Our Mission

The Women's Fund of Santa Barbara is an volunteer-driven collective donor group that enables women to combine our charitable dollars, providing significant grants focused on the critical needs of women, children and families in south Santa Barbara County.

The Women's Fund is committed to building a large community of educated, strategic givers who are inspired to make lasting change in our community through the impact of collective giving.

The Women's Fund remains committed to the simplicity of the original model: members pool their charitable donations, research critical community needs and then vote on which agencies will receive funds collected during the year.

Our Structure

The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara is a volunteer-driven organization operating as a Field of Interest Fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation. This structure allows us to determine the best way to respond to our community’s most pressing needs in areas that interest us without taking on the expense of creating and managing a traditional nonprofit.

The Santa Barbara Foundation provides the Women’s Fund:

  • A financial “umbrella” for administrative and financial support–for which we pay a 3% fee.
  • Regular contributions to both our grants pool and our endowment.
  • Expertise and financial support for our website and member database.
  • Oversight in managing our Women's Fund Endowment.

The Women's Fund is managed by a Steering Committee consisting of volunteers who chair subcommittees that oversee all aspects of the organization. The Steering Committee develops, implements and manages all policies and strategies for the Women's Fund. And importantly, it emphasizes succession planning to encourage the early identification of new and emerging leaders and ensuring seasoned leaders overlap with new ones for smooth transitions each year.

The Steering Committee is led by an overall chair and includes the heads of the following subcommittees. Read more about our current leadership.

Creates Women's Fund messages, monthly e-newsletter, print materials; manages website, social media and public relations
Oversees the Women's Fund Endowment
Budgets and tracks contributions and expenses, creates grants pool
Serves as contact between WF and grantees for reports, events, photos, stories
Coordinates and welcomes new and renewing members; manages membership records
Handles mailings, logistics, volunteer coordination, event support
Plans, coordinates all aspects of the spring event where we announce our new grantees
Identifies community needs, conducts in-depth research on local agencies, prepares ballot and background information for member voting
Plans, coordinates all aspects of the fall tour of recent grantees