Live virtual event on Wednesday, October 20, 2021
9:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT

Generously sponsored by The Foundation Roundtable for more than 25 years, the Partnership for Excellence (PFE) convenes hundreds of Santa Barbara County nonprofit and foundation staff and leaders to learn, network, and collaborate together.

Join us on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 for a virtual event highlighting nonprofit-funder partnerships, re-connecting members of our sector, reflecting on the past year and a half, and moving forward in a pandemic-informed world.


The past 18 months have been difficult and demanding on our nonprofit sector in ways too numerous to list. Today, our workforce is on the frontlines of community and systems change through programs, services, and business as our world earnestly reopens amid ongoing health guidelines.

We are hopeful and we are exhausted.
We are committed and often over-committed.
We are compassionate, resilient, and strained.

At the Partnership for Excellence 2021, how might we reconnect to share, renew our spirits,
and explore pathways to collectively strengthen our community together?

This fall, Community Connections will highlight some of the many positive shifts, new alliances, and important lessons in our region in response to simultaneous pandemic/economic challenges and social justice movements/ DEIA advances. This year’s program elevates new and strengthened partnerships, funding models, programs and services, equity issues and awareness, and factors influencing our ways of working and grantmaking.

Imagine hearing from your peers about what changes organizations, foundations and leaders want to keep, to build on, or to let go of in our communities.


During this program, join peers on the new ZoomEvents platform to engage in community building and reconnection through storytelling and conversations together. A presentation of the initial findings from the Santa Barbara Foundation’s countywide Nonprofit Leader Survey will launch the day. Our featured Community Conversations highlight partnerships with local organizations and funders sharing their stories – innovations, tough lessons, unexpected outcomes – and illustrating our communities’ resilience. Breakout conversations will provide spaces for participants to reflect, relate and gain new perspectives. These continued conversations among participants may open other focused ideas for listening to and learning from one another.

What does it look like to apply cultural context and an equity lens to pandemic response strategies? What can we learn from the hard work of developing a task force to advocate, engage different voices and expand access to lifesaving resources?

How might we create a more proactive, open dialogue between nonprofits and funders in order to invite greater understanding and collaboration? What would it look like to reimagine the nonprofit funder relationship in order to advance greater capacity building for organizations and community leaders?

How do we respond as a community in the face of mass, collective trauma? What does it really look like to provide safe spaces whilst leading with compassion and hope?

8:45 AM Platform Opens
9:00 AM 

Opening Session – more info here

  • Welcome 
  • Nonprofit Leader Survey presentation with hosted breakout sessions
  • Introduction to Community Conversations
10:20 AM10-Minute Break
10:30 AM

Community Conversations (Attendee choice of one)

  • Reimagining Resilience – Innovations from Neighborhoods to Regions
  • Applying Our Equity Lens – County Outreach and Partnering with Latinx Indigenous Migrant Task Force
  • Diversifying Access to Mental Health Care in Our Communities
11:20 AM10-Minute Break
11:30 AM 

Community Conversation Breakouts (Randomly selected small groups)

Random breakouts for all participants to reflect and discuss topics from Community Conversations and relevance to their organizations and leadership

12:15 PMProgram Ends – Rooms stay open until 12:30 pm*



Laura Deitrick, Ph.D. 
Associate Director
The Nonprofit Institute University of San Diego


Tessa Tinkler, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
The Nonprofit Institute University of San Diego

State of the Nonprofit Sector – Presentation and Breakout Discussion

The State of the Nonprofit Sector report provides findings on the current state of Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit sector, from the perspective of its leaders. Amidst a turbulent and unpredictable global pandemic that continues to shake the sector, come and learn key insights about the financial health; state of the workforce; critical trends in diversity, equity and inclusion; and capacity of nonprofits to address our region’s greatest challenges.

​Select from one of the following topics for hosted breakout sessions:

  • Workforce Retention and Hiring​
  • Staff and Volunteer Wellness
  • Strategic Planning and Long Term Recovery
  • Reopening and Hybrid Operations
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

The Partnership for Excellence welcomes representatives from nonprofits and foundations with the intention to represent the diversity of our community. Staff and board members from 501c(3) nonprofit organizations and foundations serving Santa Barbara County community members are invited to register. We welcome grassroots, small and larger organizations as well as a variety of roles in the sector from throughout the county.

Consultants currently serving Santa Barbara County nonprofits are also welcome.

To help broaden perspectives, organizations are invited to register up to (5) persons for this virtual event. Participating organizations are encouraged to diversify your registrants, and the PFE gathering, by including staff from two or more county locations (north/mid/south), as well as representatives from foundation leadership, programs, community outreach/advocacy, executive/development, and board members.

This virtual PFE program is audio/video accessible to all registered guests with computer, internet access and installed Zoom app version 5.7.6. This program will not be available by mobile phone.

With generous sponsorship from The Foundation Roundtable members,
this year’s virtual Partnership for Excellence is free to Guests as described above.

Registration Deadline: Friday, October 15, 2021

Your participation and perspective are welcomed to help ensure diverse and regional voices from our broad community.

Options for you to participate:

  • Register to attend PFE Community Connections on October 20
  • Volunteer to be a conversation host for a small group breakout
  • Consider an adaptation or lesson your organization/foundation realized that you are willing to reflect upon during the program (and maybe briefly share during a community conversation breakout session)

NOTE: You must register in advance to participate in any part of virtual PFE 2021

Questions? Please contact our Ruby Road production team/ Judy Hawkins (805) 455-8381 and judy@rubyroadleadership.com

The Foundation Roundtable Sponsors

Audacious Foundation

Cottage Health

James S. Bower Foundation

Patricia and Paul Bragg Foundation

The Crawford Idema Family Foundation

G.A. Fowler Family Foundation

Hutton Parker Foundation

The Ann Jackson Family Foundation

La Centra Sumerlin Foundation

Linked Foundation

McCune Foundation

The Henry E. and Lola Monroe Foundation

Mosher Foundation

Santa Barbara Foundation

The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation

The Towbes Foundation

United Way of Santa Barbara County

Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara

PFE Volunteer Advisors

Gary Clark, Santa Barbara Foundation

Steve De Lira, Family Service Agency

Palmer Jackson, Jr., Ann Jackson Foundation

Joni Meisel, The Foundation Roundtable

Patricia Solorio, The Fund for Santa Barbara

Stanley Tzankov, CAUSE


Produced by Ruby Road Leadership with ZoomEvents hosting by Visionality, Inc.

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