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 combined asset total of over $10 billion. According to the 2019 CalNonprofits “Causes Count” Report, Santa Barbara County is the second most charitable county in California based on nonprofit dollars per resident, trailing only San Francisco County.
Generous philanthropists and major funders, including the Santa Barbara Foundation, direct significant resources towards helping those in need and addressing issues important to our residents. With international nonprofits like Direct Relief and Shelter Box based in our communities, our nonprofit sector has a global impact.
That said, Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit sector is also one of the most highly concentrated in the state, meaning that our many local nonprofit organizations – all doing excellent work – compete intensely for dollars and publicity.
Fortunately, the sector has developed a collaborative culture focused on sharing resources and knowledge, thanks in large part to the Nonprofit Resource Network of Santa Barbara County (NPRNSB).
NPRNSB is the digital hub for Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit sector, connecting nonprofits and community members to important news and information. The platform acts as an online notice board for press releases, job, and volunteer opportunities, and events, while also offering webinars, in-person networking events, a weekly email newsletter, and more.
“Almost all the information shared on our website – information produced by individuals and organizations in the sector – is pushed out weekly to our extensive email list. The more people use NPRNSB.org, the more everyone benefits when it comes to keeping up to date on jobs, news, events, and resources,” said Pam Lewis, NPRNSB Manager and COO of Hutton Parker Foundation.
Over the past several years, NPRNSB has stepped up its role as a convener and organizer of relevant capacity-building resources. They host 6 to 10 webinars per year, secure survey information for the Foundation Roundtable, and convene the Executive Director and Development Director Roundtables.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, NPRNSB serves as a crucial resource for disseminating relevant, timely information impacting local nonprofits.
“For better or worse, we built our disaster response muscles after the Thomas Fire and related Debris Flow,” said Dave Fortson, CEO of LOACOM, a Santa Barbara-based communications agency that developed and manages the NPRNSB digital platform. “With COVID-19 we jumped in immediately, producing key webinars related to convening Executive Directors digitally, and organizing several webinars on topics such as how to secure loans via the Paycheck Protection Program, managing transition, and even how to utilize the outdoors to improve mental health.
“Most exciting for us was the cementing of critical collaborations and partnerships with the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Cal Lutheran University, and other partners linking capacity building groups within Santa Barbara County, and between our county and Ventura County.”
The Santa Barbara Foundation is proud to work in collaboration with the Nonprofit Resource Network as we strive to support and strengthen our nonprofit community. The Foundation’s recently launched Collaboration for Social Impact, which also provides resources and capacity building support for area nonprofits, works alongside NPRNSB to ensure that Santa Barbara County’s robust social sector has the resources it needs to succeed, especially during times of crisis.
“I’m grateful for all the work put in by the NPRNSB team. Their platform is a place where we can all connect, stay informed, and help each other out,” expressed Gary Clark, Director of the Collaboration for Social Impact at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “To have a community partner whose goals align so closely with our own – it makes our social sector that much stronger.”
The Santa Barbara Foundation and Hutton Parker Foundation have been and continue to be cornerstone funders of NPRNSB. Additional support from local foundations, including the Jackson Family Foundation, Monroe Foundation, JS Bower Foundation, McCune Foundation, Outhwaite Foundation, Mosher Foundation, Audacious Foundation, Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Natalie Orfalea Foundation, SG Foundation, Towbes Foundation, and Zegar Foundation, makes NPRNSB a truly collaborative effort.
To learn more about NPRNSB and explore their digital platform, visit: nprnsb.org.