2018 Grant-Making Criteria

2018 Focus Areas:    (1)  Women's Services        (2) Children/Youth Services

The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund provides funding for North San Diego County and San Diego city area projects that address at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Responses to urgent and critical need;
  • Bold new ventures;
  • New approaches to time-worn problems. 

The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund funds broadly, choosing organizations that, in the opinion of our members, are able to make the best use of awarded grants.  Funding for special projects and operational expenses are considered; funding for endowments, capital campaigns, and projects outside the member-designated geographical area are not considered. 

Grant Guidelines

  • Only organizations that qualify as 501(c) (3) entities under the Internal Revenue Service code will be considered for funding.
  • Management of the organization and project should be in the hands of reliable, ethical, and experienced personnel.
  • Project plans should demonstrate the ability to achieve results or should supply sufficient rationale to warrant the given amount of risk.
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief and organizations that serve an exclusively sectarian purpose will not be considered for funding.
  • An organization that has been awarded a grant from the RSFWF may request a grant in any year that they meet the stated criteria.  However, the organization may not request additional funds for a previously funded project within 3 years from the original date of application for said project.   For example, an original application was made in the fall of 2014 and a grant was awarded in the spring, 2015.  Application for additional funding for the same previously funded project may be made in fall of 2017 for grant award in the spring of 2018.


2018 Grant Application Timeline


  August 1, 2017 Letters of Inquiry available "live" on website
  September 1, 2017 Letters of Inquiry (LOI) due by 12:00 PM
  November 30, 2017 Requests For Proposals (RFP) mailed
  January 2, 2018 RFPs due in RSFWF office by 4:00 PM
RFPs reviewed
  March 2018 Site visits to selected agencies
  April 18, 2018 Presentations by agencies selected for ballot
  May 8, 2018 Awards Presentation event

Submit a Letter of Inquiry

We invite nonprofit organizations to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to enter into our annual grant process. The Grant Committee will determine which organizations will ultimately be invited to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP).  For the 2018 grant cycle, LOIs are due on September 1, 2017 by 12 NOON.  You may download an LOI form below to submit electronically via email.


  • Review grant guidelines to make sure your project is eligible for funding.
  • In the narrative, be clear and focused about how your organization would make the best use of up to $50,000. Don't try to suggest too many different possible projects; focus on one project per LOI. 
  • As indicated on the form, be sure to check the "box" for the focus area in which you wish your LOI to be considered.
  • Due date for the LOI is September 1, 2017 by 12:00 NOON. Late submissions will NOT be considered.  This includes both electronic submissions and hard copies.  If you are mailing your hard copies, please allow sufficient time for delivery of your package.  
  • Our mailing address is PO Box 811, Rancho Santa Fe, CA  92067.  For physical delivery, see next paragraph.
  • When submitting your LOI electronically, please request an email "delivery" receipt to confirm receipt of your LOI; please contact womensfund@rsffoundation.org if you don't receive a confirmation from your email carrier.  In addition to the electronic submission, please also mail two (2) hard copies to PO Box 811, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, 92067.  The hard copies may be hand-delivered to the RSF Women's Fund in the care of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. Note for Hand Deliveries: The RSF Foundation office is located in Rancho Santa Fe Plaza at 162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite B-30, 92024, in the same complex as the Harvest Ranch Market and The Original Pancake House.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) letters (with an accompanying confirmation email) will be sent in mid-November; if your organization will not be a candidate for further funding consideration during the 2018 pooled fund cycle, you will be notified officially by email.
  • We unfortunately are not able to give feedback on reasons why specific LOI's do not go forward to the RFP stage, given the large number of LOIs and the logistics of the Grant Committee format.

Download:                  2018 Letter of Inquiry   (pdf) (print and complete)

                                      2018 Letter of Inquiry  (WORD)

Complete form and email to:

Also send (2) two hard copies to (due date applies):

Rancho Santa Fe Women's Fund
P. O. Box 811
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
fax 858-756-6561

Contact Nancy Hashim if you have questions about the RSFWF grant process by email or 

by phone at 619-384-1953.

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