How You Can Help

As a private nonprofit organization, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County relies on the good will of the community it serves. Your tax-deductible charitable donations are appreciated.

Every dollar helps us serve more people and goes toward direct client services, and helps us ensure that access to justice is available to all residents of Santa Barbara County. Our mission is to ensure that everyone, regardless of income, has equal and meaningful access to the civil justice system. We work to accomplish this through the provision of free, high-quality legal services in critical civil matters to Santa Barbara County residents living at or below the poverty level, those facing language or disability barriers, seniors and others living on fixed incomes such as Social Security, and victims of domestic violence and elder abuse.

Ways to donate:

  • Over the phone
  • By mail
  • In person at any of our six locations
  • By check (please make checks payable to Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County) and mail them to:Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
    301 E. Canon Perdido Street
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • By credit card, use the feature below or contact Trisha Geyer at 805-963-6754 ext. 101.


For more information on donating to Legal Aid, please contact:

Molora Vadnais
805-963-6754 ext. 103


Donate Now


Monthly Contribution

Donate Equipment

The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is currently requesting the items listed below. Please contact Molora Vadnais, Interim Managing Director if you are interested in donating an item from our Wish List. Your donation may qualify as a tax deduction.

Our Wish List

  • Sturdy, gently used metal or wooden patio furniture


Other Ways to Contribute

Use GoodSearch as your search engine

GoodSearchStart using GoodSearch today for all of your internet searches, and help raise much needed funds for the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County! And since GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo, you will get proven, high-quality search results. Each completed search raises approximately $0.01 for us! That might not seem like much but if 1,000 Legal Aid supporters searched twice a day, we would receive an estimated $7,300 per year to help fund our programs that provide seniors, low-income residents and victims of Domestic Violence access to our Civil Justice System and help secure safe housing.

You can keep track of our estimated earnings by clicking on “Amount Raised” once you designate The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County as your organization of choice. The more people who use the site, the more money we’ll earn, so please spread the word!

GoodSearch also has a toolbar you can download so that you can search right from the top of your browser.

Purchase home or office water delivery from Pure Water Systems

Pure Water SystemsPure Water Systems will donate $25 to the Legal Aid Foundation each time a Legal Aid supporter signs up or transfers their current service to Pure Water System/Matillja Bottled Water.

When ordering or transferring services, ask for Lori Zahn and let her know you were referred by The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County:

Lori Zahn
Pure Water Systems
1026 Santa Barbara Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-3408

Amazon Smile

If you shop at Amazon you can support Legal Aid.  AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Legal Aid every time you shop, at no cost to you.  To sign up, go to and register your Amazon account.  Choose Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County as your favorite charity.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Legal Aid.  You pay nothing extra.


Cy Pres Awards

Cy pres are funds in class action cases (and sometimes other types of proceedings like probate matters) that, for any number of reasons, cannot be distributed to the class members or beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Typically, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes, and Legal Aid and the many organizations it supports are appropriate beneficiaries.

The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County is an ideal place to direct cy pres awards. Our mission is to build a better justice system for all Californians. Through our grant and scholarship programs, we:

  • Champion full and equal access to the justice system
  • Educate the public about its rights and responsibilities under the law
  • Provide outreach to seniors and victims of domestic violence
  • Protect low-income people from abuse, discrimination and homelessness
  • Assist with unmet needs, such as family law and consumer debt

In 2011, Legal Aid helped 227 domestic violence victims; 236 seniors; 299 people with mental or physical disabilities. We also helped 4,176 represent themselves and understand the judicial process.

Since 1959 Legal Aid has provided free legal assistance in critical civil matters. Our services range from the provision of legal information and advice to assistance with the preparation of legal documents and representation in court proceedings. Because of resource limitations, our practice is primarily directed at assisting persons in crisis. We have offices in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc.

  • Legal Aid’s mission. Our mission is to ensure equal and meaningful access to the civil justice system to Santa Barbara county residents living at or below the poverty level, those facing language or disability barriers, seniors and others living on fixed incomes such as Social Security, and victims of domestic violence and elder abuse.
  • Legal Aid’s flexibility. Legal Aid has the flexibility of using a cy pres award to expand our domestic violence programs or to target the funds towards specific access to justice projects. We welcome cy pres awards that are not designated for specific projects or organizations but would support the full complement of Legal Aid’s programs.
  • Legal Aid’s oversight capabilities. Because Legal Aid provides ongoing oversight of the projects it funds, the parties can be confident that cy pres funds will be used in the manner contemplated by the court.
  • Legal Aid’s service to the courts. Legal Aid is relatively unique in that it funds projects of California courts, including Legal Resource Centers that are critical to the fair and efficient administration of justice.

You Can Make a Real Difference to Improve Our Justice System

Thanks to our many supporters, Legal Aid is making a real impact in its efforts to increase access to justice.

Cy pres awards have proven to be one of the best means available to help close this gap, bolstering existing legal aid, legal resource centers and providing many new access to justice initiatives.

For more information about how you can help build a better justice system by directing a cy pres award to the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara, contact Molora Vadnais at 805.963.6754


Champions of Justice

One campaign, two ways to give:

  • Donate on a multi-year basis to ensure our continued ability to serve our community. The charge of the Champions of Justice is to secure Equal Access to Justice for All. With variable levels of giving, there is ample opportunity to help support our cause in fighting domestic violence, elder abuse, landlord/tenant issues, and assisting physically and/or mentally disabled clients.
  • Champions of Justice members make a 3-5 year commitment of $1,000 or more per year.

Patrons of Justice Society

  • Donate on a monthly basis to ensure our attorneys can focus on the most important task of serving the most vulnerable and under-served residents of our county. The direct beneficiaries of Patrons for Justice Society are vulnerable and exploited individuals, families and veterans, women and children of domestic violence abuse, senior citizens, and families trying to find stability. We thank you Patrons for your continued support for the pursuit for Justice for All in Santa Barbara County.
  • Patrons of Justice members make a monthly commitment of any amount up to $80 per year which is automatically deducted from a credit card on file with Legal Aid on the 1st, 15th or 30th of the month.

For information about how to become a Champion or Patron, please contact Molora Vadnais at


Program Donors

Champions of Justice

Patrons of Justice Society

  • $51–$100/month
    • Maria Salido Novatt
    • Jane Wierda, Law Office of Jane L. Wierda
  • $26–$50/month
    • Naomi Dewey
    • Lynn Goebel, Law Office of Lynn E. Goebel
    • Ellen Goldman
    • Sayre MacNeil
    • Barbara Tzur, Brylen Technologies
    • Harvey Wolf
  • $15–$25/month
    • Marcus Bird, Hollister and Brace
    • Joan Ariel & Ellen Broidy
    • Marilyn Gilbert
    • Saji Gunawardane, Law Office of Saji Gunawardane
    • Arno Jaffe
    • Jody Kaufman, Stout & Kaufman
    • Louise LaMothe
    • Pauline Maxwell
    • Bruce McRoy, Reicker Pfau Pyle & McRoy LLP
    • James Shipley
    • Amy Steinfeld, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
    • Gail Rappaport, Mediation Center