Karlson Becomes Board Chair of 1,100-member Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara

The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, a volunteer-led collective donor organization that enables women to combine their charitable dollars into significant local grants to nonprofit organizations, announced the election of its new Board Chair Lynn Karlson.  Lynn has been a leader in the Women’s Fund for more than three years, most recently chairing the Membership Committee.

A resident of Santa Barbara since 1989, Lynn brings a wealth of local nonprofit leadership experience to the role. Over the past 30+ years, she has served in various leadership roles at local nonprofits, including as Board Chair for the Channel Islands YMCA, the Nonprofit Support Center, and The Arts Fund. She was the Vice President for Family Education Services at Independent Means Inc. before taking on the role of Executive Director for the Youth and Family Services YMCA from 2008-2016. She holds a master’s degree in agricultural and resource economics and first started her career as an economist with the Federal Reserve, later moving into public affairs. 

Since 2004, the Women’s Fund has been combining charitable dollars into significant grants.  To date, nearly $7.9 million has been distributed to 111 local area nonprofit programs serving over 100,000 women, children, and families in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria. Grants range from $50,000 to over $100,000. Through extensive research and a needs assessment process, the Women’s Fund identifies critical needs in the community and the nonprofits equipped to address those needs.  Over 1,100 Women’s Fund members then vote on the projects to fund.  The Women’s Fund welcomes all women as voting members, regardless of their level of financial commitment, to join in its philanthropic efforts. While the voting membership is limited to women, donations from community members or businesses are also accepted. For more information go to www.womensfundsb.org

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