Earlier this month, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara awarded over $460,000 in grants to seven local nonprofit agencies at its 11th annual Presentation of Grants reception. This event celebrates the end of the annual Women’s Fund grant cycle and honors its newest grantees, voted on by the membership of 677 women.
Since the organization began in 2004, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara has awarded grants totaling more than $5.1 million to over 70 local nonprofit programs, helping more than 85,000 women, children and families in the Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria areas. Committed to “Changing Lives Together,” Women’s Fund members pool their charitable donations, research critical community needs and vote on which agencies will receive funds collected during the year. Held at the Montecito Country Club, the reception hosted the announcement of the new grantees, which had been kept secret.
The nonprofit organizations receiving 2014-15 Women’s Fund grants include:
Children’s Resource & Referral – $80,000 to increase the number of child care spaces in new, women-owned family child care businesses
Community Action Commission – $80,000 to provide hot, nutritious lunches to low-income seniors
New Beginnings Counseling Center – $80,000 to assist individuals and families living in their vehicles
Conflict Solutions Center – $60,000 to launch a restorative justice program as an alternative to juvenile incarceration.
Mental Wellness Center – $60,000 to create support groups for families of teens, newly diagnosed with mental illness.
Sarah’s House – $50,000 to deliver hospice care to low-income individuals suffering terminal illnesses.
Transition House – $50,000 to install air conditioning and sound proofing in the family homeless shelter.
“We are so proud to celebrate the start of our second decade of improving lives of women, children and families in our community,” says Sallie Coughlin, Women’s Fund Co-Chair. “Our Women’s Fund reflects a growing national trend of collective giving groups and centers on a simple, creative model—women combining our charitable donations so we can make a larger impact in the community than most of us would be able to do on our own.”
The popularity of the collective giving model is evident in the ten-fold growth in membership the Women’s Fund has achieved in its first decade. Priding itself on its efficiency, the all-volunteer organization’s net expenses are only 2% of total income since 2004.
“We grow by word of mouth. We do our own rigorous research on local needs. And our members decide ultimately where we are going to put our collected donations,” says Nancy Harter, Women’s Fund Co-Chair. “The result is a celebration like today, where we applaud and support the effective programs of seven nonprofits making a difference in the lives of local women, children and families.”
For more information about the Women’s Fund, visit womensfundsb.org.