The Fund for Santa Barbara

Youth Making Change

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making program, launched in 2008, 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 $127,500 to 73 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.


Apply for a YMC Grant

Get up to $3,500 for your youth-led project

YMC grant applications are DUE Friday, October 24 before 5:00pm.

For the YMC 14/15 Grant Application w. Instructions click here!

(la solicitud en español se encuentra abajo / application in spanish is below)

Basic Guidelines (see full guidelines here):

  • Projects must be youth driven. Youth ages 12 – 24 should be leaders in all aspects of the project.
  • Teens in the community must benefit from the project, not just the planning team.
  • Project must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution.
  • Projects must be located in Santa Barbara County.
  • Youth-led groups must have a sponsoring organization, such as a school or community-based organization.

YOU CAN USE YMC MONEY FOR (but not limited to):

  • Postage, printing, copying and design costs;
  • Materials or supplies for a program, like art supplies, software, books, etc.
  • Items needed for an event, like sound equipment rental, awards, food, prizes, CD's, etc.
  • Stipends for youth planners to carryout the project – a stipend is an amount of $$ that you get for your work on the project;
  • Trips outside of Santa Barbara County that explicitly support your work inside the county through a clear follow-up plan.


  • Projects that are planned & led solely by adults;
  • Projects that are designed solely to raise money for your group;
  • Trips/activities that take place outside of Santa Barbara County and include NO follow up in the county;
  • Stipends or salaries for adult allies;
  • Overhead (general) costs of the sponsor organization [Overhead costs are things like the gas bill, the phone bill, or monthly rent].

For a list of past YMC Grant recipients click here!

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

Need Help Planning Your Project? We want to help!

  1. Download a YMC Action Planning Guide here!
  2. CONTACT US to set up a time when we can talk to your group about things like how to choose an idea, create a time line for your project, write your essay, or fill out your budget.

Applications are due to the Fund office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.

For more information contact Cristina at 805-922-1707x200 or

For the YMC 14/15 Grant Application w. Instructions click here!

For your convenience, the following links will take you to MS Word versions of the YMC application. These versions may be downloaded and completed on your computer, but signed hard copies must be submitted by the deadline:

For a word version of the YMC Grant Application, click here.



La solicitud de YMC es disponible en agosto y la fecha de entrega es en octubre.

!Consigan hasta $3,500 para su proyecto dirigido por jovenes!


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.

Requisitos Basicos:

  • El proyecto tiene que ser dirigido por jóvenes. Jóvenes de 12 a 21 años de edad tienen que ser los lideres en todos los aspectos del proyecto.
  • Jóvenes en la comunidad deben beneficiarse del proyecto, no solo el equipo planeando.
  • El proyecto debe enfocarse en un problema social que enfrentan jóvenes o realizar una necesidad real para la gente joven en el condado de Santa Barbara.
  • El proyecto se tiene que llevar a cabo en el condado de Santa Barbara.
  • El proyecto tiene que tener a una organización que los respalde como una escuela o organización comunitaria.
¿Necesitan ayuda para organizar su proyecto? Queremos ayudar!

1. Descargue una Guía para Planear Acción YMC aquí!
2. Contactenos para encontrar un tiempo en que podemos hablar con su grupo acerca de su planeacion como la forma de elegir una idea, crear una línea de tiempo para su proyecto, escribir su ensayo, o llenar su presupuesto.

Para mas informacion o si gustan ayuda en preparar su solicitud, comuniquense con Cristina al 805-922-1707x200 o

Para tu comodidad, el siguiente enlace te llevará a la version de MS Word de la aplicación YMC. Esta version se pueden descargar y completar en la computadora, pero una copia de papel con firmas originales debe ser entregada antes de la fecha de plazo:

Para obtener una copia en MS Word de la Solicitud de Beca , haga clic aquí.


Join the YMC Board

Applications are available in April

What do YMC board members do?

Board membership runs from July to May of the following year. 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. They also fundraise for next year’s YMC. 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 Board Member Requirements

  • Be between the ages of 13 and 19
  • Be a teen living in or going to school in Santa Barbara County
  • Attend a mandatory all day training Saturday, July 26, 2014
  • From August to May , attend regular meetings twice a month from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (Meetings in Santa Barbara are the first and third Thursdays of the month. Meetings in Santa Maria are the first and third Wednesdays of the month. There is also some independent work between meetings.)
  • Be willing to read and discuss grant applications, share your opinions, work with a diverse group of teens, be a leader and have FUN!

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 you do get a $300 stipend for your participation in recognition of your time commitment. The stipend is based on participation throughout the board term.



Congratulations to the 2013/2014 YMC Grant Recipients

— YMC South —

Dos Pueblos High School Writing Center Tutors / DPHS Writing Center - $1,420
A Writing Center at Dos Pueblos High School to provide tutoring help to students.

Kids Helping Kids / Low-Income Youth AP Test Scholarships - $2,000
Funding to provide Advanced Placement test scholarships to low-income youth at San Marcos High School.

PeerBuddies / Peer Buddy Volunteers - $3,500
Funding to pair low-income teens with special needs with teen Peer Buddy volunteers who teach them social skills in the community.

Quasars to Sea Stars / Free Teen Friday - $2,225
Event to engage teens in science through Free Teen Friday, an event at the SB Museum of Natural History.

San Marcos High School Speak Against Hate Club / Diversity Week - $200
Funding to raise awareness of different biases, stereotypes and targeting within the community and the San Marcos High School campus.

Santa Barbara Youth Council / Teen Leadership Conference - $925
A leadership conference to educate teens in the community about how to harness their leadership skills and abilities.

Westside Narrative / Revolving Murals - Youth in Dialogue - $2,600
A mural project is where youth can explore social issues, problems and concerns and learn ways to address them.

YStrive for Youth, Inc. / Unity in our Community Youth Retreat - $2,130
A three day retreat where 30 youth from different neighborhoods interact with each other and gain skills from workshops.

— YMC North —

Lompoc Valley Middle School AVID / Sharing and Caring Garden - $1,015
Funding to repair Lompoc Valley Middle School's greenhouse, plant flowers, distribute around community.

Santa Maria High School CE'ENI (Colectivo Educativo Estudiantil de Naciones Indigenas) / Indigenous Youth Empowerment - $3,000
Funding to empower indigenous youth with the confidence to be proud of their culture and pursue higher education.

Central Coast Future Leaders / Spring Forward Leadership Training - $1,400
A youth-led conference to inspire leadership by presenting peer to peer workshops to youth at Kermit McKenzie Junior High School in Guadalupe.

Las Comadres of Santa Maria High School / Giving Back to the Community and School - $2,500
Support for teenage girls dealing with issues such as bullying, drugs, alcohol, and depression and encourage them to volunteer at Santa Maria High School & the community.

Latinos Unidos of Righetti HS / Cultural Enrichment & College Promotion Conference - $2,300
Funding for a conference to promote culture and heritage among Latino students and promote the benefits of attending college.

LEGIT Club/ LEGIT Circle - $1,900
Support for foster and homeless teens to lead a monthly reading circle with younger kids at the Good Samaritan Shelter and meet regularly with elderly in care.

Orcutt Academy Interact Club / School Supplies for Local Students - $1,700
Funding to provide school supplies to 100 local students, grades 7-10, who cannot afford them.

The C.O.D.E. / Health Week and Events -$600
A weeklong celebration of health and wellness highlighting nutrition and exercise at Ernest Righetti HS.

Youth in Action / A Family Meal - $585
Funding for teens to help their peers at Good Samaritan Shelter learn to cook a family dinner with a group.

For more information about YMC or any of the grant recipients please call 805-922-1707.


What past YMC members, parents and the community are saying about YMC


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