The 15th anniversary of the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund and Annual Grant Awards were elegantly celebrated on May 15 at the Del Mar Country Club to mark over $3.7 million that the members have collectively granted to local charities. Members and guests were entertained by the Mission Bay Preservationists, a 12-member New Orleans-style jazz band from Mission Bay High School, a Title 1 magnet school. By the end of the evening, a total of $292,500 was granted to 11 nonprofit organizations in San Diego County, the largest amount ever granted in a single year by the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund.
The entire evening was dedicated to the charter members of the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund, including its founder, Gayle Gillies-Mize. These women have developed a superior vetting process that has resulted in full and persistent confidence that all grant recipients are providing valuable services to those less fortunate in the community. Two focus areas for grants are voted in by the 120 members annually. Members dedicate countless hours to the Grants Committee that evaluates over 100 grant requests annually, organizes site visits to 12-15 nonprofit organizations every spring, and then presents a final ballot of approximately 12 potential grantees for the entire membership to vote on. Each grant is a maximum of $50,000, thus creating a meaningful impact on the ability of the grantee to provide services for their clientele.
Membership in the Fund is open to all women who reside within the two zip codes of Rancho Santa Fe. The minimum annual contribution consists of $2,300, where 87 percent of all contributions are distributed directly to grants made. The annual schedule of activities includes three speaker meetings, a white party dubbed “Bubbles & Blanca,” the Grant Presentations, and the Grant Awards. More information can be found at rsfwomensfund.org.