News Articles


A trip to the dentist is generally not anyone’s favorite activity; however, imagine what it would be like if you were confined to a wheelchair. Transferring to a dental chair is extremely difficult; sometimes even impossible. It is also physically challenging for a dentist to attempt to care for a patient in their wheelchair due to the fixed height and inability to adjust the for the best working angles. 

In 2019, a Woman’s Fund grant of $70,000 purchased two compact wheelchair platforms for use in the Santa Barbara and Goleta Neighborhood Dental Clinics. The wheelchair is wheeled... 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
PATH New Beds in women's dorm

Prior to the purchase of 50 new steel-frame beds along with bed bug-resistant mattresses and covers, homeless women had to choose the protection at the PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) shelter or the streets. It was not an easy choice as one client said, “I used to hate coming to PATH because of the bed bugs. I couldn’t sleep.”

A $50,000 Women’s Fund grant in 2019 provided an improved experience for the approximately 188 women who needed shelter every year as well as significant savings for PATH’s... Read More

2020 Members' Survey

To all 491 members who responded to the Member Opinion Survey in June, thank you!! That’s a 44 percent response rate, which is great. Your feedback is essential to making sure we are meeting our mission to address the critical needs of the women, children and families in our community.

The 15-question survey explored:

  • Issues you would like to see us research – you said healthcare, domestic violence, mental health, early childhood education and homelessness were top priorities.
  • What you like about being a member – you said combining donations to have a... Read More

Growing from a Field of Interest Fund held at the Santa Barbara Foundation, with only 67 members in 2004, to a nonprofit with over 1,100 members today, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has come a long way and made a significant impact in our community.

Growing from a Field of Interest Fund held at the Santa Barbara Foundation, with only 67 members in 2004, to a nonprofit with over 1,100 members today, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has come a long way and made a significant impact in our... Read More

2004 Founding Women's Fund Groups

Our mission has remained the same, but the number of members has grown significantly from 2004 when a group of women created the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. The 12 founders grew into 67 contributors that first year – including three groups. 

Jane Honikman, the captain of Caregivers, one of the three original groups, says the founders wanted to support local nonprofits that worked with women and children in the community; however, they wanted to forego the gala method of fundraising so popular at the time.

Jane helped initiate the concept of giving groups, as a way to give... Read More

Maria Vega joins the ILDC as its first full time staff attorney

The Santa Barbara Immigrant Legal Defense Center (ILDC) has hired Maria Vega as its first full-time staff attorney. Vega will lead the nonprofit’s efforts in providing legal representation to local community members facing deportation. 

Vega joins the ILDC with extensive experience in public interest and immigration law, after time at both the Northwest Justice Project and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo in Washington. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, where she was honored for her service to the community and her dedication to human rights work.Vega attended... Read More

Doctors Without Walls

In the recent member survey, a majority of you said you’d like to learn more about the impact of Women’s Fund grants in our community. Grants in Action (GIA) events, being scheduled throughout the fall and winter of 2020 and 2021, are a great way to get more information.

Attending a GIA event, which includes both site visits and educational forums, helps you learn how the Women’s Fund grants impact the work of our grantees, expand your knowledge grantees’ work, and understand the critical issues affecting the lives of women, children and families. 

... Read More

Students at El Camino creating video productions

A bright spot in education in these challenging times, the Goleta Education Foundation is thrilled and grateful to announce receipt of a $65,000 grant awarded by the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara to create a STEAM lab at El Camino School. The existing computer center, with fixed seating and outdated equipment, will be transformed with flexible seating, interactive monitors, laptops, and tablets. The lab will also be equipped with digital media production equipment, a green screen, and video design and editing software. Hands-on learning will promote student competency in science,... Read More


At its 16th annual Celebration of Grants held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara awarded grants totaling $685,000 to nine local nonprofit agencies  The event marked the end of the 2019-2020 Women’s Fund grant cycle and honored its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of nearly 1,100 women. Since 2004, these generous women have been combining their charitable dollars into significant grants.  To date, nearly $7.9 million has been distributed to 111 local area nonprofit... Read More