GIVE through
December 31

Youth Making Change


Youth Making Change is a project of the Fund for Santa Barbara (The FUND). The FUND provides resources to organizations and projects in Santa Barbara County involved in promoting progressive social change at the grassroots level, educating the community about social and economic conditions and organizing people to confront fundamental problems affecting their lives. Historically, social conditions have improved most dramatically when those who have been denied power and justice have come together to form coalitions and confront problems and this is why the FUND operates with the motto “Change, Not Charity”.

Social Change Project
Youth Making Change

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making and leadership development program that provides young people with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy (grant giving). YMC empowers local youth activists to lead and make decisions based on self-determination and social justice principles of the Fund. Our two boards, one in Santa Maria and the other in Santa Barbara, and both are led by teens, ages 13-19. They each give out $15,000 in grants to youth led projects that strive to bring positive change for youth in the community.  The youth board conducts outreach and encourages youth groups that address the most pressing needs for youth in Santa Barbara County to apply. They create and conduct an entire grant cycle and then share with their communities what they learned as grant-makers and philanthropists. Each YMC board is led by two Youth Facilitators, each a previous YMC board member. Facilitators assist the board in meeting their objectives by providing an experienced perspective on the grant-making process. Since 2008, YMC has awarded $245,490 to 130 youth-led groups throughout Santa Barbara County. Youth Making Change is a program of the Fund for Santa Barbara and is inspired by the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Katherine Harvey Fellows Class of 2006-2007.

The thing I love about this program: it makes it clear that our youth are NOT the future leaders of the world. Rather they are the leaders NOW. YMC allows youth the opportunity to lead, to get other youth involved in learning about and applying for grants, and allows our youth-led community development programs additional funding to better impact our youth.

~ community member