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Congratulations to Our Grantees!

In the May 2021 issue…


Ten Local Nonprofits Receive Largest Grants Pool in Our History

Almost 400 people attended the 17th Annual Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara Celebration of Grants on May 5. We witnessed the resiliency, partnership, and collaboration of 10 of our local nonprofit agencies who were awarded grants totaling $750,000, our largest-ever pool of member donations. Combining our charitable dollars is one of the most wonderful things about the Women’s Fund model–it gives women from all walks of life the chance to participate in big philanthropy, changing lives together.

These new grants bring the total amount awarded to local organizations to more than $8.6 million since the Women’s Fund was founded in 2004. Since that time, grants have addressed the critical needs of more than 100,000 local women, children, and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria.

If you were unable to join us for the Celebration of Grants, you can view a replay on our website by clicking here.

Presenting our 2020-2021 grantees!

You can learn about all our current grantees here. Together, they will:

  • Provide mental health support in schools and to youth in crisis.
  • Expand the reach of medical services for families, low-income, and homeless people.
  • Sustain a successful preschool and expand childcare capacity for working families.
  • Distribute food to people experiencing homelessness.
  • Provide educational support to close the achievement gap.
  • Support homeless people living in their cars.

CALM-Child Abuse Listening Mediation: $75,000 to help sustain school-based mental health services for students, families, and educators.

Carpinteria Children’s Project: $90,000 to sustain operations of the Carpinteria preschool serving low-wage working families.

Casa Pacifica: $80,000 to fund an additional SAFTY mobile crisis counselor to respond to youth experiencing mental health emergencies.

The Cecilia Fund: $50,000 to expand coverage of medical and dental costs for patients who have no other way to pay for needed care.

Children & Family Resource Services: $100,000 to provide training and support for volunteer Promotores to become certified Family Health Navigators.

Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County: $100,000 to expand child care capacity by supporting more women to become licensed child care providers.

Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine: $60,000 to sustain the daytime outreach specialist providing medical and mental health services to the homeless.

New Beginnings Counseling Center: $75,000 to expand the Safe Parking program providing protected space and support for people living in their cars while seeking stable housing.

PATH Santa Barbara-People Assisting the Homeless: $50,000 to replace the cargo van used for collecting and distributing donated food to agencies that feed the homeless.

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County: $70,000 to provide scholarships for low-income youth to attend educational summer camp.


Double and Diversify–A Women’s Fund Group Takes Action

The Women’s Fund is a great organization that helps support women, children and families. Let’s face it, though, our membership doesn’t reflect the diversity of our communities—the majority of us are white women over age 60.

Why does it matter? It matters because the membership of the Women’s Fund should better reflect the economic, racial and ethnic diversity of south Santa Barbara County. Bringing in more diverse women who are active in our region will provide invaluable insights regarding community needs. These women could also become representatives of the Women’s Fund in their respective neighborhoods.

4Empowerment’s Plan

To attract more diverse and younger members to our 4Empowerment group of 12, we needed to develop a plan.

Our Goals:

  • Increase the size and diversity of our group with a focus on young women, women of color, and women with disabilities.
  • Grow until we reach two votes (at least $5,500 in contributions), and then consider dividing into two heterogeneous sister groups.

Our Plan:

  1. Invite new women into our group who fall into any of the three target categories.
    • young women under 45
    • women of color with emphasis on Latinas (SB county demographics: 48% white non-Hispanic, 43% Latina, 5% Asian, 2% Black).
    • women with disabilities
  2. Provide varying levels of financial participation, like other Membership Groups over the years who have supported the economic diversity of their groups. Since the Women’s Fund does not cap the size of a group, all donations are added up to reach the voting minimum of $2,750. That means we are able to invite more women to join us and ensure that financial means are not a barrier to membership. New members are invited to contribute at the level they feel comfortable, with the hope that as they get to know the invaluable work done by the Women's Fund and their financial means permits, their contributions will grow.

We have our goals and an action plan. Now we need to make it happen. We encourage other Women’s Fund members and groups to think about ways to expand and diversify our membership.

Puspita Hutjulu, originally from Jakarta Indonesia, graduated from UCSB in 2019 and joined the Women’s Fund 4Empowerment group in 2020 through our new outreach initiative. “As a young professional with other commitments, Puspita said, "I was concerned about the financial commitment and how much time I would have to give the organization. After learning that neither of these would be a hurdle for me, I felt comfortable to join. I am now learning more about the needs and impressive programs to address these needs within the Santa Barbara community.”

- Contributed by Chris Silverstein, Co-Chair with Chris Fredericks of 4Empowerment

Contact the Women’s Fund Membership Committee with your comments and ideas at


Membership Corner: Thanks to Captains and You!

Please welcome the Women’s Fund members who have joined us since April: Lauralee Anderson, JoAnn Bell, Suzanne Bollas, Rebecca Bucher, Pat Hardy, Liz Heitmann, Doralee Jacobson, Lois Linden, Karin Lohwasser, Iris Medina, Janet Mullen, Laura Polito, Patty Six, and Berverly Zukor.

And now, a word about Captains: They’re great! Group Captains are truly the frontline volunteers of the Women’s Fund. They recruit, mentor, steward, and manage the more than 90 membership groups that are home to more than 1,000 of our members and account for nearly two-thirds of our grants pool dollars.

We want to recognize the 10 new Group Captains that have stepped up over the past six months:

  • Wendy Bingham: Get Focused
  • Mary Brown: Carabiners
  • Karen Carey: Friends
  • Leisa Cosentino: Riviera
  • Kathryn Dinkin: Women in Action (New group this year!)
  • Gail Haupt: Excellent Partners
  • Lauren Trujillo: Marika’s Group
  • Charity Walton-Masters: Birds of a Feather (Hill)
  • Lynda Whitley and Joanne Moran: Earth Angels

- Contributed by Stina Hans, Group Captain Liaison


Early Renewals Are Welcome!

For the past several years, the Women’s Fund sent anniversary renewal reminders to members that arrived in the month you donated the previous year. This year we are changing it up! Every member that has not yet made her Women’s Fund donation for 2021 will get an appeal to renew in late May. In September we will send another appeal to those that have not renewed.

Why the change? We know that December is a very traditional time for many women to make their charitable donations. The Women’s Fund receives more than half of our contributions in October through December and nearly one-third in December alone. For our volunteer Researchers, Group Captains and Finance Committee members, that late-year generosity is a blessing – but a challenge as well.

We are hoping to attract renewals earlier in the year so the Research Committee gets a good estimate of the size of the grants pool by October and knows how many agencies they can consider and how large the grants might be. For the volunteer Group Captains and Finance Committee, it means they won’t have to be working long days all through the holidays. For YOU, our members, we think there are some advantages to early renewals as well:

  • You won’t get another appeal or renewal notice—we don’t send them after you renew!
  • You won’t have to think about all of your philanthropic gifts during the holidays.
  • Your group won’t have to wait and wonder to see if it meets its voting goal.

Look for your appeal to renew coming soon! Or renew now by visiting our website.

- Contributed by Lynn Karlson, Board Chair

133 East De La Guerra Street, #15
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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