Record-Breaking $1.125 Million in Grants to Make Life-Changing Impact

2024 Grantees (from left) Marguerite Sanchez, Doctors Without Walls; Scott Whiteley, CADA – Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Shawna Morris, Casa Pacifica; Freya Estreller, DignityMoves; Lori Goodman, LEAP: Learn. Engage. Advocate. Partner; Brad Fieldhouse, City Net; Susan Rodriguez, Unity Shoppe; Judie Lugo, Santa Barbara Police Activities League; Rich Sander, SB ACT; Harry Bruell, PathPoint

By the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara

In a remarkable demonstration of collective giving, the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara made history by awarding an unprecedented $1.125 million in grants to local nonprofits. This groundbreaking achievement unfolded on May 7 at the iconic Lobero Theatre, where members and guests gathered to hear the announcement of 10 transformative grants. The Celebration of Grants event not only marked a momentous year for the Women’s Fund, commemorating its 20th anniversary, but also marked a legacy of granting $11.6 million to local nonprofits since its inception in 2004.

This year’s grant recipients play a vital role in addressing critical community needs, including services for the unsheltered, mental health care, and affordable child care, and more. The 2023-2024 recipients are:

CADA – Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – $100,000 for vehicles for substance use disorder services

Casa Pacifica – $90,000 for expansion of mobile youth crisis services

City Net – $100,000 for a mobile safe space for homeless women

DignityMoves – $125,000 for child-care center at a family village

Doctors Without Walls – $100,000 over 2 years for intensive case management for homeless clients

LEAP:  Learn. Engage. Advocate. Partner – $120,000 for gap funding for child-care program

PathPoint – $105,000 for shower installation for behavioral health properties

SB ACT – Santa Barbara Alliance for Community Transformation – $200,000 over 2 years for staff and supplies for permanent homelessness navigation center

Santa Barbara Police Activities League – $110,000 for renovation of teen center

Unity Shoppe – $75,000 for purchase and stocking of refrigeration units

The celebratory event showcased a captivating retrospective video, featuring previous grantees sharing compelling testimonials on the life-changing impact of Women’s Fund grants.  The video also provided poignant insights from Anne Towbes, a founding member of the organization. Towbes recounted the original vision of the 12-member founding committee and reflected on the exceptional growth and impact of the organization over two decades. Two other founding committee members Joanne Rapp and Perri Harcourt were recognized at the event.

Renowned for its rigorous research in identifying community needs, the Women’s Fund actively involves its members in the grant selection process through annual voting. To deepen member engagement on local issues, it hosts issue forums with expert panels comprised of grant recipients. With 200 volunteers and an all-volunteer management team – without paid staff –  the Women’s Fund epitomizes exceptional efficiency; 94 cents of every expense dollar funds grants and educational initiatives. Additionally, the organization thrives with the assistance of business and community sponsors who support its vision.

Membership in the Women’s Fund is open to all women passionate about making a collective impact. To join or learn more, visit

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