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 the thousands of nonprofits in Santa Barbara County.

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
  • Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director of Future Leaders of America
  • Victoria Juarez, former President and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
  • 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
  • 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. GIVE NOW

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.



Upcoming Events

2021 Community Info Session

Join Us and Learn about Our 2021 Community Grant Program Areas We invite you to attend the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 2021 Info Session. You will meet SBF staff and learn […]

2021 Small Capacity Building Grant Q&A

If you have general questions regarding this specific grant area, join us for this virtual Q&A session with SBF staff.

Collaboration for Social Impact Related News

Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector through our Small Capacity Building Grant Program

BY KARA SHOEMAKER | January 29, 2020 The Santa Barbara Foundation’s priorities focus on addressing the basic human needs of our most vulnerable community members and support for working families […]

NPRNSB Supports Robust Nonprofit Sector’s Collaborative Culture

BY SAM WATERSTONE | May 7, 2020 Santa Barbara County is well known as a philanthropic powerhouse. We are home to more than 4,500 registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, with a […]

Newly-Rebranded “CommUnify” is Here for Our Neighbors in Need

SAM WATERSTONE | October 13, 2020 A “CommUnifying” Force Perhaps no organization has been as integral to the coordination of health and human services during the COVID-19 pandemic as CommUnify […]

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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