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 been a Field of Interest Fund since 2004.
Why are we doing this? As an independent nonprofit, we will have:
- Greater community impact
- Better positioning for growth
- A distinct, well-respected brand
- New revenue opportunities
- Independent governance structure
- Administrative and financial control
- Streamlined operating practices
What does this mean to me, a member?
- Members will notice very little change.
- Joining and renewing online via our website will be the same.
- And most importantly, our mission, values and operating principles will remain unchanged.
Will it cost more to operate as an independent nonprofit?
- We expect expenses to increase in 2019 as we test financial systems and upgrade our technology to ensure we are ready to process member contributions.
- We anticipate costs in 2020 to remain steady or increase slightly as we continue to grow our membership.
What changes should we expect behind the scenes?
- A Board of Directors, comprised of volunteer Women’s Fund members, will replace the current Steering Committee, overseeing our organization and supporting our work.
- Independent contractors will perform bookkeeping and accounting services, currently provided by the Santa Barbara Foundation.
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