Members, don’t forget to register for our upcoming Grantee Presentations meeting on April 18th!

Building Friendships Through Philanthropy


February, 2024

Letter from Our Board Chair


Grant cycle is in full swing and we are coming down the home stretch to invest our highest amount ever into our community! I hope you are signed up for Site Visits and will get to experience this special membership opportunity.

After careful deliberation, the Grant Committee moved 17 strong organizations, with a total ask of $712,005, to the Site Visit stage.

We are going to have a hard time choosing who to fund this year. If you are able to participate in the Above & Beyond Campaign, we would be so grateful for the capacity to help as many of these impressive programs as possible. All donations received by April 1st will be donated in this grant cycle.

Our April 18th Finalist Presentation meeting will be held at the RSF Golf Club at 9:30 AM. Come hear the moving presentations and cast your vote for who is most deserving of our funding and what our focus areas should be for next year.

Our Annual Bubbles Membership Party was a smashing success. A Big THANK YOU to Kristin Helms for opening up her gorgeous home, to Kelly Stroud for curating such a lovely evening and to Sabrina Applegate & Sheryl Lester for contributing some special libations to make the evening sparkle.  We are also grateful to our wonderful silent auction donor and fund supporter Susan Hoehn for getting us so close to our 20th Grant Fund goal.  

Make sure you mark your calendar for Monday, May 13th to bring your significant other to a fabulous cocktail celebration at Steak 48 from 5:30-7:30.  We will be celebrating the many volunteer hours and the over $5.7 million we will have invested in our community, we will pay tribute to our Founder, Gayle Gillies and will have a HUGE announcement about our future that you won’t want to miss.

Thank you for all you do as Women’s Fund members, we have so much to celebrate!



New Members

Our impact is growing! Since November 1st of last year, we have had 10 new members join us and several prior members have renewed their memberships. Please look out for these wonderful women, introduce yourselves and make them feel welcome. Show them how we build friendships through philanthropy.

Diana Andrus — Member since January 17th

Kathie Davis — Member since December 6th

Leslie Evans — Member since December 26th

Amber Greene — Member since December 15th

Alla Kesser — Member since November 16th

Cheryl McArthur — Member since January 11th

Pilar Meza — Member since February 8th

Amy Myers — Member since January 19th

Robin Nordhoff — Member since January 2nd

Heidi Stevens — Member since December 7th

New Member Orientation

New member Orientation 2.24

For more information or to register for this event, please CLICK HERE.

A Moment for Philanthropy

On February 6th, a small group of members gathered at Nikki Carmody Ream’s home for a Moment for Philanthropy. Volunteer Co-Chair,Ellie Cunningham, curated Galentine’s Bags filled with practical and pampering items and, along with Co-Chair Amy Hobart, guided the group to compile 70 bags and craft inspirational notes for the women at Rachel’s Women’s Center.  It truly was Philanthropy Through Friendship at its best!

Galentine’s Meeting Recap

Last week at our Site Visit Sign-Up and Galentine’s Celebration, we had the opportunity to honor some of our Charters & Starters who were in attendance. Over 20 years ago, these women were true visionaries who gathered friends to give back to the North County and San Diego communities using pooled resources.

Founder Gayle Gillies Mize and approximately 75 women came together to create the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund.  During their first year of giving, the organization granted 4 organizations a total of $100,000.  This generous tradition of building friendships through philanthropy has continued and, to date, we have granted over $5.2 Mil to support 154 projects in 20 years!

Fifteen of those original members are still active members today.  We applaud them for their generosity and are grateful for their guidance and vision. 

Sheryl Durkin

Franci Free

Vivian Hardage

Nancy Hillgren

Susan Hoehn

Candise Holmlund

Gail Kendall

Sue Major

Maureen McMahon

Judy Oliphant

Connie Pittard

Ann Ribble

Sue Sanderson

Gretchen Simpson

Kathy Yash

Site Visit Sign-up Guidelines

Site Visits will run from Monday, February 26th to Friday, March 15th.  Both the Monday and the Tuesday Work Groups have worked hard to evaluate and cull the original 106 organizations which applied back in September down to the 16 organizations which our membership will visit in person to evalute their potential as finalists for our 2024 Grants. 

Cathy Burch and Kathy Sage, Grant Co-Chairs, offered the following guidelines as you consider registering for Site Visits this year:

  1. You MUST register online.  This is so we can not only keep an accurate headcount for each Site Visit, but also so that the Site Visit Leaders will know who is attending and can communicate with their groups. To register for a Site Visit, either click on the name of the organization below or go to the Events tab on the website and click on the event there. 
  2. Initially, please only register for a maximum of three Site Visits. After initial registrations have been completed, an email will be sent out at the beginning of each week, letting members know if there are additional sign-up spots available for specific Site Visits. Registration for available spots will be closed the day prior to each site visit.  If a conflict arises with your registration, please email Ruth at so another member can attend.
  3. Come prepared to each Site Visit you attend.  Summaries of each project were emailed to Membership prior to last week’s General Meeting.  In addition, links to these same summaries can be found on the individual registration pages.  Furthermore, if you would like to see the original Letters of Intent and Proposals which were submitted, these can be found on the website, in the Members’ Only section, under the Grant Information tab.  
  4. Each Site Visit will include a “social component” allowing the opportunity to gather either before or after the Site Visit, most likely for a dutch treat coffee or lunch.  This will allow the group to discuss and share their thoughts regarding the organization and/or socialize. 
  5. If you are a New Member, please consider attending the New Member Orientation on February 22nd.  During this orientation, not only will you learn about the RSFWF Grant Process, but also the history of the RSF Women’s Fund, who our leadership is, where to find things on the website, etc. 

Site Visit Registration

Response to registration for Site Visits has been very positive!  We are excited that so many members are choosing to take an active role in the process by signing up for these events.  While some of the Site Visits listed below may currently indicate that we are at capacity, we encourage members to register for the Waitlist as conflicts frequently arise, opening up additional spots. 

AMVETS Dept. of CA Service Foundation

Monday, March 4th at 10:00 AM

Casa de Amistad

Tuesday, March 5th at 1:00 PM

Center for Community Solutions

Friday, March 1st at 1:00 PM

Doris A. Howell Foundation

Friday, March 15th at 1:00 PM

ElderHelp of San Diego

Tuesday, March 12th at 10:00 AM

Elementary Institute of Science (EIS)

Wednesday, March 6th at 10:00 AM

Girls, Inc.

Wednesday, February 28th at 3:00 PM

Home Start, Inc.

Wednesday, March 6th at 1:00 PM

Interfaith Community Services

Monday, March 11th at 1:00 PM

Just in Time for Foster Youth

Thursday, February 29th at 1:00 PM

Meals-on-Wheels Greater San Diego

Friday, March 15th at 10:00 AM

San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, Inc.

Tuesday, February 27th at 1:00 PM

T.E.R.I., Inc.

Thursday, March 7th at 10:00 AM

The San Marcos Promise (dba Project Next)

Thursday, March 14th at 10:00 AM

Voices for Children

Voices for Children

Monday, February 26th at 10:00 AM

Save the Date

You won’t want to miss this celebration where Members and Significant Others will enjoy a bountiful cocktail spread from our partners at Steak 48 to celebrate our 20th Anniversary of Giving! Ticket sales will grow our 2024-2025 grant pool and we will have a monumental announcement. More details to come.

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 26th – Friday, March 15th

Various Times

RSF Women’s Fund Site Visits

Thursday, April 18th

9:30 – 11:30 AM

Finalist Presentations and General Meeting. Come listen as our grantee finalists present their projects for funding. Members can vote immediately after the meeting. 

Sunday, April 21st 

12:00 PM

All Membership Ballots for 2023-24 Grantees must be submitted.

Tuesday, May 7th

12:15 – 1:45 PM

Grants Awards Ceremony.  Join us as we celebrate the 2023-24 Grantees and invest in their future.

Monday, May 13th

5:30 – 7:30 PM

20th Anniversary Celebration at Steak 48

Scenes from Our 2024 Bubbles Celebration

2023-24 Board of Directors

2023-24 RSF Women’s Fund Board

President and Board Chair — Nikki Carmody Ream

Secretary — Mary Consalvi

Treasurer — Diane Solomon

Grant Committee Co-Chair — Cathy Burch

Grant Committee Co-Chair — Kathy Sage

Membership — Cheryl Solomon

Nominations and Governance — Susan Hoehn

Member-at-Large — Sandra Coufal, MD

Member-at-Large/Technology Chair — Mara Buchholz

Audit & Finance Committee Co-Chair — Cynthia Hudson

Investment Committee Chair — Candise Holmlund

Incoming Grant Committee Co-Chair — Maritia Walper

Incoming Grant Committee Co-Chair — Sara Bennett

Programs Co-Chair — Kirstjen Nielsen

Programs Co-Chair — Muffy Walker

Publicity Chair — Elia Surran

Social Chair — Kelly Stroud

Social Media Chair — Kathryn Brown

Volunteer Co-Chair — Amy Hobert

Volunteer Co-Chair — Ellie Cunningham

Member-at-Large — Donna Vance

Member-at-Large — Vivian Hardage