skip to Main Content



Leading for Community Impact is designed for nonprofit as well as other social sector professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to the wellbeing of northern Santa Barbara County communities and are interested in further developing their capacity for leadership. Participants must be employed (Board members in a staff role may apply) in the nonprofit or a social sector agency (Dept. of Social Services, City Government, school district, Housing Authority, Parks & Rec.) and have the support of their Board Chair or Executive Director and/or Senior Executive. 

 In terms of role, we welcome seasoned professional and rising stars with the high potential for future community leadership across the position spectrum (Executive Directors and/or directors & managers of program, development, operations, marketing).

The selection process is competitive, and not all applicants will be accepted.  Our selection criteria includes:

  • Commitment to Communities’ Wellbeing– Showing a commitment to Santa Maria, Lompoc and the surrounding community nonprofit / social sector, and a strong intention to make a career in the field.
  • Proven Record or High Potential for Leadership impact – Having a track record of community leadership and desire to grow, both personally and professional to make an impact in their organizations and community roles. a
  • Ability to Apply Learning– Being in a position to directly apply the leadership and management concepts, tools and lessons learned.
  • Personal Commitment Learning– Having the strong desire to take advantage of this professional development opportunity through their full participation and investment in the LCI’s cohort, workshops and projects.
  • Support of Organizational Leadership– Having the support of the Board Chair or Executive Director to take the time to invest candidate’s leadership.  Sponsoring agency will seek ways to leverage their learning through projects and assignments when appropriate.
  • Add to Diversity and Richness of Class– Helping us build a diverse cohort (including ethnicity, gender, job function, and organizational mission) and add to the richness of the Leading for Community Impact’s learning community

Commitment, Fees and Dates


We ask that participants and their Board Chair or Executive Director be fully committed to the program, including:

  • Reviewing the dates of the program and promising to do everything possible to make sure the participant is available for those dates
  • Understanding that there will be approximately three hours of coursework between monthly sessions which might include meetings with people within in the organization or with community members, reading articles, or exploring the participant’s organization in greater depth within the context of the program
  • Commit to creating a capstone project using principles of strategic thinking that serves their organization by helping to expand their capacity to pursue their mission.


Thanks to the generosity of the Santa Barbara and Weingart Foundation and other donors, the cost to each participating organization is a fraction of the $5,000 per person cost of putting on the program.  Program fees depend on employer budget size:


< $1 million              $600

> $1 million             $1500


Program sessions run from March 2018 – January 2019.  All sessions run from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and will be held in downtown Santa Maria.  Lunch is provided. .

Session Dates:
Orientation (1:30 – 5:00 pm)   March 7th

Full Day Sessions (9:00 am -5:00pm)
March 28 | Session 1
April 25 | Session 2
May 30 | Session 3
June 27 | Session 4
July 25 | Session 5
August 29 | Session 6
September 26| Session 7
October 31 | Session 8
November 28 | Session 9
December – skip – working on Capstone project
January 30th | Session 10


Leading from Community Impact assembles a select cohort of seasoned leaders and rising stars from northern Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit organizations. We expect to have more applicants than spaces and will strive to include diverse faces of the community while representing the various sizes and missions of North County’s nonprofit sector.

Applications for Cohort 2, 2018-19 is now CLOSED.

We are here to help.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to email our Operations Manager Sarah Harris at or contact us at 805-770-3232.

Please feel free to inquire about next year’s application process. Below are required items with your application:

  • A current resume including your civic and community volunteer activities
  • A Letter of Interest
  • A Letter of Recommendation from your Executive Director or the Board Chair (if you are the Executive Director)
Back To Top