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Community Foundation in San Diego

What is a Community Foundation?

By definition, community foundations like Rancho Santa Fe Foundation are dedicated to improving the lives of people and organizations within their respective communities. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective local nonprofits.

The defining principle of these foundations is that donors can create greater impact together than they can individually.

The concept of community is changing, and so are community foundations. For much of history, community foundations were place-based: the name of the foundation reflected the locale that received the funding contributed by donors in that same region.

Why RSF Foundation is Unique

RSF Foundation has always been unique in that the needs of Rancho Santa Fe are very different from the greater San Diego community.

The majority of our existence, RSF Foundation has existed to serve the needs outside of the RSF community and we continue to evolve.

In the digitally-connected world of the 21st century, many people have the experience of belonging to regional and global communities, formed around shared interests, ideas and possibilities.

Today, community foundations help connect donors with both regional and global needs through visionary community leadership, personalized service, and effective grantmaking. They care for their neighbors, strengthen communities, and are an integral part of the fabric of philanthropy in our nation.

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How We Work

For almost 40 years, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has provided a high level of service by developing personal relationships with our donors, providing exceptional stewardship of the funds invested with us and addressing needs in the community.

Our Foundation focuses on

Service to Donors

We nurture relationships built on integrity and trust as we help donors achieve their philanthropic goals.


We provide exceptional organizational governance of the Foundation and fiscal management of the funds entrusted to us.


We promote partnerships among stakeholders and leverage diverse perspectives for the greatest impact on community needs.

Community Leadership

We advance the philanthropic work of our donors and community to address significant issues.

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Why Work With Us

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation serves as a resource, leader, and catalyst for philanthropy by connecting donors with nonprofits across the region.

Our expertise is valuable not only for those who know where they want to give – whether their charitable interests are local or elsewhere around the globe – but also for the many residents who want to give back to their communities but may not have the time or tools to identify local needs and how to make the greatest community impact.

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As A Community Foundation

We understand the community.

Because we exist to serve the community, the staff and board spend their time learning about the community’s needs, meeting the nonprofits that serve those needs, and connecting with influencers making a difference in the area.

We know how to evaluate organizations and programs.

You can trust that funds will go to vetted programs that will require evaluation and accountability for how funds are spent, and we know what to look for in terms of budget, staffing, and long-term sustainability.

We can distribute money at different stages to multiple organizations addressing the many challenges of the community.

The assets at a community foundation are often established into different funds. These funds give the foundations flexibility to distribute funds as needed.

Have questions or want to learn more? Contact us today!

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