About the Capacity Building Program
The FUND believes that non-monetary resources often have an equal or greater value than cash grants, especially to small grassroots organizations. As such, the FUND commits considerable staff and volunteer time to support community-based organizations with skill-building opportunities, convenings, informational resources, and free tailored consulting and facilitation services through its Capacity Building Program.
We specialize in working with progressive individuals and community groups who can identify unmet needs and have a vision and plan for meeting them, but lack some technical skills or track record to make them succeed. We often support “seed projects,” which, with a little “fertilizing” support, will grow and flourish. These groups usually have little or no money for training, are in the critical time of initiating a new project, or are empowering segments of our community normally without financial resources to organize. Additionally, as you are well aware, with the Santa Barbara Foundation’s recent increases in capacity building efforts, the FUND finds itself in a particularly-opportune position to focus its efforts on supporting movement building social change work locally.
The Capacity Building Program is embedded throughout our organization, involving our entire staff and, at times, our Board of Directors, Youth Making Change Boards, and Grant-Making Committee, as well as partner organizations and key volunteers.
We strive to ensure our services remain accessible. All of our facilitation and consulting services are free of charge. Our regular formal training opportunities continue to have a nominal and sliding scale fee structure so that no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. In addition, all of our facilitation and consulting services are available in Spanish and ASL as well as in English. We are also committed to soliciting constructive feedback and continuously improving the accessibility and effectiveness of our programs.
Learn more about our:
Our educational workshop offerings remain a core way we continue to support our constituents. We convene speakers and curate content on a broad array of topics helpful to social change organizations and leaders locally, including those on nonprofit lobbying & advocacy, demonstrator know your rights, grassroots organizing, grant seeking and grassroots fundraising, topic-based panels, strategies on social change, and more. We're committed to keeping this content accessible to the community and are always looking for suggestions!
Check out our recent recordings & resources and upcoming workshop offerings.
Read more about our collaborative effort to produce equity-based actionable data for policy and systems change efforts in the Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties region.
Helping groups apply for funding is the responsibility of our office staff, who field hundreds of inquiries about how to apply for funding from the Fund and other local funders. We offer pre-proposal review for all applicants to help them present their proposals with strength to the Grant Making Committee. Twice a year, we hold multiple public workshops to explain our application process and assist with grant-writing. These meetings also serve to connect activists across different issues and constituencies.
Individualized technical advice provides training and resources tailored to the organization’s particular needs. Consulting is available to groups in dozens of areas, including community organizing, starting a nonprofit, board development, strategic planning, facilitation of retreats, financial management, grant-writing, fundraising, foundation and business resources, program design, lobbying, advocacy, and more. Many of these resources are available on our "Resources for Organizers" page.
Serving as an activist network center meets our goal of building community. On a daily basis, our office helps activists learn about each other’s work and to craft plans for individual and collective efforts. To see a list of events happening in our community visit our Community Calendar.
Collaboration with other foundations and capacity building providers helps strengthen our community’s vital nonprofit sector.
Check out our 2020 Year End Highlights Newsletter highlighting our Capacity Building and other programmatic accomplishments.
Thank you to the following funding partners for investing in the FUND's Capacity Building Partners, alongside other funders and donors.