RSF Foundation awards more than $350,000 in grants to military and veteran support organizations

RSF Foundation
RSF Foundation gave the Armed Services YMCA San Diego a check for $25,000. The ASY San Diego’s Family and Youth programs provide a solid foundation of support for military youth that helps to strengthen the family unit and keep children and families strong in the face of all challenges.
(Photo courtesy of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation on behalf of ASYMCA Camp Pendleton)

Leaders at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation selected 14 San Diego area military and veteran support organizations to receive funding from the Foundation’s grants program known as The Patriots Connection. A total of $350,300 was awarded to nonprofit organizations serving local military and veteran individuals and families. Grantees include Armed Services YMCA San Diego, Biocom California Institute, Support The Enlisted Project and the Foundation for Women Warriors, among others, according to a news release.

Funds awarded to the 14 local nonprofits support a range of initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life in the region for members of the military, veterans and their families. Since 2008, The Patriots Connection has invested more than $2.4 million in San Diego grants for nonprofits focused on the needs of the military community. Funding for the military and veteran grants program comes from the generous, purposeful philanthropy of donors at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation who recognize the value of collaborative giving.

“We are thrilled to announce these grant awards to organizations doing such great work for our local military and veteran communities,” said Chris Sichel, president and CEO, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, in the news release. “So many of us have the desire to lift up and support current and former military service members and their families, and The Patriots Connection grant recipients are trusted organizations providing this essential support in San Diego County. This important work would not be possible without the generosity and collaboration of our donors.”

Challenges faced by military communities in San Diego underscore a need for support

San Diego County is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel, and even more military veterans live in San Diego than active-duty personnel. Military and veteran families face a significant challenge in navigating the high cost of living in the region.

The RSF Foundation gave the Support The Enlisted Project
The RSF Foundation gave the Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) a $25,000 donation. STEP helps low-income military and veteran families who are facing a financial crisis by providing financial counseling, education, and emergency funds to help them achieve financial self-sufficiency and make this their last financial crisis. Emergency funds cover rent, utilities, auto payments, critical baby items, essential household appliances or emergency travel.
(Photo courtesy of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation on behalf of Support the Enlisted Project (STEP)


The biggest concern for active-duty families is military spouse employment. This challenge is compounded for those who depend on secondary income to afford to live in the San Diego region. Spouses who are not working report the cost of childcare as the top barrier to employment. These points illustrate just some of the complex challenges faced by military and veteran heroes. A range of solutions is needed, to include services for basic needs, health and wellness and education as well as social and community connection.

Veterans experience a unique set of challenges, stressors and traumas—from deployment and combat to the often difficult process of reintegrating into civilian life after leaving the military—all of which can have significant long-term impacts on their mental health and well-being.

Patriots Connection grants fund projects that boost military communities in San Diego

Grant funds awarded to the 14 partner organizations support a range of initiatives serving San Diego military and veterans, from youth enrichment programs to emergency financial assistance and financial literacy to housing and homeless intervention, to name a few.

“The Patriots Connection at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has been, and continues to be, deeply invested in and responsive to the needs of our local military community,” said Tony Teravainen, CEO and co-founder, Support The Enlisted Project, in the news release. “We are extremely honored to be recipients of their grant funding and grateful for their partnership in working to make San Diego a better place for our service members, veterans, and their families to live, work and enjoy. We created STEP to make positive long-lasting impacts in the lives of our military families who are facing a critical financial crisis. Rancho Santa Fe Foundation’s support has given us the ability to help thousands of families move from financial crisis to a lifetime of financial self-sufficiency!”

In this recent grant award funding for The Patriots Connection program, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation awarded nine multi-year grants and five single-year grants. The Foundation believes awarding more multi-year grants allows nonprofit partner organizations to experience a greater return on their investment of time in the grant application process, which, in some instances, can divert them from the more urgent work of serving their communities.

Opportunities to collaborate with Rancho Santa Fe Foundation

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation offers multiple grant cycles each year across three main grantmaking categories: education, health, and military and veterans. The Foundation’s next grant cycle, which will take place in fall 2023, will focus on improving K-6 academic success following learning loss in underserved North County San Diego communities.

Donors interested in learning more about impacting any of these grantmaking focus areas in the San Diego region are encouraged to reach out to Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. The team offers concierge-level service to leverage donations to have an even greater impact. You can donate today at or contact the team

Learn more at — RSF Foundation news release