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It has come to our attention that there may be some confusion about qualifications for membership in the Women's Fund. So, let's set the record straight.

1. You must be invited to join. False!

The Women’s Fund is open to every woman. There are absolutely no restrictions.

2. Membership in the Women’s Fund costs $2,500 annually. False!

It is up to you to decide how much to donate. There are two ways to join:

  • Become an Individual Member by contributing $2,500 or more in a calendar year. You will receive one vote for every $2,500 contribution you make, up to a limit of four votes.
  • ​Become a Group Member by joining with other women who TOGETHER contribute $2,500 or more in a calendar year. Each group receives one vote for every $2,500 contribution the group makes. There is no limit to the size of a group or how much a woman can contribute.

3. Membership requires hours and hours of volunteer work. False!

You can do as much or as little as you like—whatever fits your busy schedule. We don’t hold fundraisers; we are a volunteer-driven, collective donor group, which enables us to pool our charitable resources to fund nonprofit agencies we elect to support within each calendar year. The benefit is our dollars work together to support local nonprofits that serve women, children and families in the Santa Barbara area.

​4. Members must attend lots of meetings. False!

There are two organized meetings per year—and they are optional.

  • A spring reception that celebrates the announcement of new grantees.
  • ​A fall site visit featuring the nonprofits that received grants that year.

While these meetings are not mandatory, they are a meaningful way to connect with the important work of the Women’s Fund. In between these meetings, we keep you informed via our e-newsletter, so when it is time for you to vote for our new grantees in the spring, you have all the information you need to make your choices.

5. You must be over 50 years of age to join. False!

More young professional women and moms-at-home are joining the Women’s Fund.  We can actually pair you with a group of women who are of similar age, if you would like. You can also start your own group. Our Membership Committee is happy to help, and it’s easy, just click here to contact them.

6. You need to be a resident of Santa Barbara or Montecito. False!

You can live anywhere. Many members live out of town, but they stay connected to the Women’s Fund and a key part of our mission—to build a large community of educated, strategic givers who are inspired to make lasting change in our community through the impact of collective giving.

7. You may only belong to one group. False!

We have many members who belong to a group and also support the Women’s Fund as individual members. And some enjoy TWO or even more group memberships. They like the social aspect of groups and may get together outside of the voting process to have coffee or a potluck dinner. That’s another great benefit of the Women’s Fund—if you want, you can make lots of friends.

We hoped you enjoyed our seven myth-busting facts. If you have more questions about the Women's Fund, read our FAQs or contact our Membership Committee.


It's Time to Renew Our Memberships for 2016

And when we do, we hope we will each:

⇒ Consider increasing our 2016 contribution

⇒ Invite others to join the Women's Fund

If you attended our Presentation of Grants reception in April, you know that we celebrated donating $470,000 to seven new grantees. But as our co-chair Nancy Harter said at the end, the comment she hears most often is “Wouldn’t it be great if we could fund all of the agencies on the ballot—or at least one more?”

So that’s what we’re asking our members to help us do this year. Give a little more or invite friends to become new members, so we can do more...and reach more...with our 2016-17 grants.

Specifically, we’re asking you to:

  1. Please renew your 2016 membership now. To renew, just click here.
  2. Please give a little more. The Women’s Fund leadership is leading by example—and each is increasing her contribution by an amount that is affordable for her. Our strength is in our ability to work together and contribute to the greater needs in our community. To increase the size of your annual contribution, please go to our website and click on Join/Renew.
  3. Please invite a friend or family member to join. Several members have encouraged their daughters and granddaughters to get involved—some have even given a Women’s Fund membership as a gift. It’s an easy way for girls and young women to learn about charitable giving and the value of women working together—and all without interrupting their busy lives. If you know someone who might be interested in joining, please contact membership. They are more than happy to help.

Who would you ask to join? A friend? A daughter? A niece? A colleague at work? The choices are unlimited and they are yours!


Get to Know...Angels Among Us

Pictured above at the April Presentation of Grants reception are: Bettie Weiss, Charmaine Rogers, Kathy Nobis, Vicky Lorelli, Ellen Rauch, Shareen Khatapoush, Janet Booth, Marianne Wetzel (behind Janet), Kim Holmquist and Theresa Harris. Other members are Christine Hoehner, Robin Riblet, Dana Hoffenberg, Eden Slone, Betsy Teeter and Karen MacDonald.

We welcome our newest Women's Fund membership group. To get to know them better, we spoke to Group Captain Marianne Wetzel:

Why did you join the Women’s Fund? I like the concept of giving to the community in which I live, and I thought the idea of pooling our money was ingenious. It really allows us to make a significant impact to help so many organizations within our community.

What inspired you to create your group? I first joined the Women’s Fund in May 2015, when I became a member of a group with over 40 members. Later that year, I had an epiphany that I could create my own group and decided to gather 10 or 11 women to join me. In less than six months, we totaled 16 members and hope to reach 20 by December.

What is the one thing you would like people to know about your group? Our group is very diverse in our ages, backgrounds, and current lifestyles. We range from women in their 20s to women who are now retired, and everything in-between. Some have lived in Santa Barbara for years, and others are fairly new to the community. It makes for some good discussions and different perspectives.

What are the qualities that make you a good group captain? I like to rally people and get them interested in things. I try to encourage our members to share their thoughts and perspectives.

Anything else you would like us to know about Angels Among Us? All 16 of us are proud to be a part of the Women’s Fund and excited about the year ahead.

Read the full interview with Marianne on our website.

Editor’s Note: Marianne recently joined the Women’s Fund Membership Committee as the New Member Liaison. In that role, she will be contacting each new member to welcome her and answer any questions about the Women’s Fund. Thanks for getting involved, Marianne!


133 East De La Guerra Street, #15
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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