About the Collaboration for Social Impact

Through the Collaboration for Social Impact, Santa Barbara Foundation elevates our commitment to advancing the strength and capacity of Santa Barbara County nonprofits.

Life in the nonprofit world means daily challenges, which have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes finding and training effective leaders, collaborating with other nonprofits, and raising enough funds to operate – all while providing ongoing services to an increasing need. The Santa Barbara Foundation believes the key to strengthening the social sector is to ensure its leaders and organizations have the knowledge, skills and resources to fulfill their mission. Strong nonprofits lead to a strong community.

The Collaboration for Social Impact (CSI) draws on the expertise of a diverse and experienced group of executive leaders who have long worked on the front lines of nonprofits. The Collaboration facilitates workshops, seminars, coaching and mentoring, along with public and social sector advocacy. These are developed and implemented through an ongoing coordination with community leaders and partner organizations. The Collaboration supports capacity building in the areas of leadership development, technical assistance, financial management, technology, cross organizational collaboration, as well as personnel health and wellness.

The development of CSI is advised by an esteemed group of nonprofit executive leaders who live and work throughout Santa Barbara County. Each member resides on the CSI advisory group for a limited term insuring new voices inform the evolution of the program.

The current CSI Advisory Committee includes:

  • Sylvia Barnard, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Shelter
  • Lynn Carlisle, Executive Director of the Cuyama Family Resource Center
  • Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director of Future Leaders of America
  • Patricia Keelean, CEO of the CommunifySB (formerly the Community Action Commission)
  • Dean Palius, former CEO of Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People
  • Ernesto Paredes, Executive Director of Easy Lift and Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee
  • Steven Sharpe, Executive Director of Food From The Heart
  • Sigrid Wright, President and CEO of the Community Environmental Council

Gary Clark serves as the Director of the Collaboration for Social Impact and the program is supported by Community Engagement Coordinator Maria Caudillo.

If you are interested in contributing to the Collaboration for Social Impact to help bolster the capacity of the social sector, we welcome your partnership and appreciate your support.


About the Santa Barbara County Nonprofit Sector

Santa Barbara’s nonprofit sector is made up of approximately 1,960 active nonprofits[1] who generate a total revenue of over $3 billion (Causes Count, CalNonprofits, 2019). That translates to over $5,500 per resident, making our county the 2nd highest in the state in terms of nonprofit revenue per capita. Yet, our communities’ experience is comparable to other counties in child poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, natural disasters, and primary and behavioral health outcomes.

Statewide, nonprofits generate 15% of California’s GDP and 1 in every 14 jobs in California is a nonprofit job. According to the 2019 Causes Count report, Santa Barbara County nonprofits employ 20,687 individuals (prior to the pandemic) and are typically supported by over 54,000 volunteers. It is important to note that the median salaries for a nonprofit program assistant is $36,000; $63,000 for program managers; and $79,000 for a nonprofit Executive Director. As a result, a portion of the nonprofit workforce also account for vulnerable families in need.

Learn more about the critical role the nonprofit sector plays in California’s economy by reading Causes Count: The Economic Power of California’s Nonprofit Sector (2019)

Download the full report: www.calnonprofits.org/causes-count

Nonprofit Sector Resources

The Santa Barbara Foundation believes that the key to strengthening the social sector is nonprofit leaders and organizations having the knowledge, skills and resources to fulfill their mission. A healthy social sector improves the social outcomes for our communities – strong nonprofits lead to a strong community. To that end, we have curated a catalog of nonprofit sector resources we encourage you to consider in your effort to develop your organization and your own nonprofit career.



COVID-Related Resources

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the health and well-being of our community is our top priority. We curate information and resources to support our social sector’s response to COVID on our COVID nonprofit resource page and we provide additional updates and recommendations via email, our website, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). For social sector news and updates, please also refer to the Nonprofit Resource Network (NPRNSB).


Small Capacity Building Grant Program

Small Capacity Building Grants (formerly Express Grants) are awards of up to $5,000 aimed at strengthening the organizational capacity and programmatic effectiveness of nonprofit organizations serving Santa Barbara County.




CalNonprofits Membership

The Santa Barbara Foundation, with support from the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort, is partnering with CalNonprofits to provide FREE 1st year memberships for Santa Barbara County nonprofits. Click here to learn more.


Upcoming Events

CalNonprofits Webinar – How to Apply for the California Venues Grants Program

Grants of up to $250,000 are available to eligible performing arts venues – including nonprofits — through The California Office of the Small Business Advocate. The short application window for […]

CalNonprofits Webinar – 2021 Policy Convention

Join us (virtually!) at our annual Policy Convention as we explore some of the key issues facing California’s nonprofit community in the year ahead. It’s a time for grassroots advocates, […]

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Collaboration for Social Impact Bolsters Nonprofit Community

BY SAM WATERSTONE | March 8, 2021 The nonprofit sector makes up a significant portion of our economy – statewide, nonprofits generate 15 percent of California’s GDP, and represent 1 […]

Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Puts DEI Plan into Action

BY KARA SHOEMAKER | March 8, 2021 After the events of 2020, building out an effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan became a key priority for many nonprofit organizations […]

Disaster Planning Guides Successful Response at Good Samaritan Shelter

Featured in the County Connections Report: Together, We Can BY SAM WATERSTONE As COVID-19 began disrupting communities across the country in late March, disturbing reports of homeless shelter shutdowns and […]


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