The City of Santa Monica launched the application period for four seats on the nine-member advisory board focused on fundraising for the We Are Santa Monica Fund, a donor-advised fund managed in partnership with California Community Foundation (CCF). Board members will serve a two-year term commencing in spring 2023. Individuals interested in serving on the We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board should complete an application at no later than February 28, 2023.

Since the We Are Santa Monica Fund was established, community members have donated nearly $1.6 million. Over $1 million in grants has been disbursed to more than 70 organizations, including 40 small business grants facilitated by the City’s non-profit partner LISC. As of December 2022, $370,000 went toward the distribution of free meals to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, $25,000 supported the Cayton Children’s Museum’s Free Admission and Equity Initiative, $20,000 was granted to Social & Emotional Wellness Initiative’s partnership with SMMUSD, and a $400,000 community-initiated donation was made to restore the Police Cadet Program.  

“We are eager to invite more people to get involved in the We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board,” said City Manager David White.  “Every dollar raised addresses real community needs like supporting non-profit organizations that serve our community’s most vulnerable, as well as cultural organizations and small businesses, advancing equity and ensuring access, and investing in healthy neighborhoods and community resiliency. If you are ready to make a difference in Santa Monica, apply today.” 

The Fund was established at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a pathway for the community to donate emergency goods, services, and monetary funds to aid recovery efforts and has now expanded to support programs that advance equity, healthy neighborhoods, a vibrant local economy, and programs that support community resiliency. At the recommendation of the advisory board, CCF awards grants to eligible non-profits and City services in support of four program areas: Vibrant Local Economy, Santa Monica for All, Healthy Neighborhoods, and Lending a Hand.

The nine-member We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board advises the City Manager and conducts the following duties:  

  • Fundraises within the community and personal networks.
  • Provides input on the allocation of funds to non-profit community partners and community-focused programs and services. 
  • Enhances community and donor awareness of the Fund, consistent with fundraising restrictions and best practices for donor-advised funds. 
  • Community outreach and communications.
  • Shares responsibilities for coordinating, planning, and conducting board meetings, including but not limited to handling meeting logistics, agenda planning and preparation, and recording meeting minutes.

Qualifications for the We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board include: 

  1. Extensive knowledge of the Santa Monica community and the needs of its residents and businesses.  
  2. Santa Monica community stakeholder (resident, business owner, student, or employee of a Santa Monica-based business). 
  3. Expertise in fundraising, non-profit operations and management, government and community relations, finance/investments, legal services, entrepreneurship, communications and outreach, or other relevant expertise or unique qualifications that would benefit the Fund. 
  4. Commitment to actively engage in fundraising efforts (required). 
  5. Must not currently be serving on a City of Santa Monica appointed or elected board, commission, task force, or the City Council. 
  6. Must not currently be employed by the City of Santa Monica. 

Community members interested in serving on the We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board should complete the online application by February 28, 2023. For more information on the advisory board or to donate to the We Are Santa Monica Fund,   

Submitted by Tati Simonian, Acting Public Information Officer