The Joy of Local Giving

Ojai Women’s Fund Mission Statement

The Ojai Women’s Fund is a volunteer collective Giving Circle dedicated to making substantial grants on an annual basis. The recipient organizations target critical needs in the Ojai Valley (focus areas include the arts, education, the environment, health services, and social services).

Vision Statement

An Ojai Valley where every person has a healthy, fulfilling life.

“The fact that we have so many women celebrating what it is we are doing together, goes beyond my expectations. We are genuinely making a difference in people’s lives.”

Karen Evenden

Co-Founder

“OWF allowed for me personally to meet some incredibly wonderful women that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It opened up my attitude, my mind, to not just being happy with what I’m doing on a daily basis, but to reach out more. It was what we were finding that people felt, a caring on a different level than we had experienced before.” 

Peggy Russell 

Co-Founder

“We believed that all of us together could do more than we could do individually. And that’s, I think, really the core of why we’re collaborative. We’re not top-down; we’re transparent. And that’s been part of our dream from the get-go.”

Kyle Crowner 

Co-Founder

The Joy of Local Giving

Two qualities embodied in most women are nurturing and caring for others. What better way to translate these skills into action than funding exceptional nonprofits delivering services to the Ojai Valley.

Through our membership groups, the Ojai Womens Fund inspires and educates women to become leaders in philanthropy and help make a difference in the Ojai Valley community. We believe we accomplish more together than we could ever do alone. For a minimum of $100 a year, a woman can participate in this active, vibrant group supporting the good works of Ojai Valley nonprofits.

And it’s a great way to meet other women who share your values of giving back and creating opportunities for the future. So please consider joining this group of women making a difference in the Ojai Valley.

Ojai Women’s Fund Core Values

We commit to INTEGRITY by creating a culture of trust and transparency in all of our actions and decision-making.

We prioritize COLLABORATION through cooperation and mutuality. We believe this is essential for building strong relationships with members, beneficiaries, donors, and volunteers.

We commit to SERVICE in a spirit of empathy, compassion, and respect by prioritizing the community’s needs in all our endeavors.

Who We Are

Ojai Women’s Fund makes substantial grants on an annual basis to organizations that target critical needs in the valley. Since 2016, the group has bestowed nearly $700,000 in grants. Most money comes from small giving groups of five to ten members or more, who pool their donations to equal at least $1,000. The member voting ballot will list grant applications, but not by focus area. Members will vote for five out of the ten nominees. The five grant applications with the most votes will be awarded a grant.

OWF is governed by a Steering Committee made up of OWF members.

Why Join?

The Ojai Women’s Fund provides opportunities for women of all ages to join together and make a substantial difference in our Ojai community.

OWF is open and accessible

Any woman can join. We want our membership to reflect the diversity in our community.

OWF makes it fun and easy to impact our community substantially.

We hold no fundraisers and require no volunteer service. You can be as involved as much or as little as you like.

OWF is democratic

Grantees are nominated and voted on by all members.

OWF membership is tax-deductible

Our volunteer organization keeps expenses to a minimum.

OWF is educational

Members learn about critical community needs and effective programs that result in achievable solutions.

"Joining opened up a world of additional opportunities and friendships.

I admit the thought of not having to make a huge commitment of time was attractive at first, so what I didn’t expect was to find myself on the OWF Steering Committee. I joined OWF with the modest expectation of getting to know members of my giving circle better, and wound up with a greatly expanded circle of friends, a far better understanding of the many diverse needs that exist in the valley and a genuine appreciation for the immense impact even relatively small contributions can have in improving people’s lives and strengthening our community.”

Susan Weaver

"Being a part of OWF has been the most gratifying work I have ever been involved in.

I am inspired daily by what we accomplish together. It is because of you, our members, past, present and future, that we will continue to make a positive difference in our beloved Ojai Valley.”

Margo Haas

"It is important to do what it is you really like to do.

In addition to picking a group that interests you, you want to really think about what you want to do for them. There is always someone you can bounce things off of. There are real partners there. There is a sense of always being able to pick up the phone and call someone.”

Marquita Flemming

OWF Blog

New Member Orientations

New Member Orientations

Our membership co-chair, JJ Jones, welcomed new members in April and May at her home along with other steering committee members. They learned about the history of OWF and how our voting process will work to select 2024 grants. Several stepped up, having heard about...

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Springfest

Springfest

OWF held its annual Springfest on May 9th. The festive picnic at Sarzotti Park featured good food, games, prizes, and fun with friends. Many stories about how OWF has helped the Ojai Valley through our grants were shared. See photos! Photo collage to come

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Critical Needs in Our Community

Critical Needs in Our Community

Alongside the beauty of the Ojai Valley are many citizens in need of assistance. The Ojai Women's Fund (OWF) held an educational event on April 11 featuring Megan Telfer and Jayn Walter, the co-executive directors of HELP of Ojai, an OWF grantee. "The presentations by...

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