September 28, 2023
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20 nonprofits selected for Fast Pitch SB training program


Ernesto Paredes, chief energy officer for Fast Pitch SB and executive director of Easy Lift Transportation, spoke with nonprofit participants at the Fast Pitch SB kickoff Aug. 5.

Ernesto Paredes, chief energy officer for Fast Pitch SB and executive director of Easy Lift Transportation, spoke with nonprofit participants at the Fast Pitch SB kickoff Aug. 5.

Social Venture Partners Santa Barbara has announced the group of 20 nonprofits selected to participate in Fast Pitch SB, a communications-training program dubbed by Bill Gates as “a clever way to connect early-stage nonprofits and social entrepreneurs with potential funders.”

Organizations that inspire social good will be awarded $45,000 at the final event Oct. 15 at the Deckers Rotunda, 250 Coromar Drive in Santa Barbara.

Fast Pitch SB connects nonprofit leaders with business, philanthropic, and nonprofit executives who want to help them amplify their impact. Through the two-month program, participants hone their ideas and messages through coaching and mentoring sessions, all while building relationships and networking with potential funders, board members and supporters.

“Social Venture Partners invests in individuals, organizations and issues that make an impact,” said Stephanie Langsdorf, SVP director of operations. “Our partners volunteer their time and talent, and Fast Pitch SB is one way that we can help build leadership and capacity within the nonprofit community.”

Added Fast Pitch SB Chief Energy Officer Ernesto Paredes, “Santa Barbara is chalk full of nonprofits, yet so often their work is behind the scenes. Social Venture Partners has a commitment to putting these nonprofit leaders on stage, front and center, in a position where individuals who want to help them succeed can hear them.

Nonprofits and leaders chosen for the 2015 Fast Pitch SB include Alano Club of Santa Barbara – Paula Michal; Alpha Resource Center – Marisa Pasquini; Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley – Kathryn Scott; Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness – Chuck Flacks; Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County – Tracy Lang Wood; Community Environmental Council – Jefferson Litten; Family Service Agency – Sarah Rudd-Lawler; Foodbank of Santa Barbara County – Melissa Fontaine; Friendship Center Adult Day Services – Kristen Hoye; Future Leaders of America, Inc. – Eder Gaona-Macedo; Girls Rock SB – Jen Baron; Isla Vista Youth Projects, Inc. – Tyler Speier; Jodi House, Inc.  – Eryn Eckert; Join-Up International – Debbie Loucks; Lideres Campesinas – Elizabeth Cordero; Postpartum Education for Parents – Erika Adler; Santa Barbara Trails Council – Mark Wilkinson; Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy – William Fiedtkou; What is LOVE? – Christy Haynes; and YStrive for Youth – Keith Terry.

Vitamin Angels gets 4-star rating

Vitamin Angels, a non-profit organization in Santa Barbara that distributes vitamins and minerals to children and mothers in need, has been awarded its eighth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a charity evaluator, for its exceptional commitment to accountability, transparency, and sound fiscal management. Less than 8 percent of charities have received this distinction.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the recognition from Charity Navigator,” said Howard Schiffer, president and founder of Vitamin Angels. “Ensuring as much of our donors’ contributions as possible are being used to bring vitamins to the children and mothers we serve is our No. 1 priority. To have our commitment to fiscal responsibility endorsed by an independent third party validates everything we are working toward.”

Ratings are based on the most current financial information (informational tax returns or IRS 990 forms) made public by each charity.

Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations in need — specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five — gain access to vitamins and minerals. Vitamin Angels works to reach underserved communities across the U.S. and in more than 50 countries.

To make a donation, visit

Fundraiser to help homeless vets

The Ventura County Housing Trust Fund will be hosting “Welcome Home,” a fundraising and social event for supporters of affordable housing and the military community focused on housing for veterans and ending veteran homelessness.

The 5 p.m. Sept. 17 program at the Camarillo Ranch, will feature keynote speaker Darryl Vincent, a Marine veteran and national authority on the subject of veteran homelessness. Entertainment will be provided by New Directions Veterans Choir, an a-cappella group comprised of men and women who served in the U.S. military and subsequently became homeless.

Funds raised will support projects that create new, affordable housing in Ventura County. The Housing Trust Fund helps finance multi-family homes for low- to moderate-income families and individuals. All donations are matched by a grant from the state of California.

Tickets are $55 or two for $100. For more information, visit