Thank you for coming. See you next year!

Step outdoors, inspire each other, and make impactful connections
among the sycamore trees and over great food.

Join us for a full-day outdoor program at Alisal Ranch, a stunning 10,000 acre working ranch in the Santa Ynez Mountains. You are invited to refresh your creative energy, disconnect from your schedule and inboxes, and unclutter your mind.

Rediscover yourself, your peers, and your inspiration after a challenging 2018. With a program featuring stimulating Ignite Presentations + Conversations and spacious reflection time, you may reconnect to aspects of yourself and others that our average work days do not allow.

This stunning natural setting creates an ideal environment to be inspired by nature and one another, to surface new ideas, to spark new professional and personal directions, and even to dream a bit.


We’re reimagining PFE this year and you’re invited to help us soar.

Come with a creative mindset and co-create something amazing.

Generously sponsored by The Foundation Roundtable for more than 25 years, Partnership for Excellence convenes hundreds of Santa Barbara County nonprofit and foundation leaders to learn, network, and collaborate together. This year, PFE will be hosted in the Santa Ynez Valley to introduce elements of nature, interaction, and play — an unplugged day of inspiration and connections at Alisal Ranch.

Venture beyond the hustle and bustle of day-to-day routine and endless emails to reconnect with the outdoors and your nonprofit peers in a natural setting. PFE welcomes you to explore both the outdoors and the best ideas of our nonprofit community.



Together we are building Partnership for Excellence around conversations with your peers, colleagues, and funders. PFE will be a place to actively connect and explore with one another. Starting today, you and your colleagues, the PFE registrants, will help co-create our program. Over years of participant surveys, attendees have named networking and community connections as the highest value of their PFE experience. You have described short reconnections in the hallways, conversations over lunch, and small group reflections over Happiness Hour as your highlights of previous PFE conferences. This year, those precious conversations are the focus of our day. 

There are two ways for you to play a part in shaping our PFE program and your day on April 11: give an Ignite Presentation or propose an Ignite Conversation.



Our day outdoors at Alisal Ranch will take us inland via hayrides through sycamore groves, gathering around picnic tables, and letting our minds wander at the tranquil Alisal Lake. Envision trading in your commute, mobile phone and business attire for comfortable layers, sturdy shoes and fresh perspectives. Together, we can explore community in a new setting and welcome the emerging and unexpected in nature.


This 10,000-acre ranch just 45 minutes north from downtown Santa Barbara and south from downtown Santa Maria is deeply-rooted in the beauty and history of the Santa Ynez Mountains.


Your ride to and from this year’s PFE is not just functional — it’s a fun and connecting way to launch the day together. Jump on the School Bus and SMOOTH services will provide free, roundtrip transportation from both Santa Maria (from the OLD Costco parking lot at 1700 S Bradley Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454) and Santa Barbara (old SEARS parking lot at 121 S Hope Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93105), with an organized roundtrip carpool from Lompoc. These communal rides offer precious time to sit back and connect with one another.

While you are allowed to drive independently, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this option — plus, the first 150 bus riders to opt in are guaranteed a scenic hay ride during the program!

Questions? Email


This year, PFE will convene over 250 local colleagues from nonprofits and foundations with the intention to represent a diversity of grassroots, small and larger organizations as well as a diversity of roles in the sector.

Staff and board members from 501c(3)nonprofit organizations and foundations serving Santa Barbara County community members are invited to register. Consultants currently serving Santa Barbara County nonprofits also welcome.

To help broaden perspectives and collaborative opportunities at PFE 2020, organizations with staff/offices in two (2) or more county locations (north/mid/south) are invited to register up to four (4) persons per countywide organization.

Interested in volunteering?

We’ll need an energetic team to help support Partnership for Excellence 2020.
Inquire at


You are encouraged to shape your day at PFE by…

  • Apply to become an Ignite Presenter or Ignite Conversation host, or encouraging another attendee to apply
  • Guarantee your hayride spot by opting in to the free Jump on the Bus ride to and from Alisal Ranch (option in registration process)
  • Reviewing the attendee profiles to get to know who’s attending and how you might connect
  • Reaching out to other registrants to start or continue conversations around meaningful community visions and collaborations, before and during the gathering
  • Coming with good intentions to explore new concepts and relationships, to listen intently, to share freely, and to simply enjoy an intentionally-designed afternoon in one of the most beautiful places in Santa Barbara County


Audacious Foundation

James S. Bower Foundation

The Crawford Idema Family Foundation

Fund for Santa Barbara

Hutton Parker Foundation

The Ann Jackson Family Foundation

La Centra-Sumerlin Foundation

Linked Foundation

McCune Foundation

The Henry E.  and Lola Monroe Foundation

The Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation

Anthony and Kyra Rogers Family Foundation

Santa Barbara Foundation

The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation

Walter J. and Holly O. Thomson Foundation

The Towbes Foundation

United Way of Santa Barbara County

Weingart Foundation

Wood-Claeyssens Foundation