What has our attention now in Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit sector?

Imagine hearing from your peers and funders about what’s happening, what’s shifting and what’s possible in our communities for good. And, imagine choosing a conversation you’d like to activate and continue with others who share your passion for the topic.

This year’s PFE program centers around just that: Ignite Presentations where you, the attendees, have the chance to be keynote speakers! If you have served on a panel for your mission or subsector expertise, been asked to tell more people about an effective collaborative project you’ve helped create, or are a community advocate who speaks often with a clear message of hope, you could be just the right fit.


PFE Ignite Presentations are brief, 4-5 minute perspectives focused on one topic; no visuals or powerpoints allowed. After reviewing all applications, 12-15 presentations will be selected. Selected Ignite Presenters will also co-host their topic for additional discussion with interested attendees during  Ignite Conversations sessions in the morning and/or afternoon.

There will be two Ignite Presentation sessions over the course of the day featuring inspired peer presentations to ignite ideas and creative, collective thinking around our visions for Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit community. All attendees will gather for both Ignite Presentation sessions at 10:00 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Selected Ignite Presenters will receive a orientation coaching and registration refund in appreciation for your PFE role.



If you have an idea to positively shift or disrupt our nonprofit sector for good, a compelling question or issue around which to gather resources and potential solutions, or a story of emerging collaboration with intersections for more collaborators, PFE encourages you to apply.

Presentation Guiding Questions

  • What important community issue has your attention?
  • From your perspective, how might we shift or change this issue for good? What’s possible?
  • Where are the opportunities you see for organizations, resources, systems or community members to work together for better results and meaningful change? How?
  • What makes this vision compelling and effective?
  • How might we inspire others to join this vision and collaborate?

Sample Topics

  • The Future Is Diverse – Is Your Organization?
  • Disaster Response – Looking Back, A Vision for the Future
  • Organizing the Nonprofit Sector Voice…and Power
  • Can the North-South Divide Be Bridged?  – Models and Ideas
  • Nonprofits and Funders – Examining Power Dynamics
  • Can Santa Barbara County “Solve” our Homelessness Crisis?
  • Environmental + Social Justice – Two Different Movements or one?
  • Funding for Social Impact – What Measures, Which Partners?
  • Cultivating Emerging Leaders – Igniting our Future
  • Homes for Good – Housing our Local Nonprofit Workforce
  • Defining Economic Vitality for Our County’s Communities

These are just a few examples. What could you contribute?

Tips for Framing and Proposing Your Presentation

  • Take an inquiry-based approach. When speaking to a local issue, ask compelling questions that invite the audience into deeper thought.
  • Respond to a question that keeps you up at night – or a dialogue you are having over and over with colleagues in the community. Consider issues that are deep-rooted in your sense of community and collective impact
  • Offer an invitation and call to action. How can we be more collaborative and in action?

Selection Criteria

  • Highlights a single vision or stimulating question
  • Grounded in/specific to Santa Barbara County
  • Presents from a positive, creative view point
  • Includes a few key statistics or research points
  • Sparks our diverse community perspectives and strengths
  • Authentic sharing, not a perfectly scripted speech


The PFE Ignite Presentation Application closed Friday, March 15, 2019.

Please join us in looking forward to the following Ignite Presentations at Partnership for Excellence:

— Morning —

A – The Power of Giving, Kristi Newton, UC Santa Barbara Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

B – How Do Changemakers Create Change?, Carl Palmer, Legacy Works Group

C – Divide, Share or Grow the Pie?, Matthew Stotts, Sustainable Change Alliance

D – Growing Capacity: Getting to the Heart of Collaboration, Barbara Finch, Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services

E – Truly Serving Countywide: A DIY Approach, Edward France, Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

F – Introducing Design Thinking for Your Organization, Andrea Wogsland, Return to Freedom

G – How Can Our Nonprofit Sector Set the Standards?, Ken Saxon, Leading From Within

H – Cultivating Diverse Emerging Leaders, Melissa Patrino, Just Communities

— Afternoon —

I – My First 90 Days: Fresh Reflections from an Executive Director, Dean Noble, Elings Park

J – How Are We Cultivating Our Communities: Youth Toward Our Future?, Saul Serrano, South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety

K – Exploring and Inspiring Social Enterprise Start-Ups, Frank Ricceri, Transitions-Mental Health Association

L – Cross-County: How Might We Reimagine Regional Collaboration?, Vanessa Bechtel, Ventura County Community Foundation

M – Beyond the Numbers: Redefining Impact With Stories, Robin Gose, MOXI

N – How Do We Bridge Collaboration and Competition for Funding?, Chuck Flacks, PATH

O – Amplifying Our Passions, Ali Cortes, A Different Point of View