Visionary Leader Award Guidelines

Nominations for the Visionary Leader Award Are Now Closed


The Visionary Leader Award recognizes an individual whose career has achieved extraordinary impact within the non-profit sector to address one or more of the County’s most pressing long term problems or diversity issues. This individual’s demonstrated “out of the box” thinking has led to enhancing the economic, cultural or social well-being of the County. In so doing, this individual has helped the non-profit sector to build capacity, strengthened existing or established new collaboration among communities and/or organizations and has help to increase the awareness of the importance of the sector in the vitality of our communities. To achieve this, this leader has been willing to take risks and/or stepped up in times of crisis to pursue a vision. Moreover, this individual fully engages collaborative approaches to working together, attracts people to a mission all the while being able to work across many perspectives in a respectful and genuine way.

The recipient of the Visionary Leader Award will receive a $75,000 grant/award to utilize toward the following capacity-building priorities:

  • $25,000 to the Individual’s 2019 Compensation & Benefits Package
  • $40,000 to the Individual’s Organization for General Operating Support
  • $10,000 to the Individual’s Organization for Staff Development/Training



Visionary Leader Award Nominations

For a nominee to be considered, there must be three nominators who as a whole are able to convey how the nominee has reflected the ideals of the award across the nominee’s nonprofit career.  They must complete one nomination form and include a written statement about how the nominee exemplifies the ideals of the award.


  • May be working in any area (education, health and human services, economic development, environment, arts, housing, etc.) of the nonprofit sector
  • Must be working for a Santa Barbara County-based 501(c)(3)
  • No posthumous nominations will be accepted


  • 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:

  • 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



Selection Criteria


  • Is creative, yet efficient in bringing a vision to fruition
  • Embodies good management practices and effectiveness

Community Building

  • Encourages and fosters people to speak up
  • Demonstrates ability to work with and bring people of differing viewpoints or backgrounds together
  • Builds trust and collaboration

 Ethical Integrity

  • Demonstrates qualities of humility while being bold, visionary and innovative
  • Demonstrates values and behaviors consistent with a perspective that honors and celebrates the diversity of our communities

Leadership Through Impact

  • Demonstrates exceptional leadership even in times of personal, organizational or sector adversity
  • Achieves extraordinary impact in improving a community issue
  • Is able to achieve impact with limited resources

Commitment to Strengthening the Sector

  • Calls others into leadership with them
  • Attracts people to a mission
  • Creates spaces within and outside of their organization where open sharing and opportunity for others to shine occur



2019 Visionary Leader Award Selection Timeline

The Visionary 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