Our Social Sector

The Collaboration for Social Impact

The Collaboration for Social Impact is the newest venture of the Santa Barbara Foundation. Through the Collaboration, we are elevating 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. This includes finding and training effective leaders, collaborating with other nonprofits, and raising enough funds to operate – all while providing services on a daily basis. 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.

Although the industry is a major employer in California, the health of many nonprofits nationally shows a real fragility.

The Social Sector at a Glance

  • The nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in California employing over one million individuals (report by CalNonprofits)
  • On a national basis 7-8% of nonprofits are technically insolvent with liabilities exceeding assets
  • If we apply these numbers to our county’s nonprofits it would show that 137 would be insolvent and nearly 587 would have lost money over the last three years.

If you are interested in contributing to the Collaboration for Social Impact, we welcome your partnership and appreciate your support.

Give Now

Taking Action

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 will facilitate workshops, seminars, coaching and mentoring, along with public and social sector advocacy. These will be developed and implemented through an ongoing coordination with community leaders and partner organizations. The Collaboration will support 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 and launch of CSI is advised by an esteemed group of nonprofit executive leaders who live and work throughout Santa Barbara County. Each member will reside on the CSI advisory group for two years.

The CSI Advisory Group includes:

  • Sylvia Barnard, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Shelter
  • Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director of Future Leaders of America
  • Sean Hawkins, Executive Director of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society
  • Victoria Juarez, President and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
  • Patricia Keelean, CEO of the Community Action Commission
  • Dean Palius, 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


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.

Small Capacity Building Grant Program

Collaboration for Social Impact Investments in Action

Congratulations to the 2019 Santa Barbara County Leadership Award Recipients!

The Santa Barbara Foundation sponsored and hosted the inaugural Santa Barbara County Leadership Awards on Tuesday, May 14 in Solvang, California. This joyous event brought together 200 community members in […]

Bridge Clinic Offers Transitional Care For Substance Abuse

Featured in County Connections Report: Supporting Wellness in Santa Barbara County BY QUINSHA JACKSON-WRIGHT | LEER EN ESPAÑOL The Bridge Clinic, the result of a collaboration between Cottage Hospital and the Santa […]

Leadership Awards

Launched in May 2019, the Collaboration for Social Impact sponsors Leadership Awards to honor inspired individuals and organizations that have demonstrated excellence as emerging leaders, collaborators or visionaries. Learn more about our Leadership Awards.

2019 Santa Barbara County Leadership Award Recipients. Left to Right: Valerie Kissel, Maricela Morales, Dr. Charles Fenzi, and Edwin Weaver.

2019 Leadership Awardees

Visionary Leader Award: Maricela Morales, Executive Director of Central Coast Alliance United for Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

Better Together Award: Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics collaboration with the Bridge Clinic, which includes Cottage Health, CADA, AEGIS, and New Beginnings Counseling Center | Recently featured in our County Connections Report!

Emerging Leader Awards: Valerie Kissell, Executive Director of Youth & Family Services YMCA (Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter) and Edwin Weaver, Executive Director of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley



Contact our team to help you with your specific needs.