News Articles


The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will host its 8th Annual Table of Life Gala, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Montecito estate of Betsey and John Moller.

The 2019 event will benefit local college and university students facing hunger and homelessness, and will honor the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, which (worth noting on the eve of the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment guarantee of women’s right to vote) typifies and advances the powerful impact of women taking collective action for the common good.

“The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara identifies food and... Read More

Community Defenders, Photo: Paul Wellman

Public Defenders and Family Service Agency Give Clients a Voice Through Holistic Defense
At 40 years old, Jessica is learning to live a new kind of life. She grew up in Santa Barbara helping her mom steal things from stores and being verbally and physically abused by her family. “I grew up so sad,” she told the Independent. Jessica (not her real name) was still a bright kid who got good grades, but nevertheless had to juggle holding down a job, watching her younger siblings, and tending to the house. “By 17, I wanted to retire,” she said.

She moved in with an... Read More

W2D2 group members enjoy the Celebration of Grants in May

We asked Captains Caryl Bowman and Judi Brooks to explain why and how they started the new W2D2 group last fall.
What prompted you to start a group?
We both have been Women's' Fund group members for over five years. We wanted to invite additional friends to join us, but we prefer a smaller group that can meet in a member's home, get to know each other well and bond. Ultimately we decided to leave the group we were in and start a new one before the year-end deadline so we could vote in the spring as our new group.

How did you select the... Read More


1000-member Organization Gives $585,000 to Area Non Profits

On May 1, more than 450 members and guests of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara gathered at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort for their 15th annual Celebration of Grants, where $585,000 was awarded to nine area nonprofits.

A volunteer-led, collective donor group with nearly 1,000 members, the Women’s Fund combines its members’ donations into large grants focused on the needs of women, children and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria. The organization holds no fundraisers – all funds come from... Read More


Women’s Fund announces plans to become independent nonprofit

Santa Barbara, CA – On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara awarded grants totaling $585,000 to nine local nonprofit agencies at its 15th annual Celebration of Grants reception. This event marks the end of the annual Women’s Fund grant cycle and honors its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of nearly 1,000 women.

In celebrating the organization’s 15th anniversary, Steering Chair Shelley Hurst also announced the Women’s Fund will begin operations as an... Read More


As part of our strategic plan to leverage our growth and maximize our community impact, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has thoroughly researched the viability of becoming an independent nonprofit. The question that guided our research was clear—would the community benefit from the Women’s Fund becoming an independent nonprofit? Ultimately, the answer was yes, an emphatic yes.

Therefore, we have applied for our tax-exempt status and plan to begin operating as an independent nonprofit on January 1, 2020. We do this with the full support of the Santa Barbara Foundation where we have... Read More

Women's Fund Honored by Kinwanis in 2019

On September 19, the Women’s Fund received the 2018 Kiwanis Community Collaborative Award for our support of Teen Court. In May 2018, CADA – Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, received a $75,000 Women’s Fund grant to provide mental health support to help prevent possible reoffending and incarceration of Teen Court youth.

In the photograph: Pictured (left to right) Marsha Gray, President of Kiwanis; Jill Frandsen, Director of the Daniel Bryant Center; Shelley Hurst, Women's Fund Steering Chair; Sabina White, Women's Fund Researcher; Eduardo Cue, Teen Court Program Manager

Lynn Karlson and Maureen Ellenberger with Chris Tucker, ED Garden Court

On January 24, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara hosted a reception for new and prospective members to meet others and learn more about this volunteer-led collective donor group of 900 Santa Barbara-area women. Held at Garden Court and sponsored by Mission Wealth, the evening began with a lively reception. Then Membership Chair Lynn Karlson welcomed the 130 guests and shared how the Women’s Fund supports the critical needs of women, children, and families in south Santa Barbara County. Areas of support include early child development, education, domestic violence, employment skills, food... Read More


New suggested minimum and voting thresholds for 2019 membership

With growth comes many opportunities—more dollars to grant to local nonprofits, more women engaged as knowledgeable philanthropists. Growth also has its costs—namely in increased expenses to manage a larger organization. 

Effective January 1, 2019—​and for the first time in 15 years—we are increasing the suggested minimum contribution for Women’s Fund membership from $250 to $275 and raising the voting threshold from $2,500 to $2,750 (one vote per $2,750 contributed).... Read More


Pictured here are Kendall Pata (upper right) and four members of SB4EVA with some children from the United Boys & Girls Clubs during the site visit at the Carpinteria center.

To get to know one of our newest membership groups, SB4EVA, we interviewed Group Captain Kendall Pata.

What is the one word you would use to describe the Women’s Fund?
Effective. Easy. Empowering. Do I have to choose just one? Plus, I seem to like alliteration.

Why did you join the Women’s Fund?
I learned about the Women’s Fund when I... Read More