The entire concept of may be a bit unknown to many, however, no matter how odd or strange the word may sound the meaning behind it has the ability to transcend almost any type of social barrier. Our society’s most pressing issues are often treated and solved thanks to the collective effort of many individuals who believe that their actions can have an extremely important impact on the world. Some people believe that their contribution is like adding a tiny grain of sand to a pile that is always getting bigger thanks to the contributions of all individuals.
Located in the southern area of California, the Santa Barbara County presents itself as a city where plays an important role. Issues such as agricultural problems, contamination of the ocean, toxic wastes, homelessness, and temporary droughts in certain areas among other problems, are treated and sometimes solved thanks to the collective action of many individuals who want to improve their community. In this County, organizations are key to reduce the gap between what is happening today and what people want for their city.
Nonprofits and businesses working together
In Santa Barbara, there are many private businesses who believe in as their way to contribute to the construction of a better world. Businesses usually give back to the community because it is a good gesture from their behalf and it is a good thing for themselves. In other words, opening programs dedicated to giving society better conditions not only helps to build a better and stronger community, it also allows companies to be more popular and attractive for customers and investors.
Nowadays, there is an obvious trend of consumers picking companies which are socially responsible. What makes a company appealing to people is directly related to its perception as an organization worried about satisfying not only material but also emotional needs. Due to this, there are many companies in Santa Barbara that are stepping forward and making big promises around the things they want to do for their community. Companies such as Dockers Outdoor Corporation (located in Goleta) and Recipes Organic Bakery are two examples of private organizations in Santa Barbara creating programs to serve their community with internship programs for your people and hosting events to raise awareness and funds for nonprofits.
As almost every traditional thing in the world, the way companies donate part of their profit has also changed. Through, companies in Santa Barbara have learned new and innovative ways of giving. Companies like The Pacific Coast Business Times adopted an endangered species (the island fox) as their mascot, supporting the Santa Barbara Zoo with this action by fostering its feeder program.
Celebrate Nonprofits in History
If you talk to a person who has lived for many years in Santa Barbara, it will probably talk about its Cottage Hospital, Symphony, Festivals and Museums. All these entities along with agencies dedicated to serving the community are not only vital for the city’s existences but have been funded historically by individuals who have believed in the importance of their existences as organizations willing to improve the community and solve the County’s most pressing issues.
Historically, Santa Barbara has been recognized for its “third force” or nonprofits. It is known for being the community in the United Stated with more non-for-profit institutions per capita. This means that one in two adults in the County serves or has served a nonprofit and probably has allowed an organization to generate some type of revenue every year.
Santa Barbara’s community interest for founding nonprofits appeared when the County was still ruled by Spanish-Mexican individuals, who counted on churches which assisted families through charity. It was in 1858 when the first English-speaking school was founded (called St. Vincent de Paul) that and open educational space for the poor was created, opening the door for thousands of alternatives to serve the community and its needs related to children, single mothers, teenage girls, among others.
Today, it is estimated that the County holds from 400 to 1000 nonprofits without including churches and governmental agencies. Between all the nonprofits in the country, more than 3.000 jobs take place, generating over $250 million in revenue yearly. This means that there are many individuals in the County who rely on, including those whose are employed by a nonprofit and the ones whose life quality depends on the action of charitable organizations.
Kenny Slaught knows that the future of Santa Barbara is attached to its charitable work for the community as it is part of its success. The way people understand their context and interact with each other is affected by the general awareness of what is going on with the county. Meaning that no-one is actually alien to its community’s issues and history. There is history between individuals and what they can and want to do for their community, and this history is not even close to ending today in a County where everyone believes in the power of working for their community.
To read more about the history of in Santa Barbara, click here.