Consulting & Support
One of the Fund’s philosophical beliefs is that educational resources often have an equal or greater value than cash grants, especially to small working groups of people.
For this reason, and as part of its mission to provide an alternative concept in philanthropy, the Fund consciously commits staff and volunteer time to support community activists and organizations with skills-building opportunities, informational resources, and advice through our Technical Assistance (T.A.) Program. The T.A. Program compliments our grant making by offering accessible workshops and consulting services to ensure grassroots organizers’ success in promoting progressive social, economic, environmental and political change.
We specialize in working with progressive individuals and community groups who can identify an unmet need and have a vision and plan for meeting it but lack some technical skills or track record to make it 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, and/or are empowering a portion of the community normally without financial resources to organize.
The T.A. Program involves our staff, Board, and Grant Making Committee members. All our services are bi-lingual (Spanish/English) and are provided free of charge.
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.
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 at: http://www.fundforsantabarbara.org/cal.php
Collaboration with other foundations and organizations helps strengthen our community’s vital nonprofit sector. Joining with The Foundation Roundtable, a group of 30 local foundation representatives, we meet monthly to discuss issues and plan the annual Partnership for Excellence Conference, bringing foundations and nonprofits together for information and dialogue.