The Sustainable Change Alliance was formed in 2015 by a team of professionals bringing together their financial, educational, leadership, and fund development skills to promote impact investing opportunities in financially successful ventures having positive and sustainable impact locally, nationally and globally.  We see impact as the conscious use of capitalism to create positive social and environmental change and is currently benefiting hundreds of millions of people world-wide while providing competitive returns on investments.

We are becoming a leading resource for community-based impact investing by partnering with local members of the community to expand their knowledge and provide opportunities throughout the greater Santa Barbara area and beyond, and show how philanthropy and investment can work together in creating sustainable social change.  Our goal is to create a replicable model that innovative communities across the nation and around the world can employ in addressing their own social and environmental issues.  We believe Santa Barbara's unique environment of socially-focused entrepreneurial efforts, significant pools of foundation and philanthropic individual capital, supportive government and non-profit communities, and an involved public can lead to Santa Barbara becoming a nationwide model of successful local impact investing.  Our hope is that we can create, over time, a real community of this investor group, where people feel a sense of trust, where they can share their own values and motivations which lie behind their desire to do good, where they can become highly skilled and successful at impact investing to move the world toward sustainability, and where we can have fun.

What is Impact Investing?

Impact investing is the practice of addressing social and environmental challenges through the effective employment of capital to deliver positive societal change and attractive returns on investment and is currently benefiting hundreds of millions of people world-wide while providing competitive returns on investments.

Sustainable Change Alliance promotes activities and endeavors that advance impact investing.  We believe sustainability is the key to impact investing.  Where traditional philanthropic grant-giving has no expectation of financial return, and so are considered successful if they maintain receipt of continual donations, impact investing does have an expectation of financial return after its initial funding, and is considered successful when the businesses producing positive social change are able to become self-supporting, that is sustainable, without the need of continual funding.


Who We Are


Jonathan Gartner spent the bulk of his career living and working internationally.  After attending Hamilton College (BA), Jonathan became the Chief Legislative Aide to a U. S. Congressman.  He then attended Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (MBA) and commenced a career in finance, working for a variety of domestic and internationally based banks, investment banks and private equity firms.  This work took Jonathan and his family from Chicago to Prague, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and lastly Kuala Lampur.  Upon returning to the USA, Jonathan worked briefly in the ed-tech space before relocating to Santa Barbara with his wife.  Throughout his career, Jonathan has been an active board member of a wide variety of non-profits.



Peter Brill is the founder of Sustainable Change Alliance and its first Board Chair. He received his M.D. from U.C.L.A. and became a board certified psychiatrist after his residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the Wharton School of Business where he became a Senior Fellow. He founded and directed the Center for the Study of Adult Development affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He consulted to over 150 organizations, founded and ran two national companies, while carrying out a private practice. He is a best-selling author who has appeared numerous times on radio and television, and has also lectured internationally.

Since moving to Santa Barbara he became the Director of the Third Age Foundation where he lectured and led groups and workshops. His latest publication is Finding Your J Spot, Joy in Midlife and Beyond. He also hosted a radio show titled The Third Age. Additionally he has served on several boards in Santa Barbara and is currently a member of Social Venture Partners where he served on the executive committee for 3 years.


Project Director

Charlene Garfinkle serves as Project Director for Sustainable Change Alliance and The Fund for Second Order Change.  She holds a Ph.D. in art history from UCSB.  As an independent scholar, she has published and presented lectures in the fields of American and European nineteenth-century art, and taught a variety of courses at SBCC and UCSB.  She was a volunteer with the Association of Historians of American Art for 10 years, seeing them through the process to become a non-profit organization.

Since 2000, Charlene has volunteered with a number of non-profit organizations in Santa Barbara, including PTA at the school, council and district levels and Girl Scouts at the troop, service unit and council levels.  Duties for these non-profits ranged from membership and volunteer support to fundraising and financial reporting to operations and organizational management.  From early 2007 until the end of 2008, she was employed by Third Age Foundation as an administrative assistant.