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

Building Friendships Through Philanthropy

RSF Women's Fund Awards Grant to "Leap to Success" for Programs to Help Women in Need


The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund awarded a $50,000 grant to Leap to Success as part of the $442,000 they invested in the local community for 2023, according to a news release. This grant offers Leap to Success programs helping low-income women gain the self-confidence and self-esteem they need to return to school, get a job and get past the trauma of domestic violence, homelessness, and other significant challenges they face. The funds will provide 50 women with a six-week program to help domestic violence survivors gain confidence, communication skills, and optimism.

“Its Leap to Confidence program stood out to the RSFWF with its impactful data-driven results, the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff, and the continued support of the women post program. Leap to Success is building a community of female survivors, complete with a network of friends and colleagues,” Cathy Burch, grant committee co-chair, said in the news release.

The women served by Leap to Success come from diverse ethnicities, orientations, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Approximately 75% of the women assisted by Leap to Success have experienced domestic violence. Leap to Success also serves women who have been incarcerated and are now in residential recovery programs. Leap to Success participants have a wide range of educational backgrounds. Many never completed one high school due to difficult family situations, while others have college and advanced degrees. One-hundred percent of participants are low to moderate-income. Participants are referred to Leap to Success by 60+ social service and educational organizations throughout the region that provide shelter, safety, counseling, and support for basic needs.

“This grant is helping us empower the next women! We are recruiting right now for our first in-person Leap to Confidence program since the pandemic started, and your funds are helping us reach more women who are rebuilding their lives after domestic violence. We can’t wait to meet them and watch them regain confidence in themselves and move forward in life,” said Dana Bristol-Smith, Leap to Success executive director, in the news release.

The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is a group of women who come together to positively impact the San Diego community by pooling their resources. Since 2004, the RSFWF has given over $5.2 million to 154 local nonprofit organizations and projects. Along with their charitable work, the Women’s Fund offers opportunities for women to connect through education about and involvement in philanthropy. Members attend events, network with other women, volunteer and learn about important community issues.

On Sept. 12, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., the Women’s Fund will hold its annual kick-off general membership meeting at a private RSF home featuring Dr. Ben Maxwell, Division Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and The Una Davis Family Chair in Behavioral Health, at Rady Children’s Hospital. He is also an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Maxwell will be speaking on “The Mental Health of our Youth.”

The Women’s Fund welcomes interested community members to join. For more information, visit or email