With the generosity of one local couple, there is a special opportunity to double certain philanthropic efforts of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation through Dec. 31, 2016. It is through a challenge to help the Community Impact Fund, a fund RSF Foundation started in 2006 to turn local vision into action throughout San Diego County.
The Community Impact Fund is supported by donors who want to use their collective donations to address critical challenges throughout the community. Each year, RSF Foundation makes grants to nonprofits in the community that have been vetted by staff and an advisory committee; these are in response to funding requests for high-impact projects. Since the fund began, RSF Foundation has granted over $1.6 million to 67 nonprofits making a positive impact throughout the community. In honor of the Foundation’s 35th Anniversary, Rancho Santa Fe residents Molly and Mike Gregoire have provided a dollar-for-dollar match to this Community Impact Fund for up to $35,000 in donations through Dec. 31, 2016. This matching grant has been deemed the 35 for 35 Challenge.
When donors have joined forces and resources with other philanthropists through the Community Impact Fund, effective change has happened. Two years ago, for example, RSF Foundation identified a need for seniors to have access to healthy affordable lunches. Through a multi-year grant and collaboration with other local nonprofits, Dreams for Change and Interfaith Community Services , the North County Senior Connections (NCSC) was born. Each week, the NCSC Thyme Together Food Truck prepares made-to-order lunches, offers socialization and hosts educational opportunities for vulnerable seniors in North County. So far, NCSC has served more than 13,000 meals to more than 1,100 seniors. As one NCSC participant said, “I was a recluse and very unhappy and lonely [before coming to this program.] Now I feel very alive, interested in people who are so pleasant. [I] have joined the Social Club.”
In 2015, Camp Pendleton received help from the Community Impact Fund, as well. When the government ended funding of their drop-in childcare center, the Armed Services YMCA offered to help take over operations. RSF Foundation, through the Community Impact Fund, made a grant to support the hiring of the center’s staff. This center now serves more than 500 children each month; this Challenge, which doubles donations, is a way to enhance such local efforts.
Collective giving paired with the expertise of RSF Foundation staff and directors enabled those opportunities and more. Due to the generosity of the Gregoires, donors can empower even more of these grants. When an individual gives, whether it be $35, $350, or $3,500 during the 35 for 35 Challenge, it is a collective effort to address community needs and challenges in a collaborative way. Interested individuals can learn more and give through the website rsffoundation.org.