The Fund for Santa Barbara’s Youth Making Change (YMC) program is a year-long, youth-led grant-making program started in 2008 to provide young people with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy. Board members are youth ages 13 to 19.

Each YMC Board gives grants to projects that address issues and challenges directly affecting young people in Santa Barbara County. Each YMC Board (one in Santa Maria and one in Santa Barbara) gives out a total of $15,000 in grants of various sizes ($500 to $3,000) to projects that impact youth.

The Youth Making Change grant application is available now at the Fund for Santa Barbara website.

Youth Making Change Grant Eligibility Criteria: Must be youth-led (age 12-24) Youth are leaders in all aspects of the project, including the writing of this grant application.

Funding guidelines:

Must operate in a democratic manner, responsive to and directed by the   group of people you aim to serve; Teens in the community must benefit from your project, not just the planning team
Must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution
Must be located in Santa Barbara County
Must have a sponsoring organization, such as a school or community group with a Tax ID Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) and an organizational bank account
Budget and Planned Activities must fall within the funding timeframe for which the proposal is submitted

Interested groups are urged to attend a free YMC Grant Application Workshop:

YMC North County Grant Application Workshop
Wednesday, Oct. 5. 5-6:30 p.m.
Santa Maria Public Library Sheppard Hall

YMC South County Grant Application Workshop
Thursday, Oct. 6 5-6:30 p.m.
Location TBD

Learn more and RSVP for a workshop at

Groups must submit their applications by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28. No Exceptions.

The fund was established as a community foundation in 1980 to offer an alternative concept in philanthropy. Founded by a group of individuals who shared a vision of a just and humane society, The fund is dedicated to finding solutions to current and emerging social, economic, environmental, and political problems that challenge our society as a whole.

Since its inceptions, The fund has awarded more than $8 million to local grassroots community-based organizations. The fund’s mission is advancing progressive change for strengthening movements for social, political and environmental justice.

Direct questions about the application submission process to David Melendrez, Fund for Santa Barbara YMC coordinator, 805-922-1707, or