanding their children's interests, and scientists and academics contributing through research and preservation on a global scale. By making nature and science active, fun, and accessible, the Museum creates opportunities for shared understanding of the world around us.

Financials

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Board of directors
as of 04/24/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tory (Salvatore) Milazzo

Sharon Bradford

Melissa Fassett

Barbara Holzman

Tim Kochis

Hank Mitchel

Sarah Sheshunoff

Lotus Vermeer

John Demourkas

Barbara Evans Kinnear

Julie Heider-Gray

Amanda Lee

Hiroko Benko

Kendra Epley

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/01/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.