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What is Leading for Community Impact?

Leading for Community Impact (LCI) is a 10-month program that assembles a select cohort from northern Santa Barbara County of seasoned social sector leaders and rising stars with great potential. This program guides them through a rigorous, relevant and applied curriculum on leadership and management.

Imagine having the Time, Knowledge, and Supportive Peer Community to Invest in Your Leadership

Leading for Community Impact provides a unique, powerful professional development opportunity for nonprofit leaders.  We create a safe, reflective, and supportive learning environment where participants cultivate deep connections with peers, mentors, and community leaders and safely take risks on behalf of their leadership development.  The program is designed to help individuals increase the impact of their leadership on their organization and in the community at large.

In this program, you will explore your leadership style, while being given the reflective space and learning community to reconnect with your purpose. You will lead with a new mindset, skills & strategies to put into action in your organization immediately.

Consider a Powerful, Rejuvenating, Learning Experience

Leading for Community Impact engages social sector leaders in a range of professionally relevant curriculum including:

  • Cutting edge tools and research on management and leadership, presented by experienced trainers
  • Approaches & skills to foster strategic thinking, effective management, skillful collaboration and sustained commitment to the work.
  • Knowledge and insights about the distinctive characteristics and dynamics of nonprofit organizations and our communities
  • Connections with community leaders and resources
  • A new network of colleagues with a common purpose — to support each other’s leadership today and well-beyond the program 

What’s the best way to learn more about Leading for Community Impact?

If you are interested in learning more about our LCI 2021-22 program, we invite you to please join us for one of two information sessions held in Santa Maria.

Date & Time: To be announced

You will have the opportunity to hear from Program Instructors [insert names & links to bios], as well as meet several of our current and past alumni to learn about their experience in LCI. You will gain some tips regarding the application process. 

 

Or, reach out online:

  • Speak to any of our 44 program alumni listed here and ask them about their experience.
  • Reach out to our lead facilitator, Christa Roth, with any questions. 

Who is Leading For Community Impact intended to serve?

Leading for Community Impact is designed for nonprofit and social sector professionals who demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of northern Santa Barbara County communities of Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Santa Ynez Valley and are interested in developing their capacity for leadership. Participants must be employed (unpaid Board members in a day to day staff role may apply) in a nonprofit or social sector agency.


We welcome seasoned professionals, who are looking to sharpen their strategic thinking and change management skills in the company of their nonprofit peers.  We are also looking for leaders who are stepping into greater roles of responsibility requiring them to think different and earn the respect of others. The selection process is competitive, and not all applicants will be accepted.

What are some of the objectives of the Leading For Community Impact program sessions come from?

Cutting edge tools and research on management and leadership, presented by experienced trainers

    • Approaches & skills to foster strategic thinking, effective management, skillful collaboration and sustained commitment to the work.
    • Knowledge and insights about the distinctive characteristics and dynamics of nonprofit organizations and our communities
    • Connections with community leaders and resources
    • A new network of colleagues with a common purpose — to support each other’s leadership today and well-beyond the program

Where are the program sessions held?

Leading for Community Impact program sessions are traditionally held at the Santa Barbara Foundation Community Building in Santa Maria. While the county transitions out of the Covid-19 pandemic, Leading From Within is working to determine a space for monthly program sessions for 2021-22 in person, in Santa Maria.

What is the criteria for selection into the Cohort?

We strive to create an intimate learning environment so we hold the cohort size to 20 leaders. In addition to assessing each candidate’s readiness and fit, the LCI Selection Committee often gives preference to certain categories of candidates, including:

  • Returning applicants (who applied for a prior cohort and were not accepted)
  • Candidates who have at least three years of professional experience in nonprofit and social sector leadership
  • Candidates who demonstrate a commitment to the Santa Barbara County nonprofit and social sector
  • Applicants whose organization serves Santa Barbara County residents

What is the cost of Leading For Community Impact?

Thanks to our generous donors, the cost to each participating organization is a fraction of the cost of putting on the program.  The program fees include: 

  • 10 sessions plus an orientation and closing session
  • 1 360 leadership assessment + debrief session with a coach
  • 3 coaching sessions
  • Upon completion admission into our Alumni Network

 

Program fees depend on Organization’s budget size:

Program Fee is $1,000 for Organizations with budgets under $1 million

Program Fee is $2,000 for Organizations with budgets over $1 million

Are scholarships available?

Leading From Within raises grant funds  to subsidize our program costs to keep our program affordable to all types of organizations.  Generosity from our funders make the cost to each participating organization a fraction of the cost of putting on the program.  

If program cost is still a challenge, we have a few ways to help organizations make it work.

  1. Payment Plan | We are flexible and happy to work with organizations to set up a payment plan rather than pay all at once
  2. Reach out to a Funder | Sometimes, there are philanthropic funders that want to make our programs available for institutions that don’t budget much for things like this.  Consider If there is a philanthropic funder that has a stake in your organization investing in their people.  
  3. Reach out to us | We are happy to walk you through the options and brainstorm with you. (Angela Manavella | Email or 805-770-3232)

We encourage those interested to consider applying and not let the cost hinder from the application process. 

What is the application deadline?

All components of the application are due on Friday, August 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm.

Do I have to be an Executive Director to apply?

No, we also welcome applications from people in other positions of broad executive leadership in nonprofits and other social sector organizations, such as leaders who deal with a high degree of relational complexity (i.e. engaging with staff, board, donors, partners, peer leaders, etc.), and from people who are on a clear track to executive leadership.

Who instructs the program sessions?

Christa Roth and Ashley Costa will lead the program as the Co-Facilitators for Leading for Community Impact. They, with the support of Leading From Within administrators and directors, will assemble a team of qualified trainers and community partners to lead and support the curriculum of the program.

A few of our guest instructors include:

What happens when the program is over?

When leaders have completed the 10-month Leading for Community Impact program, they graduate into our Alumni Collaborative with continued opportunities for peer community, retreat and renewal, and resource sharing. 41 social sector leaders of the Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley communities have completed our program since 2017, and the great majority of them continue to engage actively as part of the growing alumni community.  The LFW Alumni Collaborative for northern Santa Barbara County is a very significant and powerful network of experienced social sector leaders in our diverse communities. Alumni programming includes workshop and learning opportunities, ongoing Leader Circles, as well as occasional social and networking gatherings.

What if I can’t make all the retreats?

You might want to consider waiting until our next cohort, which will start in 2023.  We have made a few exceptions over the years for some who knew they wanted to be in the program now, but also knew there was one (and only one) session that they would have to miss all or part of due to a pre-existing commitment.  If that is the case, please let us know.

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