Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector through our Small Capacity Building Grant Program

The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara pose in front of their new van, purchased with the help of a Small Capacity Building Grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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 in Santa Barbara County. The nonprofit sector plays an important role and therefore the Foundation provides additional resources to organizations through the Small Capacity Grants Program. With the launch of the Collaboration for Social Impact, the Foundation believes that maintaining a healthy nonprofit sector leads to a healthier, more resilient community.

The Small Capacity Building Grants Program, formerly the Express Grants Program, supports organizational development and capacity building, staff or board training and development, defined projects, and small capital items and equipment. The maximum award for Small Capacity Building Grant is $5,000 and the Foundation offers nonprofits opportunities throughout the year to apply. Awards are given eight weeks following the grant deadline. The objective of the Small Capacity Building Grants Program is to provide funding that help organizations strengthen these fundamentals in support of their mission and better programmatic outcomes, and ultimately lead to positive change in our community.

The Consciousness Network, Inc. hosts a “gratitude gathering” that brings like-minded individuals together who share an interest in personal growth and the core values of living with awareness, compassion, and a meaningful sense of purpose in life.

“With nonprofits focused on directing their funding to providing direct services to the communities they serve, many nonprofits have very little discretionary funding to allocate to training or professional development opportunities for their staff,” said Pedro Paz, Director of Grantmaking at the Santa Barbara Foundation.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation’s Small Capacity Building Grant provided the precise kind of support The Consciousness Network needed to establish a new, formal fundraising strategy. As a result, we have become even more capable of serving Santa Barbara County for many more years to come through our mission to empower conscious choice-making for a better world. The Santa Barbara Foundation is a gift to the entire community as demonstrated through their commitment to service and the welfare of Santa Barbara County’s community,” said Forrest Leichtberg, President of The Consciousness Network, Inc.


“The Santa Barbara Foundation has been supporting our Club for decades and this year with the Small Capacity Building Grant Program we received $5,000,” said Laurie Leis, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara. “With this grant and support from others we were able to purchase a new van that has allowed us to double the number of kids that receive free after school transportation to the Club. A majority of our parents work so transportation from school to the Club is a necessity. It’s the difference between their kids staying at home alone unsupervised to providing them with an enriched and educational after school experience. Our Club Family thanks you!”

In 2019 the Foundation awarded a total of $324,200 in Small Capacity Building Grants to 72 organizations from across the county.

2019 Small Capacity Building Grant Awarded by Sector

Arts, Culture, and Humanities $54,700
Behavioral Health $5,000
Education $35,300
Environment and Animals $61,800
Health Care $24,900
Housing and Shelter $9,500
Human Services $100,300
Other $10,000
Public and Societal Benefit $22,700

Related News