Rancho Santa Fe Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder supports Coastal North County San Diego. Grantmaking interests include workforce development, youth, human trafficking, and the needs of vulnerable seniors.

IP TAKE:  The best opportunities for local groups are with RSFF’s Community Impact Fund, which makes grants of about $180,000 per year.

PROFILE: The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation (RSFF) serves the census-designated place of Rancho Santa Fe, located within the San Diego metropolitan area. It seeks to “connect donors with regional and global needs through visionary community leadership, personalized service and effective grant-making.” This community foundation makes grants to local groups, largely due to donations from residents of Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas in Coastal North County San Diego. It has been part of the local philanthropy scene since 1981 and is based in Encinitas, California.

While a local community foundation, RSFF also makes grants nationally and internationally at the request of donors. Since inception, it has awarded more than $68 million in grants. Approximately 61 percent are from donor-advised funds, with 17 percent from endowment fund distributions and 22 percent from other grantmaking initiatives. There are over 125 funds advised by donors and held at RSFF, but it does not accept grant requests.

Strategic initiatives at RSFF include the Community Impact Fund, which supports workforce development for transition-age youth and human trafficking. The Women’s Fund has focused on at-risk youth and women’s services. The Patriots Connection supports members of the San Diego community for their military service. The Navy SEAL Foundation Fund is also held at RSFF to support military service members and veterans.

It supports the Thyme Together Food Truck, Wreaths Across America, Community HousingWorks, Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA, and the Performing Arts Center at Rancho Santa Fe. Local groups often receive grants of $15,000 to $75,000. Beyond the San Diego area and through its donors, the foundation makes grants globally to expand literacy and economic opportunity in other countries.

At the end of a past year, the foundation had over $120 million in total assets. View current foundation data here.

The best way for grant seekers to get in touch is through the foundation’s online form. Sign up for the mailing list to learn about new grant opportunities here. Past updates on the foundation’s news section include disaster relief in Southern California, tips on how to get a letter of inquiry noticed, and local grantmaking from the RSFF Women’s Fund.


Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).