Our 2023-24 Grant Review Process is well underway. To see our Recent Grantees and learn more about our impact on the community, click on the Our Impact button.

Building Friendships Through Philanthropy

Summer Newsletter, 2022

Hello and Happy Summer!

It is mid-summer, and we want to catch you up on Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund news. I hope you are all having a stellar summer and enjoying adventures, good times, and some rest.

Website Update

The Board (no longer referred to as the “Advisory Board” but just “The Board” since this is indeed its true function: it doesn’t advise but rather makes decisions) has met and confirmed the subcommittee’s decision to improve our website and its administrative functions. A big thank you to Mara Buchholz, our first Technology Chair, who has been hard at work analyzing the various options. Joining her, and serving as knowledgeable advisors, were Mary Consalvi, Mary Anne Gillespie, Nikki Carmody Ream and Korri Ball. After reviewing all possibilities and consulting with other Women’s Fund organizations, the subcommittee felt RSFWF’s needs would best be served by the following course of action.

Currently, Wild Apricot has been acting as both the platform on which our website is housed and the software which we have been using for our administrative tasks. We use the software to create our templates, to save our files, archives, and documents, and to perform many of the administrative functions we need. After reviewing several alternative options, we have decided to continue using the Wild Apricot software for these functions, thereby giving continuity to the Women’s Fund back-of-house functions.

However, we will be creating a new public-facing website by switching our platform to WordPress. This is where we hope you will see a significant difference! In order to set up the new website and run it, we have hired a new Consultant/Web Designer, Sarah Shepherd, from Studio360 Design. Sarah has come highly recommended from a sister organization in Idaho. She will be transferring a lot of the information from our current website to the new website but transforming it into a website which will be more enticing and easier to use. Our overarching goal it to make the website more user-friendly and approachable to both members and those considering membership.

Obviously, there are costs associated with this change, but the estimates we have received indicate these costs will be less than originally anticipated. There is a RSFWF policy which requires a specific level of operating funds to be held in a reserve account as a precautionary measure against unforeseen events. This year, membership voted to reduce this level from 1.5X of a year’s worth of expenses to 1.0X of expenses. This adjustment has freed up enough $$ to cover this new expenditure.

Mentors for New Members

It is generally agreed that an organization like ours would best serve its New Members by assigning them a Mentor. We will be asking Members to volunteer to be a Mentor for a New Member in an upcoming email. It will be a wonderful opportunity for a regular Member to meet some of the newer members, while helping the New Member get to know some of the existing members.

Thank you to Sara Bennett and Donna Vance for their excellent effort and success in bringing in over 30 New Members last year! We feel that we are “on a roll,” and now is the perfect time to invite or re-invite your friends to join in our great work to help those in need in our community. Please say “yes” to the rewarding role of being a Mentor to a New Member.

If you would like additional information about becoming a Mentor, please contact Donna Vance donnapvance@gmail.com or Sara Bennett sara.bennett@marshmma.com, Membership Co-Chairs.

Consider Joining a Grants Work Group!

Now is the time to start thinking about becoming involved in the 2022-23 Grants Award Process. Kathy Sage and Cathy Burch will be the Grant Co-Chairs this year, spearheading this effort. The two Focus Areas voted on by the membership for this year are:

Military Support Programs; and

Women’s Services, including domestic violence, sex trafficking and social services catering to women

Kathy Sage will be leading the Monday Work Group beginning September 19th at 12:30, with Joanne Marks acting as her Work Group Leader. This group, reviewing predominantly the Military Support programs, will initially be meeting on September 19th, 26th, October 3rd, 10th, and 17th at Joanne’s home. Then, they will reconvene beginning on January 9th to continue the process. If you are interested in joining Kathy’s Work Group or for more information, please email her at kathy.sage1@gmail.com

Cathy Burch will be leading the Tuesday Work Group beginning September 20th at 12:30, with Katherine Chapin acting as her Work Group Leader. This group, reviewing predominantly the Women’s Services programs, will initially be meeting on September 20th, 27th, October 4th, 11th, and 18th at Cathy’s home. Then, they will convene on January 10th to continue the process. If you are interested in joining Cathy’s Work Group or for more information, please email her at browningburch@me.com

Joining a Work Group can be extremely rewarding, and you will learn a lot about what is being done to help the less fortunate in San Diego. In addition, you will have camaraderie with your fellow Work Group Members and it’s a wonderful way to feel integrated into the Women’s Fund’s community.

Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is “In the News”!

One of our Grantees from this year, Foundation for Women Warriors, recently went on both KUSI and ABC to talk about how impactful our $50,000 grant was to them. In addition, they were also recently featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Click on the links below to both watch the interview with Jodie Grenier, CEO of Foundation for Women Warriors and to read the accompanying articles. (Note: actual interview starts after a brief commercial and then, at 23 seconds into the video)

Click here for KUSI Interview

Click here for San Diego Union Tribune article

Yearly Contributions Timeline

We have been educating our membership over the last year about our change in timeline for yearly Membership contributions. In order to have the Grant Work Groups best serve our primary purpose — giving grants – and to better facilitate this complicated process, we have decided to move the yearly contribution (dues) up to a September guideline. Since the total amount we give each year in grants is directly tied to how many members we have, our Grant Work Groups need to know how much $$ they have to give away as they administer their selection process. Furthermore, we are aligning with other Women’s Funds who begin their donation schedule in September as well.

Therefore, you will be receiving an email in late August with a request for your yearly contribution. This is to be paid by the deadline of September 15th. If there is an unusual circumstance, please notify Korri Ball, RSFWF Administrator (womensfund@rsffoundation.org) and a committee will review this request. For some, this will require a shift in their “giving year,” especially if they already gave a contribution after January 1, 2022, for the 2021-22 Grant Cycle. We all have to re-adjust our thinking and understand that giving late in the season does not serve our purposes.

RSFWF accepts new members throughout the year. Any contributions received from new members before April 1st will be applied to the current grant season and that new member would be allowed to vote. Any contributions made after April 1st, will be applied to the subsequent grant year funds and the donor will then be allowed to vote in that following grant season.

As a reminder, it is our policy that a guest or renewing member who has attended two functions/events must join or renew to attend any future gatherings.

Please continue to help make an impact in our community through pooled contributions and coordinate your giving cycle with this new calendar routine and appreciate its wisdom. Don’t put it off—just renew!

Above and Beyond Campaign

We have a reputation for carefully vetting requests from organizations to give grants. Our services can serve not only our members but also serve those in the community. Our Above and Beyond Campaign focuses on dual goals.

First: Members of our group can donate “above and beyond” the entry level of $2,300 membership. Many see the advantage of “rounding up” our yearly contribution to $2,500, or $5,000 or $10,000 or more.

Second: Those in the community who are not members can use our services and donate to our fund, being confident that their donation will make a significant impact in the community —allowing them to rely on our work and research!

We are very serious about our stewardship of funds, and our efforts, our expertise and track record are very convincing. There is not a better way to impact our Community than by the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund well- researched grant process! Spread the word! Round up!

New Board Position: Social Media Chair

We are not only making bold new strides in the world of technology, but we are going to spread the word and our influence through an updated and improved Social Media presence. Our marketing efforts need to match what is standard in the corporate world, so we are adding a Social Media position to the Board. We are pleased to announce that Sheryl Salman is our first Social Media Chair.

We have no doubt that you will be encountering Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund more regularly in your social media under her guidance.

New Designations of Membership

We want to be extremely welcoming to our new members! We all want to congratulate those who have sustained our organization for many years. We are instituting a new method of being able to recognize not only New Members (those who have joined within the year) but those who have been long term members.

We are going to attach “jewels” of assorted colors to the name tags of: New Members, 5-year Members, 10-year Members and Founding Members to easily identify them and honor them. More about this to come shortly.

2021-22 Grants Impact Report

Part of our Grants due-diligence process is to insist on a yearly update from past grantees as to the progress made using our grant funds. This year a comprehensive report has been created and will later be posted on our newly re-vamped website. As Members, however, YOU will receive a sneak preview of this towards the end of August.

Look for this exciting report in your inbox! As you read these interesting testimonies, you will feel gratified and proud that you were a significant part of changes in people’s lives and in our community.

Kick-off Meeting

We invite you and your friends to join us for the Fall Kick-Off Meeting September 21, 2022, at 5 pm, location to be announced. PLEASE BRING friends to this fun meeting!! Members, please rejoin, see your friends, and meet new ones.