The success of last year’s “Stanford Experience” has resulted in doubling the number of nonprofit executives able to participate in this year’s conference at Stanford University’s Nonprofit Management Institute on October 4 – 6.

The Santa Barbara Foundation and Orfalea Foundations, with a generous grant from Bob Emmons, will cover the expenses of 18 nonprofit executives to attend a two-day cutting edge leadership conference which will discuss important strategic topics for nonprofit management.

The conference is geared toward learning creative new strategies for running and growing organizations through tough economic times. The conference agenda features speakers and facilitators who are nationally recognized leaders in the fields of nonprofit management, fundraising, cross sector collaboration, board development, effective use of the volunteer workforce and strategic structuring.

Upon their return, the participants, led by top staff at the NSC, will facilitate roundtable meetings to share what they have learned with others in the nonprofit community. The roundtable will be held the last two weeks of October. Last year, more than 200 nonprofit executives attended the post-conference meetings, rating this innovative model for both leadership training and county collaboration as exceptional.

“Among the most important things we can do to help shape and shore up organizations in tough times is to ensure our nonprofits have the best tools, the best education and the benefit of the best thinking in nonprofit management,” said Ron Gallo, President and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “Our community is ever more dependent on strong leadership from nonprofits; funding retreats like this will enable our nonprofit executives to become more efficient agents of progress and change.

“Making an investment like this, in our human capital, is profound,” said Ben Romo, Director of Community Education at the County Education Office and Executive Director of Partners in Education who attended last year’s Stanford Management Institute conference. “What we learned, and then brought back to share with our colleagues, is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.”

“Tougher financial times necessitate a robust nonprofit sector that is able to implement effective programs and provide services that meet community needs,” said Lois Mitchell, President of the Orfalea Foundations. “High-quality opportunities like this, as well as staff training, are a critical facet of supporting strategic grant making.”

The north and south county nonprofit executives who will attend the conference represent a range of issue areas from health and human services to the arts, education and the environment. Organizations include:

Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara

Angels Foster Care

Carpinteria Children’s Collaborative Project at Main

CASA of Santa Barbara County

Central Coast Literacy Council

Child Abuse Listening and Meditation (CALM)

Endowment for Youth Committee

Environmental Defense Center

Family Service Agency

Foodbank of SB County

Isla Vista Youth Projects

Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

Santa Maria Philharmonic Society

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara

Santa Maria Organization of Transportation Helpers (SMOOTH)

Storyteller Children’s Center


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