Part III: Santa Barbara Businesses Give Back to the Community

Noozhawk, Aera Energy, Accountix, and Bacara Resort and Spa

Over the course of the next month, NPRN will be shining a light on a handful of business-nonprofit partnerships developing out of the Business Giving Roundtable to show the varied methods companies are using to infuse philanthropic giving into their business models, as well as how nonprofits benefit big when they do.

Business Giving Roundtable (BGR) is a growing forum where local business leaders share strategic approaches to corporate social responsibility and employee volunteerism. BGR promotes business giving, and elevates the generous contributions of its members including local entrepreneurs, international corporations and local chambers of commerce. You can see the full list of members here.

One of Nonprofit Resource Network of Santa Barbara County’s goals is to be an outlet to share news coming from the sector.  We were honored to attend a recent BGR gathering with the purpose of sharing with our members strategies about how these companies infuse philanthropy into their business models. Today, we focus on Noozhawk, Aera Energy, Accountix, and Bacara Resort and Spa.


“Organizations come back and reapply for media grants over and over again. At this point, it’s a matter of managing how many grants are running at once, and making sure partnerships are a win-win for the organization, Noozhawk, and the community at large.” – Kim Clark

imgres  Noozhawk is a news outlet delivering breaking news in Santa Barbara. Although news is their business, they believe they have a corporate social responsibility to enrich and improve the community through strategic philanthropy. Noozhawk supports a broad spectrum of local community organizations and events, and one of the ways they show support is by providing qualified nonprofit clients advertising discounts as well as 50/50 in-kind sponsorships for events and initiatives.

Next month, Noozhawk will be launching Good for Santa Barbara – a five-week series examining and celebrating Santa Barbara county’s nonprofit and philanthropic sector. As an outlet continually interfacing with the region’s social sector, Noozhawk catches sight of strategies and tactics that are working. Good for Santa Barbara will familiarize the general public about these beneficial strategies, as well showcase the relationships being built between nonprofits, foundations, and businesses. This series aims to elevate the importance of these causes which add to Santa Barbara’s identity, as well as inspire transformation of ideas into positive action. Noozhawk reporters are currently developing over sixty stories featuring local nonprofits. Inspired by Montecito Bank and Trust’s Anniversary Grants, Good for Santa Barbara recognizes that due to a changing technology culture, Noozhawk’s digital interface makes it well positioned to inform and engage the community about the inspiring partnerships being built throughout the county.

Aera Energy

“Aera appreciates that the opportunity to support the building improvements of the Boys and Girls Club has evolved into a deeper partnership.” – Susan Hersberger

aeraenergyllc_logoAera Energy, one of California’s leading energy companies, actively supports a growing number of community organizations throughout Santa Barbara County. The energy company contributes to programs that benefit children and families, schools, business, civic organizations and more. One of the local partnerships that Aera Energy is proud to support is with the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley. A few years back, after the need for a vehicle to transport children was expressed by the organization, Aera Energy helped the nonprofit underwrite the purchase of a van. The year after that, during the rainy season, the roof of the Boys and Girls Club began to leak. The Executive Director spoke with Aera Energy about the issue, and the energy company underwrote the purchase of a roof for the main facility in Santa Maria. This year, in 2016, the Boys and Girls Club requested support from Aera Energy to help the nonprofit retrofit the inside of the facility. Aera Energy is stepping in to help renovate the gym, which is used as a community multi-purpose room, and is also helping revamp the internet and AV capabilities throughout the building. The cost of these retrofits will be shared with the Boys and Girls Club Foundation. Aera Energy is eager to help the Boys and Girls Club expand outreach and programs which serve the entire community at large.


“I’m excited about giving back to the community. It seems really simple, but it makes a difference. Our team is really excited about having a cohesive strategy in place.” – Van Hass

logo-in-circleAccountix is an outsourced finance and bookkeeping company helping business owners streamline and complete normal day-to-day accounting functions, such as paying bills and invoicing in efficient ways. As a team of five, Accountix does not yet feel ready to write large contribution checks. However, inspired by a Business Giving Roundtable gathering a few months back, Van Hass, Accountix CEO and Founder, schemed a strategy to help nonprofits. Realizing many organizations need support with accounting, the Accountix team decided that every employee would choose a nonprofit to donate their time and expertise to. In addition, Accountix decided to commit to volunteering as a team at two community events per year.

Bacara Resort and Spa

“It’s incredible to be able to host so many inspiring and impactful organizations here at Bacara.” Monica Finley

bacaraBacara Resort and Spa is very involved in the community. For the last decade, Bacara has donated linens to Direct Relief International (DRI), a humanitarian aid organization active in all 50 states and 70 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. The linens as bandages in the countries where DRI provides services. Bacara also supports the Dream Foundation which serves terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure, by hosting families and fulfilling a resort-stay dream.

Stay tuned over the next month to learn about a handful of other businesses giving back to Santa Barbara county organizations through innovative, impactful partnerships!

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