Nonprofit Support Center
Mission: To provide leadership, consulting and training to help nonprofits do their good work better.
The non-profit, membership-based organization assists non-profits accomplish their mission and remain fiscally sound. The Nonprofit Support Center was established in 1995 and incorporated in 1998. One goal is to support and strengthen the leadership and management of nonprofit organizations throughout the region in their efforts to serve their communities.
With offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, the organization offers a variety of workshops and roundtable discussions; NSC serves as a valuable resource for those who run and staff nonprofits, maintains a library, computer bank and databases, and offers general and specific support services for individual and agency members. Membership fees vary for agencies, based on annual budget.
Volunteer opportunities: graphic design, marketing, public relations, data entry, clerical assistance, telephone survey, internet research and library collections and management. 5638 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara; 805-681-1040; www.nscsb.org
The Santa Barbara Channels
A public access television series features some of Santa Barbara’s most interesting nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Spotlight producer/host Viviana Lejia-Sysak visits nonprofit organizations with the intention of allowing viewers to tour the facilities, services, and volunteers in action. All segments of the half-hour program are shot entirely on location. Each program features four to five video segments on local nonprofits; they air repeatedly on Channel 21, and are also posted to the channel’s website
High School Community Service Requirement
Since 1997, Santa Barbara area high school students have been required to complete at least 60 hours of community service in order to graduate. The idea behind the community service requirement is that a strong community needs a spirit of volunteerism; it doesn’t just happen, young people have to be educated into it. This program in effect helps encourage the entire student body to become volunteers.
High school students serve local non-profits in a variety of ways, among them serving as camp counselors, soccer coaches, tutors, and setting up for gala events. Organizations benefit greatly from the thousands of volunteer hours provided by the students. The students themselves benefit from the program, which helps build self esteem and can sometimes help them choose a career path or help them with their career goals.
1528 Chapala Street, Suite 304; (805) 564-2131, www.dreamfoundation.org.
Mission: Making dreams come true for adults with life-threatening illness.
Founded in 1994, as the first and only national wish-granting organization for adults ages 18-65. All dream recipients have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of less than a year. The goal is to insure that no adult passes without realizing one final wish from the heart; wishes have ranged from seeing a dear friend one last time to taking a long-promised family trip to meeting an idol. Much of the organization’s efforts is dependent on donated airline mileage. It is rated four-star by Charity Navigator and Best in America by Independent Charities of America.
Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
2050 Alameda Padre Serra; phone: (805) 563-8820; www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org
Mission: “Compassionate care, freely given.” Hospice provides high quality care for people adjusting to living with a life-threatening illness and facing death, for people anticipating the death of a loved one or for those grieving the death of a loved one. With an emphasis on emotional, social and spiritual needs, Hospice of Santa Barbara provides care for everyone regardless of the patient’s diagnosis, treatment choices or life expectancy.
Founded in 1974; it’s the second-oldest hospice in the U.S. (New Haven, CT. is first). Hospice offers consultation services, information and referrals, community education, counseling services and a variety of regularly scheduled support groups.
Volunteer opportunities range from ongoing office support to specialized patient/client care.
Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center
4420 Calle Real; (805) 964-1519; www.heartsadaptiveriding.org
Mission: “Where horses help people.”Equine-assisted therapy for developmentally and physically disabled children and adults, the organization was founded in 1985. Today it is accredited as a “premier center” by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, the highest designation possible, for its superior level of adherence to national industry standards. A highly rated staff serves individuals ranging from ages 3 to 93, who have disabilities that include autism, cerebral palsy, cancer, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane, Santa Barbara 93117; 805-964-4767; www.directrelief.org
Mission: To provide appropriate ongoing assistance to health institutions and projects that serve the poor and victims of natural and civil disasters without regard to political affiliation, religious belief, ethnic identity or ability to pay.
Founded in 1945 by Estonian immigrant William Zimdin, who sent relief packages back to individuals in war-torn Europe, the organization has grown into a model of efficiency, as it consistently keeps an astonishingly low overhead of just five percent—meaning that 95 percent of resources find their way to programs and activities. Lauded by no less than the Dalai Lama for its work, Direct Relief International concentrates on distributing medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals around the world, as well as providing domestic health assistance and disaster relief in the U.S. and abroad.
Children, Youth and Family Services
AHA! Academy of Healing Arts
Mission: To teach teenagers through a playful and community oriented curriculum: a sense of moral responsibility, visionary imagination, and the emotional skills to create the friendships, partnerships, and family relationships which would be the most mutually satisfying. The AHA program for teens is a project of The Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara and is dedicated to the development of character, imagination, emotional intelligence, and social conscience in teenagers.
Founded by Rendy Freeman, MFT and Jennifer Freed, MFT as an intensive summer session in 2000, the organization has grown enormously to include classes offered at local schools, along with many group sessions organized to support teens undergoing significant life challenges ranging from the loss of a parent to a personal history of abuse. AHA! Was the recipient of the 2010 Best Youth Agency Award in Santa Barbara.
BEBA: Building and Enhancing Bonding and Attachment
1105 N. Ontare Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. 805-687-2897 www.Beba.org
Mission: BEBA, A Center for Family Healing, supports families to resolve prenatal, birth and other early trauma, both physical and emotional, while facilitating the development of compassionate relationships, the healthy growth of children, and effective parenting.
BEBA was founded in 1993 as the first non-profit organization to focus on treatment, research and education in the field of birth and early trauma resolution. The organization, under the direction of Dr. Ray Castellino, focuses on its family clinic, clinical research and video archive, professional training and community outreach.
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara
632 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara 93101; 805-962-2382; www.boysgirls.org
Mission: To promote the health, social, educational and character development of local youth between the ages of 7 and 18.
Founded in 1938 with only ten boys as members, today the Boys & Girls Club serves more than 1,800 local girls, boys and their families. The doors are open to all children in the community, including “at risk” youth. The Club’s renovated facility includes a library, art room, computer lab, basketball/volleyball court, games room, dance studio, weight room, kitchen, lounge and recreation field.
CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County
118 Figueroa St., Santa Barbara 93101, 805-845-8364; www.sbcasa.org
Mission: To assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.
Volunteer advocates undergo a thorough training program to work within the court system to assist children who are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment with a goal of finding safe, permanent and nurturing homes as soon as possible. They take on the awesome responsibility of acting as the voice of the child in court hearings. The 40-hour volunteer training is held twice a year in Santa Barbara, and twice a year in Santa Maria
Community Environmental Council
26 West Anapamu Street, 2nd Floor, Santa Barbara; 805-963-0583; www.communityenvironmentalcouncil.org
Mission: The CEC is a well-established environmental nonprofit focused exclusively on energy efficiency and renewables, alternative transportation, and climate change. We work from grassroots to policy levels to help community members reduce their carbon footprint and to end our region’s dependency on fossil fuels to become “Fossil Free by 33.” CEC, one of the largest nonprofit environmental organizations in the county, was formed in 1970, in response to the devastating offshore oil spill. The CEC operates10 programs and six centers, including Art From Scrap, the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach; two recycling centers, Gildea Resource Center, and the hazardous waste collection center.
Santa Barbara Audubon Society
5679 Hollister Ave., Suite 5b, Goleta; 805-964-1468; www.rain.org/~audubon/
Mission: Educates members of our community about birds and their habitats, advocates responsible legislation and public policies which help preserve our natural resources, and administers science-based projects using birds as indicators of environmental health.
By focusing on birds and other wildlife, Santa Barbara Audubon works to conserve and restore ecosystems for the benefit of humanity and biological diversity.
The Santa Barbara Chapter is a very active one and participates in many habitat restoration projects as well as habitat monitoring for such species as the snowy plover. Docents conduct programs at a number of environmental gems including the Sedgwick Preserve and Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Another excellent local program is “Eyes in the Sky,” a wildlife rehabilitation project that rescues orphaned, oil-injured and displaced wild birds. Bird-lovers are encouraged to volunteer for bird counts (the Christmas Bird Count has gained the group nationwide recognition for the high number of species counted).
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara; 805-682-4726; www.sbbg.org
Mission: Through an emphasis on plants native to California, we advance knowledge and understanding of plant life and provide a rewarding experience to our visitors.
Founded in 1926 on just 13 acres, today the Garden encompasses 65 acres of green space. Miles of hiking trails allow visitors to explore diverse plant communities. This educational and scientific institution fosters stewardship of the natural world though inspired learning, rigorous scholarship and premier displays. More than 10,000 children and 500 teachers benefit yearly from the Garden’s educational programs.
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens
500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara 93103; 805-962-6310; www.santabarbarazoo.org
Mission: Dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures though education, research and recreation.
Since its opening in 1963, the zoo is truly as wild as Santa Barbara gets, with its population of more than 160 species of creatures, including its elephants, primates, giraffes and reptiles. The zoo is always upgrading habitats and creating new exhibits, including the condors living in Condor County, the Goeldi’s Monkeys and Titi Monkeys living in the South American area, and the crowd-pleasing Humboldt penguins living in the Penguin House that allows above-ground and underwater viewpoints. A highly professional staff and volunteer educators share their knowledge and love of animals and the natural world with others. Docents provide guided tours, animal presentations and staff hands-on discovery stations.
San Marcos Foothills Coalition
PO Box 3887, Santa Barbara, CA 93130, 805-964-9444; www.sanmarcosfoothills.org
Mission: The group aims to preserve from development some 200 acres of easily accessible and truly magnificent open space in the San Marcos Hills, located just northeast of the intersection of Foothill Road and Highway 154.
The site boasts spectacular 360-degree views of Santa Barbara, Goleta, the Pacific Ocean, the Channel Islands and the Santa Ynez Mountains. One of the most ecologically valuable sites on the South Coast, the foothills host several freshwater seeps, abundant native grasslands, coastal sage, oak woodlands and savanna, and four oak and willow riparian areas. The foothills are habitat for an abundance of wildlife and a variety of rare species.
Miles of hiking trails weave through the wildland. The hills are easily accessible to local schools and offers a rich environment for learning about foothill ecosystems and wildlife.
Santa Barbara Dance Alliance
1330 State Street, Santa Barbara; (805) 966-6950; www.sbdancealliance.org
Mission: To promote and to increase the awareness and quality of dance and other performing arts in Santa Barbara and to bring the dance/arts community and its resources together.
Founded in 1979, the organization sponsors several annual performances, including the Multi-cultural Dance and Music Festival, BASSH (a celebration of Ballroom, Argentine, Tango, Swing, Salsa and Hip-Hop) and On the Verge, a Teen Choreographers’ Showcase for pre-professional teens creating and presenting under mentor guidance. SBDA maintains an online Directory for SB instructors, schools, and companies. Its Youth Scholarship Fund provides underserved youth with dance and art related classes, as well as tickets to dance events. Enthusiastic volunteers are always welcome to assist with productions in a variety of ways.
Social Issues and Services
Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara
Mission: To build a network of faith-based organizations to share voices and hands to alleviate and solve social problems. Founded in 1999, the network works for a peaceful and connected community in which community members’ housing, education and health needs are met, with fair and equitable access to economic and social well-being, and no one is homeless, hungry, hated or excluded.
The Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County is an interfaith organization dedicated to enhanced understanding, acceptance, and action to improve the quality of life of all people in our community; it currently includes approximately 35 faith-based and other community organizations and agencies.
Family Service Agency
123 West Gutierrez, Santa Barbara 93101; 805-965-1001; www.fsacares.org
Mission: To strengthen and advocate for families and individuals of all ages thereby creating a strong community. Established in 1899, it’s Santa Barbara’s oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian organization. Housed in the historic Victorian that once housed the old Talk of the Town restaurant—they own it outright—FSA’s programs are concentrated in three areas: families and children, senior programs, resources and referrals. The organization runs the County 211 24-hour referral, crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, as well as many community programs; it also sponsors the annual Children’s Festival in May. .
Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center
928 Carpinteria Street, Suite 2; Santa Barbara; 963-7339; www.dyslexiacenter.org
Mission: To educate, advocate, provide resources for the public and raise the awareness of the community about dyslexia, attention disorders and other learning differences.
Founded in 1990 by program director Joan Esposito and her husband, executive director Leslie Esposito. The Center opened its permanent Santa Barbara office in July 1991. With its extensive library and information about little-understood learning disabilities that affect a significant proportion of the population, the Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center provides much-needed assistance for students, parents, educators and administrators. They sponsor an annual Vision and the Task Conference, with speakers and recognition of individuals who are working in the community to increase our knowledge of dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
316 Castillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, 805-964-5523; www.sbgen.org
Mission: “Researching the World” to promote study and research in genealogy by providing assistance and educational opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing their family history.
Organized in 1972 by a group of genealogists who lived in Santa Barbara, the society continues to aid in the collection and preservation of genealogical records and supports the research library collection of more than 10,000 books, periodicals and CDs. It holds meetings to provide information and continuing education on genealogical subjects.
Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers
Mission: A volunteer group of trail users dedicated to the maintenance of our local trails through cooperative educational programs and the organization of trail maintenance events.
The organization works with the Forest Service and other groups address the issue of increased recreational use of local trails. Members seek to create awareness of trail issues, educate all trail users about trail etiquette and maintain the trails they use. Their motto is “To maintain, protect and enjoy.” As part of the Trailhead Education Program, each weekend members patrol trails, pass out bells to cyclists, and talk with trail users about trail-use issues.
Wilderness Youth Project
5386 Hollister, #D, Goleta; 964-8096; www.wyp.org
Mission: To foster confidence, health, and a life-long love of learning for young people and families through active outdoor experiences and mentoring. With a vision of teaching the next generation of to be peaceful, respectful and confident stewards of the world. The organization maintains four core values: inclusiveness, nature mentoring, community, and peacemaking. Wilderness Youth Project schedules classes and camps in the summer and throughout the school year.