Glenner Alzheimer’s and San Diego Opera Partner on Innovative Town Square

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We are honored to welcome Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers as an endowment fund partner at RSF Foundation. Their collaboration with San Diego Opera to create Town Square to provide care for those facing Alzheimer’s is the kind of innovative partnership we value and support.

The Need for Alzheimer’s Care in San Diego

With more than 60,000 San Diegans over the age of 55 currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, Glenner’s provides essential day care programs for patients and respite support for caregivers. A projected 50% increase in those living with the disease in San Diego by 2030 means that the need for these programs will grow significantly over the next decade.

How Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers Address the Need

Glenner Alzheimer’s provides adult day programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, caregiver support groups and respite care, and education, resources and referrals for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A late night phone call for respite and support from a caregiver to Dr. George G. Glenner and his wife, Joy, nearly 40 years ago launched the Alzheimer’s family care centers that bear his name today. As a physician and Alzheimer’s researcher at UCSD School of Medicine, Dr. Glenner became world renowned for his research and identification of the protein that became the basis of further understanding of the disease.

Glenner Alzheimer’s, San Diego Opera and Town Square

Glenner’s Town Square creates a 1950s-era themed Adult Day Care Center that uses Reminiscence Therapy to care for those facing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This form of therapy re-creates past activities, events and experiences with other people to support positive outcomes for the participants.

San Diego Opera Scenic Studios will build a replica of San Diego in the 1950s inside an industrial building for a safe, indoor environment. The urban replica, scheduled to open in Chula Vista in 2018, will include historic storefronts, a museum, movie theater, and city hall. In Glenner’s Town Square, each storefront is designed to be fully interactive and provide specific programmatic value to the participants. The concept is modeled on Junior Achievement’s BizTown facility and is expected to be the first of its kind in the nation.

A Partnership that Addresses Needs and Builds Community

“Town Square is truly an innovative care model that changes the way care is delivered for those facing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia across our city and the nation. We are absolutely honored to be working with the San Diego Opera Scenic Studios, who are helping us to create the most realistic and authentic experience for our participants. The opportunity to merge care and the arts will result in an unparalleled experience for our participants and family caregivers,” said Scott J. Tarde, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers.

“As San Diego Opera continues its transformation into an opera company for all of our community, I often talk about the need to build meaningful partnerships with our neighbors,” said San Diego Opera General Director, David Bennett. “The work the Glenner Center is doing enhances the lives of the San Diegans who use their services, just as the arts enhance the quality of life in our city. San Diego Opera is excited to assist the Glenner Center in the important work they do, and we look forward to building new ways to support their mission.”

Find out more about Town Square in this San Diego Union-Tribune article.

Find out more about Endowment Funds at RSF Foundation.

What’s in Our Planned Giving Toolkit for Professional Advisors?

Planned giving, community foundation, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego

At the RSF Foundation, we make it easy for professional advisors to inform their clients about options for planned charitable giving. We offer many tax-advantaged options that make it possible for donors to support the causes and organizations they care about into the future.

You will find all the information you need about planned giving at the RSF Foundation on the Professional Advisors Toolkit page of our website. The following is a sampling of the materials in our toolkit.

Planned Giving at a Glance

Compare the key features of many types of planned gifts. This chart provides a simple way to determine which planned giving vehicles are right for your clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Donors have a variety of goals they want to accomplish with their planned giving. This resource page puts answers to their questions within easy reach. Here are just a few of the questions we address:

  • May I place my name or the name of a loved one on the fund that is created?
  • Can my planned gift remain anonymous and still fulfill my wishes?
  • Can I make a planned gift into a donor advised fund for the benefit of my heirs?

Donor Stories

Find out how other donors have reached their charitable giving goals with these real-life stories.

We invite you to use our toolkit to enhance the tools you have at your fingertips for planned giving advice for your clients.

Contact us to talk about all the planned giving services we provide.

Meet Buena Vista Audubon Society in North San Diego County


The RSF Foundation welcomes new endowment fund partner, Buena Vista Audubon Society, the coastal North San Diego County chapter of the National Audubon Society. We are pleased to be helping BVAS fulfill its mission of community-based nature conservation.

An endowment fund is the ideal method for BVAS to strengthen support for its long-term view of nature conservation through education programs for children and the community. With an endowment fund, this nonprofit that works to ensure a healthy environment for future generations has also provided for its own sustainable funding for the future.

Over 3,000 school children participate in class outings to the BVAS Nature Center in Oceanside each year. A full calendar of nature educational experiences for the community includes birding field trips throughout the county and to distant locales, as well as classes on natural history and native plants and animals. BVAS is also active in the preservation, restoration and enhancement of sensitive habitats throughout San Diego County.

BVAS has received a generous matching gift to help the organization grow its endowment over the next few years. Donors with a passion for preserving the environment in the San Diego region have a unique opportunity with a two-for-one match to contribute to an organization that is strengthening its ability to continue to conserve the environment into the future.

By establishing an endowment fund at the RSF Foundation, BVAS has set up a permanent fund in which the principal is protected and invested. Interest on the fund, up to a 5% annual distribution, provides income to support the organization’s activities in the present and the future. Additionally, by specifying the purpose of the fund, that purpose is protected over time as changes occur in and around the organization.

As a community foundation, we are excited about the work that Buena Vista Audubon Society is doing to protect and preserve the natural habitats in our community, and we are honored to partner with them for a sustainable future.

Contact us to find out more about endowment funds at the RSF Foundation.


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The Patriots Connection Awards $100,200 to San Diego Military-Focused Nonprofits

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The Patriots Connection, a program of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, awarded grants totaling $100,200 to nine nonprofit programs serving the military in San Diego County in May 2016. The Patriots Connection has awarded over 125 grants totaling more than $1 million since 2009 to nonprofits serving the local military community.

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is proud to be able to continue its long history of supporting military members in our community,” said Paula Powers, Grants & Projects Committee Chair.  “The Patriots Connection conducts an extensive outreach and evaluation process to identify organizations and programs meeting the areas of greatest need with the highest levels of effectiveness.”

Grants were awarded in four categories of support for active duty military members, veterans and their families. For more information about how to give to the most effective and efficient local military-focused nonprofits, visit the San Diego Directory, an online resource compiled by The Patriots Connection.

Basic Needs

211 San Diego – This organization is investing in technology to allow for data sharing across providers to ensure military and veteran clients are accounted for every step of the way. This is an opportunity to create a true collective impact model that follows an individual’s journey and tracks the services they are utilizing to create a better experience for military and veterans.

Camp Pendleton ASYMCA – The Fisher Children’s Center provides hourly drop-in childcare for military families who need short-term childcare for many reasons and do not have any other option.

Operation Homefront – Back To School Brigade (BTSB) provides backpacks and school supplies to 500 military children in kindergarten – 12th grade. The BTSB program helps build strong, stable and secure military families by ensuring that military children have the necessary supplies to start the school year off right.

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) – The Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) program helps military and veteran families who are facing a financial crisis by providing the necessary financial counseling, education and emergency financial grants required to help them achieve financial self-sufficiency.

Education & Jobs

Easter Seals of Southern California – WorkFirst Military & Veterans Services provides transitioning veterans in San Diego County with 1:1 customized employment support, connections to 300+ local employers, small business development & post-employment follow-up.

Workshops for Warriors –  The 16-week CNC Machinist training program is designed to prepare veterans and transitioning service members to become entry level CNC machinists by using machining theory and extensive hands on training.

Physical & Mental Health

Physician Advocates for Veterans (PAVE) – PAVE provides access to volunteer physician advocates who help veterans understand their diagnoses and observe treatment plans. The goal is to empower clients to guide their future medical care. After two formative years as an all-volunteer organization, this funding supports hiring an Executive Director to activate the expansion of the program.

Warrior Foundation Freedom Station – The Wheelchairs for Warriors program is specifically designed to provide amputees with lightweight, high quality wheelchairs that are custom-made specifically to provide the best fit, form and functionality for each individual, increasing the mobility, comfort, livability and safety of our warriors.

Social & Personal Connections

Wreaths Across America – Wreath-laying ceremonies at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Miramar National Cemetery honor our veterans, remember our fallen heroes, and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

How Community Can Transcend Politics


As a community foundation, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation’s mission is to make connections among people and organizations that build and strengthen local communities. We continually look for innovative ways to make those connections. That’s why we were interested in David Brooks’ idea about community-building in response to trends in our national politics.

In a recent NY Times column, David Brooks looks past the political parties and candidates and sees the pain people experience in difficult circumstances as largely responsible for the current political climate. For example, he cites the surging suicide rate reflecting the pain of social isolation, and the pain of economic hardship reflecting a sense that the American dream is increasingly out of reach.

How do we respond to these types of pain in our communities? Brooks says it is essential to cross over comfortable boundaries and go to where the pain is. “We all have some responsibility to do one activity that leaps across the chasms of segmentation,” he says.

We think that’s a good way to start. Here we offer some ideas for that one activity that could transcend politics and build community. Please consider getting involved in some small way with one of these issues in our local communities. We’ll add more ideas in future posts, so please connect with us as a resource for your community engagement.

Refugee Resettlement

 San Diego County has received more refugees than any other region in California for the last seven years in a row, according to data collected by the state. In fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2015) San Diego County received 2,025 refugees, and in the first three months of fiscal year 2016, the county received 465 refugees.

Four federally sanctioned refugee resettlement agencies help the new arrivals to get settled in the community: International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities, Alliance for African Assistance, and Jewish Family Service of San Diego. These organizations accept financial contributions, donations of clothing and supplies and volunteers to assist in refugee resettlement.

Human Trafficking

Have you heard the staggering statistic that an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 people per year are victims/survivors of sex trafficking in San Diego County? North County Lifeline, a social services nonprofit based in Vista, leads a San Diego County coalition of agencies working together to coordinate services for trafficking victims. The coalition of seven agencies recently received a $1 million state grant for providing victims/survivors with rehabilitation and recovery services.

In addition to North County Lifeline, the partnering agencies are: Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition; Center for Community Solutions; GenerateHope; La Maestra Community Health Centers; San Diego Youth Services; and Survivor Leadership Network of San Diego. North County Lifeline’s anti-human trafficking program, ProjectLIFE, will provide the goals and evaluation methods for the collaboration. These agencies accept financial contributions that would expand the impact of their work to create safe places for people who have been abused and exploited.

Senior Needs

 The senior population boom is happening in plain sight in San Diego County, but even so, seniors say they often feel invisible. Many seniors want to stay in their homes as they age, but they need community support and access to services to do so. According to San Diego County data, between 2000 and 2030, the County’s population age 65 and over will increase 130 percent, and age 75 and over will increase 111 percent.

North County Senior Connections is a collaborative program providing food truck lunches to vulnerable seniors in North County communities to address food security, nutrition and socialization. Interfaith Community Services, Dreams for Change, and San Diego Food Bank North County Warehouse provide the food truck, nutritious meals, social programs and access to services. Rancho Santa Fe Foundation funds this program with a multi-year grant, and we invite financial contributions to sustain and expand this program for the growing number of seniors in our communities.

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is building community. Won’t you join us by getting involved with one of these organizations or programs? Let us know how we can help you get connected.

What Can Our Community Do About Human Trafficking in San Diego County?


The RSF Foundation Community Room lived up to its name this week when a group of community members met together in our space to address a troubling issue in the San Diego County community:  human trafficking.

San Diego Social Venture Partners (SDSVP) has identified human trafficking and child and domestic violence as their current focus areas. SDSVP used the community space at RSF Foundation for a meeting in their selection process that will lead to grants and consulting services for some nonprofits serving these areas of need in San Diego County.

Is Human Trafficking Really a Problem in San Diego County?

A study co-authored by two professors at USD and PLNU found that there are from about 8,000 – 11,000 victim/survivors of sex trafficking per year in San Diego County. They also learned that sex trafficking represents about $800 million in annual revenue. And, what’s more, sex trafficking is just one kind of human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined as modern day slavery — using force, coercion, deception, or other forms of the abuse of power for the purpose of exploiting another person.

Are Children Trafficked in San Diego County?

The USD and PLNU study of sex trafficking in San Diego County found that 15 years old is the average age of entry into child commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC). Another troubling finding is that a significant amount of CSEC recruitment happens on middle school and high school campuses. Twenty schools, located throughout the entire San Diego County region, were represented in the study, and 90% of those twenty schools had confirmed CSEC cases.

Near the Border, but not in North County San Diego, right?

Wrong. According to the USD and PLNU study, 80% of sex-trafficking victim/survivors are domestically trafficked. Race, nationality and socio-economic conditions are less important than isolation and vulnerability. Child commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) recruiters, often gang-related, prey on young people often by deceiving them and enticing them into a relationship. If these young people have been abused, homeless, or in the foster care system, they often don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. These young people can easily be deceived by someone simply showing an interest in them by buying them gifts or taking them out for a meal.

What Can the Community Do About Human Trafficking?

This is an issue that makes us uncomfortable. Facing the magnitude of this problem in our local communities, we realize that we are to some extent implicated in it. How is this happening in our schools, our parks, our shopping areas, and we aren’t aware of it? It is up to us to become informed, vigilant and prepared to protect the most vulnerable individuals among us.

By taking on this problem as a focus area, San Diego Social Venture Partners is committed to strengthening and expanding nonprofit programs in San Diego County that are addressing human trafficking. We applaud them for their effort and look forward to learning from their work in this area. We will also be joining San Diego Grantmakers for an upcoming convening of local funders to discuss collaborative approaches to address human trafficking.

Currently, in the San Diego region, the need is great and the resources and programs are relatively small. As a community foundation, the RSF Foundation is committed to raising awareness of both the needs around human trafficking in our community and the programs that are in place to address these needs.

The RSF Foundation is a resource to inform our compassionate and generous donors and community members of opportunities to support these programs and services with their charitable giving. Please contact us for more information and resources on this important topic.

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation Funds Thyme Together Food Truck for Seniors

Food truck for - North County San Diego

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is funding an innovative program to provide food security and socialization for vulnerable seniors in three North San Diego County communities. The Thyme Together food truck serves nutritious lunches to seniors five days each week (except holidays) at four mobile home parks and one faith center in San Marcos, Oceanside and Vista.

“We’re providing a mobile senior center,” said Paula Powers, RSF Foundation Grants and Projects Committee Chair. “Our research told us that a lack of adequate transportation would be an obstacle to seniors traveling to a central location for food and socialization, so we’re bringing those necessities to them.”

This highly collaborative North County Senior Connections program brings together Dreams for Change to provide the food truck and meals; Interfaith Community Services to coordinate the program and provide educational and entertaining activities; ProduceGood to train volunteers; and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to provide free fresh produce for the seniors to take home.

“I am honored to work with the board and staff of the RSF Foundation to provide such an impactful program to meet the needs of the aging population in our neighboring communities,” said Powers. “We invite all community members to join us in providing food security and socialization for these vulnerable seniors.”

Two New Directors Join RSF Foundation Board

Since 1981, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has been helping people put their charitable vision into action through charitable funds and strategic, collaborative philanthropy. As we continue to expand our community impact in 2016, building on the over $50 million dollars of grants we have made, we welcome two new Directors, Michael Gregoire and Louis Mezzullo, to the RSF Foundation Board.

Michael Gregoire, commercial real estate, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, California

Michael Gregoire has over 40 years of experience in leadership positions in commercial real estate companies. He is currently semi-retired as owner/manager of Chandelle Development, LLC, a firm that develops hi-tech office parks and retail centers in the Colorado Front Range. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of Homart Development Company in Chicago. He holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. Mr. Gregoire and his wife, Molly, lived on a ranch near Durango, Colorado from 1997 until early 2014, when they moved to their new home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Louis Mezzullo, Trust and Estate attorney, Withers Bergman, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, California

Louis Mezzullo is currently Consulting Partner at Withers Bergman in Rancho Santa Fe. His principal areas of practice are Taxation, Estate and Business Succession Planning, and Employee Benefits. He has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Miami School of Law Graduate program in Estate Planning, the University of San Diego School of Law and the University of Richmond Law School. Mr. Mezzullo is listed in Who’s Who in American LawWho’s Who in Emerging Leaders and Who’s Who in America and in The Best Lawyers in America (for Tax, Employee Benefits and Trust and Estates). He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland, where he earned both his B.A. and M.A. He holds his J.D. from University of Richmond School of Law. Mr. Mezzullo is a past president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and served on the boards of the San Diego Opera and the YMCA of San Diego, among others. Mr. Mezzullo and his wife, Judy, live in Aviara.

As a community foundation, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is uniquely positioned with expertise in local and regional community issues. RSF Foundation assists many donors with making greater impact with their philanthropy through donor advised funds, legacy funds for planned giving and trustworthy advice for local giving opportunities.

3 Strategies to Make Greater Impact with Your Philanthropy


Rancho Santa Fe Foundation provides three key strategies to assist you in making greater impact with your philanthropy: donor advised funds, legacy funds for planned giving, and trustworthy advice for local giving opportunities.

Donor Advised Funds

A donor advised fund allows you to take a tax deduction when you establish the fund, and then make grants to charities of your choice over time. You gain the convenience of RSF Foundation processing the checks and the simplicity of fewer receipts to itemize at tax time. Many donors also gain tax benefits by transferring appreciated securities to their donor advised fund.

Legacy Funds for Planned Giving

For the longer term, we can help you turn your current support of selected charities or causes into an enduring legacy for a sustainable future. The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation offers many planned giving options tailored to your philanthropic goals. You may choose to contribute to endowing a nonprofit to provide for financial sustainability for the future, memorialize the life of a loved one, establish a scholarship fund or gift appreciated assets to a charitable remainder trust, among other options.

Trustworthy Advice for Local Giving Opportunities

We provide charitable giving expertise to our fundholders.  As a community foundation with deep roots in the community and relationships with nonprofits throughout San Diego County, we can make recommendations and advise you on effective strategies for your giving.

  • The San Diego Directory is a trusted resource for donors to find effective and reliable nonprofits serving the military in the San Diego region. This listing sets a high bar for evaluating the effectiveness of nonprofits’ governance, financial management and measurement of outcomes.
  • RSF Foundation is uniquely positioned with expertise in local and regional community issues, knowledge of strategic philanthropy and resources to invest in strengthening sustainable nonprofits for the future. Your partnership in philanthropy with RSF Foundation makes it possible for all of us to address needs and opportunities in our community more effectively together than most of us can do individually.

At Rancho Santa Fe Foundation you can put your vision for making the world a better place into tangible action that changes lives.  Please contact us to find out how easy it is to open a donor advised fund or a legacy fund and talk to us about local giving opportunities to make a greater impact with your philanthropy through Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.

Community-building with Wreaths Across America

Navy Seals WAA 2015

In December every year, communities across the nation come together to honor and remember our veterans at the Wreaths Across America ceremony by laying wreaths on the gravesites at national cemeteries. For over 25 years this has been a national tradition, and in San Diego the 2015 event marked the 10-year anniversary.

The community support was tremendous. Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, a community foundation in North County San Diego, was honored to support the Wreaths Across America ceremonies in San Diego on December 12th, 2015. Over 8,600 wreaths were laid on gravesites at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Miramar National Cemetery, and 1,033 of those wreaths were provided by The Patriots Connection to remember and honor those who have served.

The Patriots Connection, a program of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, invited donors to make a contribution to purchase a wreath and then matched each donation with a second wreath. In addition, donors to The Patriots Connection provided funding for several buses to provide transportation for volunteers to the ceremony and wreath-laying at Fort Rosecrans. The donor and volunteer support for this event exemplifies the community-building that the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation promotes as a community foundation.

This year, more people than ever before gathered in San Diego to honor the fallen during the Wreaths Across America ceremony. “It’s not just a veteran, it’s a family who gave up the comfort of having that person around,” says Tim Campion from Wreaths Across America San Diego, and a veteran himself.

Tim has seen the impact a ceremonial wreath makes on a family with loved ones who have sacrificed their lives. “When families come out during the holidays and see a wreath on the grave, they know the community was involved in honoring their family member.”  The community of volunteers is large and made up of people from all walks of life, including young children, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, college students and World War II veterans. The community truly comes together to honor the fallen and remember their sacrifice.

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is honored to play a part in helping the community come together for this meaningful tradition. “The support of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has been very helpful; it’s more than any corporation locally,” says Tim.

Honoring and remembering veterans is a high priority at our community foundation. The Patriots Connection, an important program of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, seeks to expand the capacity of San Diego nonprofits to serve active duty military and veterans.

If you would like to be a part of Wreaths Across America, on January 16th, 2016, the Wreath Cleanup will take place and volunteers are welcome. You can also save the date for next year: on December 17th, 2016, Wreaths Across America will hold its annual ceremony again in San Diego and across the United States in honor of our veterans.