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SBF Donor Spotlight: Zohar Ziv

“Why is philanthropy important? For me, the answer is so obvious. Our social system isn’t working for everyone and I believe it is incumbent upon those who care and can to act in ways that improve the lives of others,’” said Santa Barbara Foundation donor Zohar Ziv.

For people like Ziv, a Santa Barbara resident with over 25 years of executive management experience across a diverse set of business environments, including serving as the former Chief Operating Officer of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, giving back is a serious business. Now retired and enjoying the good life here in Santa Barbara with his wife, children and grandchildren, he’s spending his time and energy on three priorities.

“Number one is my family, then the nonprofit side, and third is the for-profit side,” said Ziv. “Giving money is a serious job. That’s why I choose to give money to the Santa Barbara Foundation, especially now, when there is such a great need due to the Coronavirus and there are so many options for organizations to support. I view the Foundation as the appropriate institution in the community to give to because they know where the biggest needs are.”

Ziv first started coming to Santa Barbara decades ago on weekend visits to his in-laws. Later, he began splitting his time between Santa Barbara and his home in Malibu after joining Deckers in 2006, initially as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Ziv moved here full time 8 years ago and feels incredibly fortunate to have laid down roots in Santa Barbara. He became acquainted with the Santa Barbara Foundation through his work with Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara.

When asked why he felt inspired to give back to our community, Ziv replied, “We should always remember how lucky we are and share it with others.” Ziv came to the United States with literally nothing more than a backpack in 1976. Though he was born and raised in Israel, his parents are originally from Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Ziv adds, “I was lucky enough in my life to reach personal and professional fulfillment, and I think it’s important for us to recognize our good fortune and to pay it forward, pay it back, and help people when we can.”


The Santa Barbara Foundation thanks Zohar Ziv for his continued support of our community. If you are a donor or fundholder with the Santa Barbara Foundation and would like to share what inspires you to give back, please reach out to Jordan Killebrew, Director of Communications, at