The Fund for Santa Barbara

Youth Making Change

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making program providing
young people with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy (giving grants). Each YMC Board (one meets in Santa Maria and one meets in Santa Barbara) gives out $15,000 in grants to projects led by youth that impact young people in

Santa Barbara County. YMC board members are teens ages 13-19. They create and conduct an entire grant cycle from start to finish and then share what they have learned as grant-makers and philanthropists with their communities. Each YMC board is led by two Youth Facilitators who are previous YMC board members. Facilitators assist the board in meeting its objectives; as well as provide an experienced youth perspective on the grant-making process. Since 2008, YMC has awarded $187,500 to 104 youth-led groups throughout Santa Barbara County. Youth Making Change is a program of the Fund for Santa Barbara, inspired by the Santa Barbara Foundation's Katherine Harvey Fellows Class of 2006-2007.


Join the YMC Board

Applications are available now and due Friday, May 20th.

Download an application here (pdf).
Download an application here (MS Word)

What do YMC board members do?

Board membership runs from July 2016 to May 2017. YMC members meet twice a month for the school year to plan and carry out a grant cycle. First, members learn about philanthropy and grant-making. They also learn about current issues facing young people in Santa Barbara County and share their own perspectives and opinions. They reach out to youth in the community to encourage them to plan a project and apply for money to carry it out. Board members receive grant applications from youth-led groups and review proposed project ideas. They conduct interviews of applicants and make decisions as a group about which projects to support. Each board has $15,000 to give to youth-led groups trying to improve the lives of young people in the community. After making their grants, YMC Board members conduct follow up site visits and give support to funded groups. Board members develop important leadership skills and experience including meeting planning and facilitation, outreach and public speaking, program planning, proposal evaluation and group decision-making.

YMC Member Requirements

  • Be between the ages of 13 and 19 as of 8/1/16
  • Live or go to school in Santa Barbara County
  • Attend an all day training on Saturday, July 30, 2016
  • Attend meetings twice a month, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. from August 2016 to May 2017*
    - Mtgs in Santa Maria: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays
    - Mtgs in Santa Barbara: 1st & 3rd Thursdays.
  • Read and discuss grant applications & share your opinions
  • Work with a diverse group of teens, be a leader and have FUN!

*Other meetings include one additional Saturday meeting. There is also some independent work between meetings.

Who gets selected? The goal is to establish a board that reflects the diversity of young people in the county. Youth are selected from different neighborhoods, schools, grades, academic levels, and life experiences. Youth are encouraged to apply regardless of race, gender, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, academic status, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, language spoken, or immigration status.

$300 STIPEND Participating in YMC is voluntary, but members get a $300 stipend in recognition of their time commitment. Stipends are based on participation throughout the board term.

Deadline: Friday, May 20, 2016 before 5:00 p.m.

Late Applications Will NOT Be Accepted

Return application to:

Santa Maria Drop off: Fund for Santa Barbara, 120 East Jones Street, Suite 120, Santa Maria, CA 93454

Santa Barbara Drop off: Fund for Santa Barbara, 26 West Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


FAX: 805-965-0217


YMC Grants for Youth-led Groups

$30,000 Available for Youth-Led Projects

Grant application available in August

Basic Guidelines from 2015/2016:

  • All aspects of the project must be led by youth ages 12 to 24.
  • The project must provide a benefit to teens in the community in addition to members of the applicant group.
  • The project must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution.
  • The project must be located in Santa Barbara County.
  • Youth-led applicant groups must have a sponsoring organization such as a school or community-based organization.

For a list of past YMC Grant recipients click here!

Grants are disbursed in February and must be used by July 31st.



$30,000 Disponible para Proyectos Dirigidios por Jovenes

Solicitud disponible en Agosto

Requisitos Básicos de 2015/2016:

  • Todos los aspectos del proyecto deben ser dirigidos por jóvenes de 12 a 24.
  • El proyecto debe proporcionar un beneficio a los adolescentes en la comunidad, además de los miembros del grupo solicitante.
  • El proyecto debe tratar de solucionar un problema que afecta a la juventud, proporcionando una solución.
  • El proyecto debe estar ubicado en el condado de Santa Bárbara.
  • Grupos solicitantes dirigidas por los jóvenes deben tener una organización patrocinadora, como una escuela o una organización comunitaria.

Sobre Jovenes Haciendo Cambio

Youth Making Change (Jovenes Haciendo Cambio) o YMC, es un programa dirigido por adolescentes que otorga becas. Empezó en el 2008 para darle la oportunidad a adolescentes que participen directamente en la filantropía organizada (dar becas). Cada Mesa de YMC (uno se reune en Santa María y otro se reune en Santa Bárbara), reparte $15,000 dólares en becas para proyectos dirigidos por jóvenes que impactan a los jóvenes en el Condado de Santa Bárbara. Miembros de YMC son adolescentes de 13-19 años de edad. Crean y llevan a cabo un ciclo de otorgación becas y luego comparten lo que han aprendido como filántropos en sus comunidades. Cada Mesa de YMC es dirigida por dos jóvenes facilitadores que son miembros anteriores de YMC. Los facilitadores ayudan a que cumplan sus objetivos, así como dar una perspectiva jóvenes con experiencia en el proceso de dar becas. Desde el año 2008, YMC ha otorgado $130,000 a 75 grupos dirigidos por jóvenes en todo el Condado de Santa Bárbara. YMC es un programa del Fund for Santa Bárbara, inspirado por la clase 2006-2007 de Katherine Harvey Fellows de la fundación, Santa Barbara Foundation.


Youth Making Change Testimonials

YMC Member: “I enjoyed finding out some of the needs in the community and seeing the programs people have started to deal with them”

Parent: “I watched my daughter gain more self-esteem and become more assertive. She knows her voice is important and now takes steps to make sure she is heard”

Community Member: “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.”


Grant Report Form

A final report is required July 31st or when the funds have been spent whichever comes first.  These reports include a financial statement detailing expenses and a narrative of the project’s impact, effectiveness, problems, and plans to continue.

For a MS Word version of the YMC Grant Report Form click here.


For more information contact Cristina Gonzalez, Regional Program Manager, at the Fund for Santa Barbara at 805-922-1707 or