The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and San Diego Grantmakers recently joined more than 30 philanthropic organizations pledging more than $170 million in support over the next five years for veterans and military families.
The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, a local community foundation, pledged $500,000; San Diego Grantmakers, a nonprofit membership association serving philanthropic organizations and individuals, committed continued support as a facilitator of philanthropic efforts benefitting this population.
The commitments are part of the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, launched April 30 in partnership with the White House’s national Joining Forces initiative in order to convene funders and build momentum around programs that support service members, veterans and their families in local communities as the country draws down from 12 years of war. The Pledge was announced at an event in Washington D.C. hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee, and attended by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.
“We are honored to be part of this opportunity to help the many veterans and military families in our region,” said Christy Wilson, executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. “We have been committed to supporting the military through The Patriots Initiative for the past seven years, and this pledge continues that commitment.”
San Diego has the third highest veteran population in the country and is the number one destination for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Every year, an estimated 15,000 Marines and Sailors depart from service in our region and about half are expected to call San Diego home.
“The successful transition of military service members to civilian life is of significance to our entire community,” said Nancy Jamison, executive director of San Diego Grantmakers as she spoke about the local Military Transition Support Project (MTSP) at today’s launch event.
San Diego Grantmakers oversaw MTSP, a year-long, cross-sector effort that resulted in a plan to better coordinate community resources for veterans and to connect those resources to service members as early in the transition process as possible, starting with a beta test later this year. MTSP was funded by one of the Pledge creators, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, together with support from Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and WebMD Health Foundation.
Additional Pledge initiators include Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, McCormick Foundation, the Council on Foundations Veteran’s Advisory Group members, and participants from the annual White Oak Conference, which brings together the public and private sector to foster and create partnerships to address the ever-changing challenges of military family life. Participants in today’s launch event included leaders from the American Red Cross, Armed Forces Services Corporation, Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Military Child Education Coalition, Military Officers Association of America, Points of Light Institute, and the USO.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge comes at a vital time as the country adjusts to a post-war period. Our service members, veterans, and their families are true assets to our country, communities and economy, and we all benefit from their dedication, skills, and experience. The philanthropic and nonprofit communities believe that supporting service members’ successful transition back to civilian life sustains their good work and shows our appreciation for their sacrifices. Each organization’s commitment will be designated over five years to their selected causes.
For more information about the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, contact Stephanie Powers, Executive Branch Liaison, Council on Foundations at (800) 673-9036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation:
Founded in 1981, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation today is the third largest community foundation in San Diego. The RSF Foundation enables donors to create charitable funds, based on their philanthropic interests, which address a wide range of issues throughout San Diego County and around the world. The RSF Foundation also makes community impact grants that support local and regional nonprofit organizations and provides leadership that strengthens the philanthropic community throughout San Diego County. For more information, www.rsffoundation.org.