In March, nearly 1,100 members of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara will vote to distribute $750,000 to local nonprofits; awarding its largest annual grants pool since the organization began 17 years ago.
Every year, Women’s Fund members combine their charitable dollars into significant local grants, distributing nearly $8 million to more than 100 local nonprofit programs since 2004.
In 2020, despite ongoing pandemic and economic challenges, Women’s Fund members stepped up to create this record-breaking grants pool, recognizing the urgent needs of their neighbors — women, children and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.
In March, Women’s Fund members will cast their votes from a ballot of local nonprofit programs presented by the organization’s volunteer research committee. The nonprofits chosen for grants by the membership will be announced May 5 at a virtual Celebration of Grants, an annual event that attracts hundreds of members and guests.
Annually, Women’s Fund volunteers spend 10 months researching changing community needs and local nonprofits addressing those needs. Each year, the Women’s Fund awards large grants — $50,000-$100,000 and more — to agencies focused on education, health care, food insecurity, and homelessness.
2020 was the first full year the Women’s Fund operated as an independent nonprofit organization, having transitioned from a Field of Interest Fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation. The Women’s Fund is run by volunteers (there is no paid staff), holds no fundraising events, and is supported by member donors, non-member contributors, and business sponsors. All women are welcome to join.
For more about the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, visit www.womensfundsb.org.
by Kerry Parker, Women's Fund of Santa Barbara