Rancho Santa Fe Foundation announces The Patriots Initiative



“The Patriots Initiative will alter the way Americans support the men and women of our 21st century armed forces, and their families,” says Greg Hillgren, chairman and founder, The Patriots Initiative.

On Sept. 17, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation launched a defining new program that will begin to resolve the enduring hardship issues facing America’s military service members and their families. The Patriots Initiative has been created to become the foremost clearinghouse for philanthropy and reliable information addressing the critical needs of the nation’s all-volunteer warriors, veterans and their families.

The Patriots Initiative (TPI) responds to the needs of philanthropic donors to quickly and effectively identify the most worthy nonprofits serving the military community in order to insure their contributions are directed for the greatest impact. The RSF Foundation has been a regional leader for nearly a decade in support of these causes and has built a unique capability and knowledge about the hundreds of charitable agencies that exist in this field. The Patriots Initiative now becomes the premier site enabling donors to confidently identify the causes and organizations they can trust.

“This century, fewer than 1 percent of Americans will volunteer for military service and take on the vital responsibility of protecting our country and our freedoms,” Hillgren said. “While that’s the lowest military participation rate since the 19th century, it’s important that the value of military service remain in the forefront of our culture and core values as American citizens.

“It’s a simple yet revolutionary new approach that will fundamentally change the way Americans embrace and support all military families. TPI eliminates the risk and amplifies the transparency and productivity for every single donor who wishes to make a difference in this important effort,” Hillgren added.

“There are hundreds of nonprofits emerging locally and across the nation to serve the needs of the military. The Patriots Initiative saw the critical need to simplify this process for donors and to help donors find their way through the maze of options. This is a true game-changer,” said Chuck Yash, TPI advisory board member.

The Patriots Initiative will focus at the outset on identifying the most promising programs at the most productive charitable agencies both regionally and nationally. TPI will concentrate its initial efforts and philanthropy here. In 2015, The Patriots Initiative will begin a nationwide launch campaign establishing TPI regional chapters at well-established community foundations throughout the country. Those community foundations will bring regionalized awareness and donor focus to this philanthropic effort across a national “TPI-branded” platform.

“The RSF Foundation has been actively engaged with this philanthropy for years, and saw the need to simplify this process for inspired donors who want their gifts to be truly meaningful. By creating The Patriots Initiative we have assumed the leadership of this challenge, and bring a brand new approach – a simple yet comprehensive solution to this arena,” said Christy Wilson, RSF Foundation executive director.

Using a range of practical criteria, The Patriots Initiative’s innovative, breakthrough approach has carefully examined, analyzed and evaluated more than 100 charitable agencies that are emerging throughout the nation to address these military needs and serve these volunteer warriors and their families. Every charitable agency is then scored and rated on its merits, based on the results of this evaluation.

In October, The Patriots Initiative will release “The Directory,” the resulting list of charitable agencies that have passed this rigorous review and are deemed to be engaging best practices and effectiveness, and are considered suitable for TPI donors/members or any thoughtful philanthropist to confidently consider supporting.

Donors who want to support America’s military service members, wounded and fallen, veterans and their families can now confidently do so simply by making their gifts directly through The Patriots Initiative at the RSF Foundation. When philanthropists join or donate through TPI, 100 percent of their gift will directly support the programs chosen by the donor. Donors may designate their gifts to specific charities or to any of three TPI funds (please go to for more details).

Warriors in Transition:

The Patriots Initiative will also provide unique resources such as a dynamic interactive matrix of corporate/educational/training opportunities available to service members transitioning to the private sectors, as well as connections to professional/industry-specific mentors/advisors.


Members of TPI will enjoy special privileges and unique opportunities to attend private guest speaker forums, meet, visit and learn directly from military leaders and veterans, and experience firsthand the solutions being delivered to these causes.

“Simply said, our all-volunteer military service members and their families have earned and deserve the best we can give them,” Hillgren said.

For more information about, and ways to contribute to The Patriots Initiative, please contact Debbie Anderson, programs manager, (at 858-756-0358 or or visit the website at

The Patriots Initiative™ is a registered trademark of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.