News Articles


2020 is not likely to make it onto anyone’s “My Favorite Year” list. But 2020 will make it onto the Women’s Fund list of most generous years. During this extraordinarily disruptive year of extraordinary need, Women’s Fund members—you—showed extraordinary generosity.

This past year, some of you “rounded up” your donation or even doubled your usual contribution. We received unexpected gifts of $5,000 and even $10,000. We were thrilled to welcome 95 women as members – about half the number we saw in 2019 – in a year when... Read More


The next few months will be busy! Here are the important dates leading to the selection of our new 2020-2021 grant recipients in March.

  • Friday, March 5 - Ballot Information Package emailed to all 2020 Women's Fund members. This important package includes the information you need to know as you consider planning for your individual or group vote.

  • ... Read More


If you're interested in learning more about immigration policies and how they impact Santa Barbara, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara is offering an online educational forum, Grants in Action: Immigrants’ Stories – America’s Promise, 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

The forum will address the work of the Santa Barbara Immigration Legal Defense Center (ILDC) and how a $65,000 Women’s Fund grant to partially fund an immigration attorney has helped advance their work.

The forum is... Read More


Despite growing financial strain locally and globally, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has managed to take steps toward more affordable housing.

Rob Fredericks, HACSB Executive Director/CEO, said in a press release: “As we get to the other side of challenges, we are experiencing because of COVID-19, we can recognize some positive aspects. 

“The destructive impact of income inequality and disparities in health care and housing are now plainly visible. We have... Read More


Former actress and current philanthropist Rona Barrett made a special guest appearance at The Women’s Fund Grants in Action Educational Forum “Aging in Place Santa Barbara: Obstacles and Opportunities”  on December 8, 2020. The virtual event was attended by more than 200 members and guests. Ms. Barrett’s personal life story and experiences addressing the needs of aging seniors perfectly encapsulated the key messages of two agency leaders and an academic expert who spoke about strategies for healthy aging and how communities can support their seniors, as well as obstacles... Read More


Silver lining (noun): a sign of hope in an otherwise negative situation.

It’s hard to imagine much of a silver lining in the middle of a global pandemic that has dramatically impacted our lives. But there is one. In Santa Barbara, we’ve seen new and expanding partnerships of public, private and faith-based organizations rising to address the growing needs in our community – particularly among our most vulnerable populations. And the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara is helping... Read More


“March 9th is the day our organization changed forever,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. He was describing the challenges in moving communities from hunger to nutritional self-sufficiency during a global pandemic.

Addressing Women’s Fund Individual Members at a virtual coffee last month, Erik shared information about the dramatic increase in the need for food services, along with the need to reevaluate all of the Foodbank’s systems to ensure pandemic safety precautions. 

“We have been grateful during this critical time,” he began, “... Read More


The Educational Events committee has brought cameras into the field to bring the work of Women’s Fund grantees into your living room. Here are recaps of recent Grants in Action events (with the videos in case you missed the premieres), plus a preview of more to come.


Seeing our Impact at SEE International

On September 29, more than 100 Women’s Fund members virtually toured SEE International’s Santa Barbara Vision Care Clinic to meet the doctors and view the optometric equipment the Women’s Fund provided through our $60,000 grant... Read More


There’s a saying that goes, “By the time a woman realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she’s wrong.” It aptly describes the complex relationships between mothers and daughter – but it doesn’t necessarily capture the mother/daughter teams in the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. These teams showcase all the ways that mothers and daughters connect to make a difference in our community.

In the Spreading Sunshine group, Susan Torrey and her daughter Fia, and Jill Bender and her daughter Natasha are two examples. A third mother daughter pair, Theresa... Read More


The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara research process is one of the things that set us apart – it’s rigorous, thorough, and productive. This year, it’s also flexible. How are we working differently to meet the critical needs of women, children and families in south Santa Barbara County? And where are we in the process?

We are listening, adapting, and broadening!

  1. Listening: this year, at the start of the process, members of the Research Committee conducted Listening Tours with... Read More