Barnes presently serves on several boards, including Apex and ATW. He is also active in numerous community activities, he is former chairman of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he is former co-chairman of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Advisory Board, he is a member of the Board of NewProfit and MV Youth and a member of the trust board of Children's Hospital Boston. Barnes is also a member of ownership and the Board of Directors for the Boston Celtics.
Barnes serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees. He serves ex officio on all Board standing committees, chairs the Executive Committee, and is a member of the Steam Station Ad Hoc Workgroup. Barnes is a member of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management Advisory Council, the Boston Regional Council, and the Campaign Committee. He served as co-chair of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Advisory Board and as a member of the chief financial officer search committee and the Real Estate Strategy and West Campus District Project Ad Hoc Workgroups.
Steve and Deborah Barnes generously support the Whitman School, where they endowed
the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and the Barnes Professorship in Entrepreneurship. They made a gift to create the Barnes Center at The Arch, a state-of-the-art health and wellness complex. They also made an Annual Fund challenge gift to match new and increased gifts supporting the University’s Invest Syracuse campaign to increase opportunities for students to attend the University, and they have supported a variety of other programs and scholarships across campus.