News Articles


A tradition began years ago establishing that, on April 5, California’s First 5 chapters would join together and visit their legislators in Sacramento. Tuesday is First 5 Advocacy Day, when the nonprofit focused on preparing children for kindergarten addresses its concerns to elected officials.

The message this year will be the same as the last: Santa Barbara County needs more quality child-care slots.

Since the majority of a child’s brain development occurs before they reach kindergarten, First 5 has been working to ensure more quality child-care options exist for the 70... Read More

Earth Angels

Pictured (left to right): Cynthia Owen, Cecia Hess, Joyce Tamborello, Bonnie Tanase Cairns, Kathryn Padgett,Robin Martinelli and Julie Franke.

Other members of the group include: Jorgia Bordovsky, Gray Felstiner, Dale Hromadka, Nina Hunt, Mary Maxwell, Fran Piacente, Carol Poundstone Olson and Carol Simon.

To get to know this group better, we asked Co-Captains Dale Hromadka and Julie Franke some questions:

Why did you join the Women’s Fund? The emphasis is on women and children and in addition, it is a wonderful way to learn more about Santa... Read More

Joyce Dudley delivers Keynote, WF Leadership with Joyce Dudley

“Changing Lives Together” was at the heart of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara’s 2015 Site Visit program, held Thursday, October 29, at the First Presbyterian Church.  More than 200 Women’s Fund members and guests gathered to learn how $460,000 in recent Women’s Fund grants are changing lives for local women, children and families. 

“The Women’s Fund is a unique all-volunteer organization where women combine our charitable dollars to make large, impactful grants to local nonprofits,” said Women’s Fund Chair Nancy Harter.  “We’ve donated more than $5.1 million to local agencies... Read More

Joyce Dudley

The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara will host a site visit kick-off from 3–6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara.

This annual event features progress reports from the seven local nonprofits that received Women’s Fund grants this past spring. For the first time, there will be a keynote speaker at the event: County of Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

“Joyce knows that prevention and early intervention strategies are key to changing lives,” said Women’s Fund Chair Nancy Harter. “For more than a decade, the Women’s Fund... Read More

Jackie Inskeep

$100,000 surprise gift to Women’s Fund Endowment – and more!

Great news!   Women’s Fund member Jackie Inskeep made July seem like Christmas when she surprised us with a $100,000 gift to the Women’s Fund Endowment. 

In making her generous donation, Jackie applauded the work of Women’s Fund volunteers, saying “I am so pleased and proud of the women who make the Women’s Fund possible.”  She added, “I made the gift because I am confident that intelligent women are making... Read More

Nancy Harter with her grandson, Isaac

How long have you been in Santa Barbara and what brought you here? Family and job—the usual—brought us to SB in 1982.  At the time, I had regrets about moving here from the Bay Area. Needless to say, it worked out.

What is the one word you would use to describe the WF? Powerful!

When and why did you join the WF?  I joined in 2009. I knew about the WF but had no idea that I didn’t need an invitation to join and that they offered group opportunities.

What do you do when you’re not... Read More

2014-15 Grantees

Seven local nonprofits received a total of $460,000 in grants from the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara on Monday afternoon at the Montecito Country Club, bringing the organization's total contributions to the community, since it began in 2004, to more than $5.1 million.

"The Women's Fund is an all-volunteer organization based on a simple, creative model—women combining our charitable donations so we can make a larger impact in the community than most of us are able to do on our own," Women's Fund co-chair Sallie Coughlin said. "We give large grants, frequently for programs that wouldn... Read More

Carol Palladini and Carolyn Novick

The power of collective giving and its effect on communities was the emphasis of The Women’s Fund of Smith County’s Seventh Annual Power of the Purse Celebration Luncheon. More than 300 women attended the event on Tuesday at the CrossWalk Conference Center at Green Acres Baptist Church. The event, which had a theme of “In Harmony with Philanthropy,” featured Carol Palladini, founder of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara as the keynote speaker.

 As founder of The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara and that city’s Woman of the Year honoree, Ms. Palladini said she wanted to share with the... Read More

DPEA Capital Campaign Donor Wall (DPEA photo)

If you build it, the saying goes, they will come. On Saturday, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy showed off its newest handbuilt creation, the Capital Campaign Donor Wall, and people came indeed—the people whose generosity gave the award-winning educational experience the ability to build the Elings Center for Engineering Education on the Dos Pueblos High campus. Sandy Seale, DPEA Foundation president, proudly noted that all the metal panels on the wall were handmade by students and staff in the DPEA’s own machine shop. DPEA founder and Director Amir Abo-Shaeer addressed the crowd of... Read More

Amir Abo-Shaeer and Parm Williams

On October 30, 2014 the Women's Fund was honored for giving a transformational grant of $150,000 to the Dos Puebles Engineering Academy in 2008. Amir Abo-Shaeer, Founder and Director of DPEA is pictured with Parm Williams, a longtime Women's Fund member and researcher in 2008.