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.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth, seniors, workforce development, human trafficking

IP TAKE:  The best opportunities for local groups are with RSFF’s Community Impact Fund, which gives out 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. This community foundation awards 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 awards grants nationally and internationally at the request of donors. Since inception, they have 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 they do not accept grant requests.

Strategic initiatives at RSFF include the Community Impact Fund, which has been focused recently on 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.

Support has gone to 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 has given globally to expand literacy and economic opportunity in other countries.

At the end of a recent year, the foundation had over $120 million in total assets. Current foundation data can be viewed here.

The best way to get in touch with general grantseeker inquiries is through the foundation’s online form. The phone for programs director Debbie Anderson is (858) 756-0358, and the address is 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas, California 92024. 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 your letter of inquiry noticed, and local giving from the RSFF Women’s Fund.


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