Congratulations to our 2023-24 Grant Recipients! 

Building Friendships Through Philanthropy


June, 2024

Letter from Our Board Chair


As a Mother of two sons, I am overwhelmed with pride that our Founder’s son, Bill Gillies would honor his Mother’s legacy with such a profound and generous gift. By donating one million dollars to our Longevity Fund, he has ensured that we can continue to make a tremendous impact on our community and will be building friendships through philanthropy for generations to come.  This impact stability could not have come at a better time as our membership voted this year to support Women’s Services and Children and Youth, areas for which funding has been confirmed to be LESS THAN 2% of total national philanthropic giving, according to the Indiana University Philanthropy Institute’s comprehensive Women & Girls Index.  It’s a compelling mission to combat the chronic underinvestment in Women and Children and based on the efforts and generosity of our Members to date, I know we are up to the challenge.  When women support other women things get done!  

Enjoy your summer and remember to invite friends and neighbors to our Kick-off Meeting, September 18th from 5-7pm at a private RSF Home.  Ann Brizolis and Jennifer Janzen of Pacific Sothebys International Realty are, once again, generously hosting this festive gathering.  It is a wonderful opportunity to introduce potential new members to our mission. 

Gratefully, Nikki  

Oh, What a Night!!

What better way to cap off our 20th Year of Giving than with a Member celebration!

On Monday, May 13th, Steak 48 generously hosted the RSFWF Members and their + ones for a fabulous cocktail party reception. Attending the event were RSF Women’s Fund Founder, Gayle Gillies-Mize’s children: Bill Gillies, Ginger Wood and Nancy Van Dyke. 

The surprise of the evening was when Mr. Gillies, Founder/CEO of Big Country Organic Brewing  announced that in honor of his mother
and our 20th Anniversary, he would be donating 
$1 Million Dollars to the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund, thereby securing our legacy for another 20 years!

See below for photos from this amazing event.

Congratulations to our 2023-24 Grantees!!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! 

This year, in honor of our 20th Anniversary of Giving, our Membership stepped up to give away an unprecedented $500,000 to 11 very deserving organizations.  These selected few were very carefully vetted from the 106 original organizations who submitted Letters of Intent last fall. Congratulations to these outstanding organizations, and we look forward to hearing about all of the wonderful things you are doing for our community!

2023-24 Grantee Organizations


AMVETS of CA Dept. of Service Foundation
Welcome Home

Center for Community Solutions
Advocacy for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

ElderHelp of San Diego*
Services for Senior Women
     * Gayle Gillies Mize Award Recipient



Elementary Institute of Science
Girls Take Flight

Home Start, Inc. 
Domestic Violence Survivor Program

Interfaith Community Services
Emergency Housing Program for North County Families

Just in Time for Foster Youth

Holistic Wellness Services for Young Women Impacted by the Foster Care System

Meals-on-Wheels San Diego
Senior Meal Delivery and Supportive Services in North County

Project Next (formerly, The San Marcos Promise)
Focused Futures

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program 
North County Domestic Violence Clinic

Voices for Children
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program for Teen Girls and Young Women

April Grantee Presentation Meeting Recap

On April 18th, RSFWF members gathered at the RSF Golf Club to listen to our 2023-24 Grantee Finalists make their presentations. Fourteen organizations spoke briefly about their program, followed by a short Q & A session. After all were done, Membership had the option to vote either in person or online to choose who we would fund in our 2023-24 Grant Cycle.  There were so many worthwhile organizations — it was hard to choose!

New Members

We had two new members join us this spring, bringing our group up to 143 Members. Please join us in welcoming them to our wonderful organization!

Bianca (Bibi) Kozloff — Member since February 12th

Lisa Schoelen — Member since February 15th

Survey Says

For those of you who completed this year’s Annual Survey, thank you.  We received a lot of good feedback which will guide our future plans. As you can see from the graph below, we had a good cross-section of membership response, in terms of length of membership. 

In addition, an impressive 92% have indicated that they are either Very Likely or Likely to renew their membership this year. 

The top two reasons for joining the Women’s Fund were the Impact of Giving and To See Friends and Meet New People, followed closely by, The Grant Process and To Learn About San Diego Non-Profits.

Finally, 88% of those responding indicated they are comfortable with increasing our annual Minimum Contribution Amount to at least $2,500.

Where in the World (on Our Website) Can I Find…

Did you know that there is a tremendous amount of information on our website, if you know where to look for it? 

Membership Directory — The contact information for all RSFWF Members can be found by signing into the Members Only portion the website and clicking on the Member Directory tab at the top of the page.

Individual Member Profile — Members can edit their own personal information by signing into the Members Only portion of the website and clicking on their name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. To edit, click Edit Profile and Save when you are done

Newsletters — RSF Women’s Fund Newsletters are created quarterly and emailed to all Active Members. You can also find them on our website under the News tab, along with all the Latest News articles which have been published in local newspapers and magazines. 

Most Recent Grantees Every Spring, a listing of our most recent Grantees is uploaded onto the website. A teaser of three organizations appears on the Home Page, but all of the current Grantees appear under the Our Impact tab.

Annual Evaluations/Impact Report — Each organization who is given a grant is required to submit an Annual Evaluation Report upon the one-year anniversary date of their funding.  These results are compiled into our Impact Report. Individual organizations’ results appear on the lower half of the page under the Our Impact tab, with each having a link to the full Impact Report.  This is a great document to forward to friends who you think may be interested in joining our group!

Historical Grantees — You can find a description of each project/program that we have supported since inception, by signing into the Members Only section of the website and selecting the Grant Information tab.

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 16th

12:30 – 2:00 PM

Monday Grant Committee Work Group Meetings begin

Tuesday, September 17th

12:30 – 2:00 PM

Tuesday Grant Committee Work Group Meetings begin

Wednesday, September 18th 

5:00 – 7:00 PM

Annual General Membership Kick-off Meeting

Wednesday, October 9th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Member Fireside Chat Event, featuring John Reed, M.D., Ph.D.

The Cost to Produce a Drug; Fact, Fiction and the Public’s Misunderstanding”

Social Hour followed by Talk/Q&A

Wednesday, November 13th

11:30 – 1:30 PM

November General Membership Meeting

Scenes from Our 2024 Bubbles Celebration

2024-25 Executive Board

President and Board Chair — Nikki Carmody Ream

Secretary — Mary Consalvi

Treasurer — Diane Solomon

Incoming Secretary/Past Grant Committee Co-Chair — Cathy Burch

Grant Committee Co-Chair — Maritia Walper

Grant Committee Co-Chair — Sara Bennett

Membership Sr. Chair — Cheryl Solomon

Nominations and Governance — Susan Hoehn

Member-at-Large — Sandra Coufal, MD

Member-at-Large/Social Chair — Kelly Stroud

Member-at-Large/Technology Chair — Mara Buchholz

2024-25 Governing Board

Audit & Finance Committee Co-Chair — Cynthia Hudson

Investment Committee Chair — Candise Holmlund

Past Grant Committee Co-Chair — Kathy Sage

Membership Jr. Chair — Marilyn Tedesco

Programs Co-Chair — Kirstjen Nielsen

Programs Co-Chair — Muffy Walker

Publicity Chair — Elia Surran

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