OWF Member Profile: Meet Sandi White

As we place special emphasis on membership this summer, it makes perfect sense to cast a warm spotlight on Sandi White, our Chair of the Ojai Women’s Fund (OWF) Membership Committee.  You’ve probably already met, spoken with, or at least heard Sandi speak at one of our functions or meet-and-greet events.  Yes, she’s the gal who seems to have it all – brains, beauty and poise.  But don’t mistake her sense of ease for a life of ease.  Sandi is one hard working gal!  Her focus on philanthropy is both a professional and personal one. Her career as a professional fundraiser has included leadership roles at such non-profit organizations as Court Appointed Special Advocates, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Westmont College and, currently, UCSB.

“I've been working in non-profit fundraising as a professional for more than 20 years, and have experienced how beneficial additional funds can be to a small non-profit as well as to a larger organization," she says. "Most times, non-profits are continually in need of more funding and many times administrators of the services provided are wearing multiple hats; they may also be the person who writes for grants and tries to secure funding through various avenues.  I've been in that position and know that every dollar raised makes a difference.”

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sandi’s upbringing helped to mold her lifelong values of commitment, compassion and community. The collective giving concept on which the Ojai Women’s Fund is built provides Sandi an opportunity to embrace personal philanthropy based on her core values. 

“Giving back is something that was instilled in me as a child," Sandi says. "My parents, while not wealthy, always made it a point to be charitable to their passions and to their community. To this day, if I receive a gift of money from my parents, they remind me that 10 percent should be given to charity!  As a professional fundraiser working for non-profits, I've seen and know the joy that our donors receive when they generously offer support to others. They see first hand how their gifts truly change the lives of children, families and students. I believe we all feel satisfaction when we help others, and through the Ojai Women's Fund we/you will become a part of a group of women who will touch the lives of many and you can take joy from knowing that!”

Sandi was recruited in the concept phase of Ojai Women’s Fund (OWF) by friend Karen Evenden, co-founder of the Ojai Women’s Fund, and gracefully accepted the challenge to chair the OWF Membership Committee.  In her spare time (i.e. evenings, weekends and daily roundtrip commutes from Ojai to Santa Barbara!) Sandi contributes ideas, insights, experience, writing, speaking, technical- and event-planning savvy to help establish, expand, position and promote OWF.  Prior to joining the Ojai Women’s Fund Sandi was a two-year member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund, the organization on which OWF patterned our own philanthropic group. Her passion and commitment to proactive community efforts are genuine and, quite frankly, contagious!

 “I believe the Ojai Women's Fund is a wonderful way to provide much needed funding to area non-profits," she says. "As women living in the Ojai community, I think it’s our responsibility to do what we can to support the efforts of local non-profit organizations that provide services and goods to benefit those in need.  When we gather resources collectively we’re able to make valuable and positive differences in our community. And, as I've said before, how fun to be able to work together as a group of caring women!” 

When she’s not actively engaged in an OWF project, or commuting to or from, or working at UCSB, Sandi enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, or on the tennis court. She shares her life in Ojai with husband Scott, a marketing director for a laser company, and daughter Lexi, an architect, who lives and works in Los Angeles. Sandi loves to share the good news about the Ojai Women’s Fund and explain its brilliantly simple construct.  To learn more about OWF membership, contact Sandi at (805) 746-3096 or ojaiwf@gmail.com.

Also, Sandi wants to remind us of two more upcoming opportunities to gather our gal pals and attend cozy informational evenings on “Creating Your Giving Group.”  If you’re a member without a group; are considering membership; or reaching out to friends and acquaintances to join OWF, please spread the word and plan to attend one or both gatherings to meet other women looking to join individually; to join a group; to join as a group; or to create a new group. 

Sunday, July 17, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Call or email for address
RSVP at (805) 746-3096 or info@ojaiwomensfund.org

Thursday, August 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Call or email for address
RSVP at (805) 746-3096 or info@ojaiwomensfund.org

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