Emerging Leader Award

Nominations for the Emerging Leader Award Are Now Closed


This award is designed to recognize and call attention to the promise and impact of talented nonprofit leaders. These are individuals that have recently made it to the top of their organization or on their way. This person may be a recently appointed executive director or chief executive officer, a program director or manager in any area of operations (i.e., development, administration, marketing, direct services, volunteer management, outreach) whose work has begun to transcend their organization and impact Santa Barbara County communities in a meaningful way. This individual is recognized by peers as someone they admire, who inspires them through their demonstrated leadership, the passion for helping others and commitment to nonprofit sector. This person demonstrates a thirst and curiosity for learning and self-improvement and a propensity for fostering growth in others. Above all else, this person is a change agent within their organization.

There will be two (2) Emerging Leader Awards in the amount of $5,000. 


Emerging Leader Award Nominations

  • Nominee must be a current leader or one with a demonstrated potential to lead
  • Employed with a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 10 years of professional experience in nonprofit 501(c)(3) sector leadership
  • Whose work has begun to have impact beyond their organization and whose potential to make a significant contribution to the nonprofit sector will increase through assuming higher and increased levels of leadership
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional development and continuing education to improve their professional and personal growth
  • Ability to collaborate with people across different perspectives


  • May be working in any area (education, health and human services, economic development, arts, housing, etc.) of the nonprofit sector
  • Must be working full-time or part-time with a Santa Barbara County based 501c3
  • No posthumous nominations will be accepted


  • Nominator maybe be a member of the organization’s Board of Directors, its Executive Director (unless it’s the nominee), or a peer in the non-profit sector
  • Cannot be the nominee, a family member or employee of the nominee (board members, volunteers and community members are among those eligible to make nominations).
  • Should be well-acquainted with the nominee and can attest to their qualifications.

Nomination Process:

  • Complete online application
  • Answer narrative questions
  • Include a letter of support from the Executive Director or Board Chair
  • Include a listing of the nominee’s professional experience and accomplishments
  • An incomplete nomination form disqualifies the nomination.
  • Faxed, emailed or hard copy nominations will not be accepted – online submissions only
  • Once a nomination has been submitted it may no longer be edited.
  • Nominations must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. on May 3, 2019.



2019 Emerging Leader Award Selection Timeline

The Emerging Leader Award will follow the selection timeline below. Nominations for each award will be reviewed by the Santa Barbara Foundation with the Collaboration for Social Impact (CSI) Advisory Group.

Friday, April 5, 2019 Nomination period opens for award
Friday, May 3, 2019 at noon Nomination period closes
Review Process Social Sector Advisory Group meets to discuss nominations and advise on the (two or three) finalists
Review Process Foundation leadership meets to select award recipients
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1st Annual Santa Barbara County Leadership Awards event