Our 2022-2023 Grant Cycle has begun! For additional information, please click on the Grants tab. The focus areas for this year are Military Support Programs and Women's Services.


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  • 01 Aug 2022 11:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Foundation for Women Warriors, which operates partly out of North County, received a $50,000 grant from the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund for its Women Veteran Emergency and Transition Services programs


    JULY 26, 2022 

    Foundation for Women Warriors, a Vista-based nonprofit, received a $50,000 grant from the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund for its Women Veteran Emergency and Transition Services programs in San Diego County.

    The nonprofit provides services to female veterans and their children as they make the transition from the military to civilian life throughout Southern California.

    The grant is slated to provide female veterans with rental assistance and child care, along with other services through its emergency services program.

    “This award comes at a time when all costs are rising: housing, child care, gas and other basic necessities. This grant will allow us to meet the growing needs of an increasing women veteran population in San Diego,” said Marine Corps veteran Jodie Grenier, CEO of Foundation for Women Warriors.

    The foundation provides stipends, for example, to offset child care costs, so veterans can keep their jobs or work on a college degree or certificate program and get back into the job market.

    The nonprofit started as the California Soldiers Widow’s Home Association in June 1920 on an acre of land donated by the McElroy family near the newly built West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs medical center. For almost 80 years, the organization provided housing in eight bungalow units on the property to widows, war nurses and mothers of fallen service members.

    The nonprofit later expanded programs to focus specifically on the needs of female veterans at risk for homelessness, and operated under the name Military Women in Need. In 2016, the organization was rebranded and renamed Foundation for Women Warriors.

    Foundation for Women Warriors earned the 2022 Gayle Gillies-Mize honor, given to the organization receiving the most Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund member votes during the grant cycle.

    “These women veterans who are part of the Foundation for Women Warriors Emergency and Transition Services program soundly served our country. They deserve the same level of dedication from us,” said Mara Buchholz, former co-chair of the Grants Committee of the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund.

  • 30 Jun 2022 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Video link: (story begins at 45 seconds, copy and paste into your browser)  

    RANCHO SANTA FE (KUSI) -The Foundation for Women Warriors has received a $50,000 grant award from The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund for their Women Veteran Emergency and Transition Services programs in San Diego County.

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund joins together over 130 members in meaningful and engaging ways to give back to the greater San Diego community. Since 2004, RSFWF has awarded close to $4.8 Million dollars in grants to local nonprofits. Mara Buchholz, former co-chair of the Grants Committee, says, “The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is a group of women dedicated to making a difference in our community and this year one of our grant focus areas was Women’s Services. These women veterans who are part of the Foundation for Women Warriors Emergency and Transition Services program soundly served our country. They deserve the same level of dedication from us, and we are proud to partner with Foundation for Women Warriors to help them solidify their financial, familial and emotional futures.”

    “The Foundation for Women Warriors is a perfect fit for our organization, strong women helping other strong women succeed in a time of need,” said Nikki Carmody Ream, former Grants Co-Chair and Incoming Board Chair. “We look forward to continuing this relationship through volunteer opportunities in the many FFWW outreach programs.”

    Foundation for Women Warriors also earned the 2022 Gayle Gillies-Mize honor, given to the organization receiving the most RSFWF member votes during the grant cycle.

    Jodie Grenier, CEO of Foundation for Women Warriors, shares, “This award comes at a time when all costs are rising; housing, childcare, gas, and other basic necessities, and will allow us to meet the growing needs of an increasing women veteran population in San Diego. We are truly grateful to partner with the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund to honor and empower our women veteran community by meeting their most pressing needs post-Covid and amid inflation”

    Foundation for Women Warriors’ mission is to serve women veterans and their children so that their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world. FFWW is the only organization in California solely focused on serving women veterans and their families. Their programs enhance the personal and economic wellbeing of women veterans and address the growing needs of the increasing population of military women transitioning to civilian life.

  • 03 Jun 2022 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Grant Co-chair Mara Buchholz, President Susan Hoehn, and Grant Co-chair Nikki Carmody ReamThe Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund gathered recently at the Morgan Run Club & Resort for the annual 2022 Grant Presentation. The RSF Women’s Fund presented 10 San Diego County philanthropies with grants averaging $40,000. Grant Award winners included Promises2Kids, which aids foster youth with education and life skills planning and support, and Catholic Charities of San Diego, in support of the Rachel Women’s Center for women experiencing homelessness. Grant Co-chairs Mara Buchholz and Nikki Carmody Ream did an outstanding job of leading the grant committees in evaluating initial grant requests of $3,600,000.

    In 2022, through the initiatives of President Susan Hoehn, the RSF Women’s Fund was able to grant the most money in the organization’s history. The $400,900 raised included donations to the Above and Beyond program, which was just launched in 2021. The RSF Women’s Fund also added 37 new members this year--a new record.

    The RSF Women’s Fund is looking forward to setting new records in 2023. There are many deserving charitable organizations doing great work in San Diego County, and the RSF Women’s Fund is honored to be a part of the solution towards bettering the lives of fellow San Diegans.

    The RSF Women’s Fund motto is, “Do a little, or do a lot.” Whatever works for its members at that point in their lives. There are multiple Mix and Mingles, a fabulous Blanca and Bubbles party, and the opportunity to do good while making wonderful friendships. Visit www.rsfwomensfund.org.

  • 26 Jan 2022 7:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Posted on January 24, 2022 by Megan Fletcher

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is a collective giving group that awards grants annually to nonprofits meeting needs in specific focus areas. RSF Women’s Fund is a donor advised at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and has granted more than $4.4 million since its inception in 2004. Building upon their long track record of successful philanthropy, RSF Women’s fund has launched a new initiative: The Above and Beyond Campaign. This campaign opens up their collective giving model to the Rancho Santa Fe community and beyond to interested individuals, including those that are not current RSFWF members. Donors to the campaign can give confidently knowing that 100% of their donation will be granted to San Diego nonprofits that qualify for funding after completing the RSFWF’s application process. 


  • 09 Nov 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We look into the history of RSF and what it's like today. We revisit The Village— the area's primary commercial district— which includes the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

    Author: Marcella Lee (Anchor/Reporter) CBS NEWS 8

    Published: 7:56 AM PST November 9, 2021

    Updated: 9:45 AM PST November 9, 2021

    News 8 video

    RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif — Rancho Santa Fe is one of the wealthiest areas in San Diego County. It’s been home to the rich and famous, including Bing Crosby, Janet Jackson, Bill Gates and Phil Mickelson.

    The white picket fences that lined the streets three decades ago are still very much part of the charm that welcomes you into Rancho Santa Fe today.

    "When you drive through the curvy roads getting into Rancho Santa Fe,  and it's like relaxing. It's like you really don't know where you are anymore. You don't realize that you're in Southern California, San Diego,” said Kathy Reese, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

    Instead of limousines, these days you'll see luxury SUVs and Teslas are a common sight.

    In The Village, the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, memories live on in historic buildings. Gayle Gillies Travel, which we saw in the commercial district in a News 8 story three decades ago, is long gone, but Gayle’s daughter-in-law still works in the exact same office space. 

    I'm in real estate and we used to work around the corner, and when I found out we were going to move into my mom-in-law's office, it was amazing,” said Gillian Gillies, adding, “You can still feel her spirit or energy in here, which is a lovely thing.“

    There's a lot that has stood the test of time in this exclusive community, often referred to as simply, “The Ranch."

    Nestled in lush, rolling hills, the landscape and the lifestyle haven't changed all that much since we featured this slice of San Diego’s North County in 1987. Back then, residents described Rancho Santa Fe as "heaven on earth." Today, people feel the same way.

    “We’re the little gem, away from all the hustle and bustle of San Diego,” said Reese. 

    Rancho Santa Fe was designated as a state historical landmark in 1989. The community was once called Rancho San Dieguito, a Mexican land grant in 1841. In 1906, the Santa Fe Railway purchased the land grant, and in the early 1920s a planned community with a commercial downtown district, called The Village, was developed.

    The Spanish colonial-style buildings in The Village and the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, were designed in 1923 by Lilian Rice, one of California’s first women architects. A bronze statue of Rice was just unveiled this month in The Village green.

    "Almost 100 years later, it is still flourishing; the hotel is flourishing, The Village is flourishing,” said Reese, who described the experience at the historic hotel as a timeless retreat. 

    “We are the heart of the community. Everybody knows each other. The Inn is kind of like the central meeting place for all the local family friends,” Reese explained.

    Only 2,500 people live in Rancho Santa Fe. In fact, there are less than 900 households in the unincorporated area of San Diego County. The sprawling, private estates have always made it a desirable and expensive place to call home.

    In 1987, our News 8 report said that a recent study showed Rancho Santa Fe to be the 8th wealthiest suburb in the nation, with an average selling price of $2,000,000.

    It's dropped a little since those days; 92067 is now the 13th most expensive zip code, according to Forbes, with a median selling price of more than $4,000,000.

    The most expensive property currently for sale in Rancho Santa Fe is a 77-acre estate, complete with a horse ranch, listed in October 2021 for $98.5 million.

    “The market right now in Rancho is crazy as it is everywhere else. The inventory is an all-time low,” said Gillies. "Wealthy buyers are paying top dollar for luxury living, prioritizing quality of life."

    “You've got more options now. You can work from home... Families are all gathering in the same home but they don't want to be on top of each other. And the square footage of the houses in Rancho Santa Fe make that work well,” Gillies said.

    In our 1987 story, one resident said many people have a view of Rancho Santa Fe as being a bunch of elitists. For decades, people who have lived there have worked to break that stigma.

    "Honestly, the people in Rancho Santa Fe are very down to earth. I think you'll find them really interesting because they come from all walks of life. And they've done well,” said Gillies. 

    With that success, comes a spirit of giving among people in the community. Gillies' mother-in-law Gayle, who owned Gayle Gillies Travel, founded the Rancho Santa Fe Women's Fund in 2004 to give back. 

    “The Women’s Fund was founded as a way for members to join together in meaningful and engaging ways and to give back to the greater San Diego community," said Gayle, as quoted on the charity's website. Though she passed away in 2019, she left a lasting legacy.

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women's Fund is one of several non-profits that partners with the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation to meet the needs of people across San Diego County.

    "In the last year, we've given out over $10 million, much of it in the area of COVID relief, helping young military families, and many other causes,” said Chris Sichel, President and CEO of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, which has granted more than $100 million dollars into the community. 

    RSFF is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. 

    "I think all of us want to have impact. We want to make other lives better. And I think to whom much is given much as expected, and this community really, really embraces that, and the generosity here is unequaled,” said Sichel. 

    Most of us will never be able to live in "The Ranch," but you can dine at a restaurant in The Village, enjoy a staycation at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, or splurge at the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, which was just ranked the number four resort in the country by Travel + Leisure Magazine

    Rooms during this time of the year start at about $1,000 per night, and rates get much more expensive during the holidays and summer months when there’s higher demand.

    You can also enjoy a historical walking tour of Rancho Santa Fe and learn more information about its roots and architectural design of its building by visiting the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society.

  • 27 Jun 2021 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mara Buchholz and Sharon Bauce at a recent RSF Women's Fund gathering.

    Mara Buchholz and Sharon Bauce at a recent RSF Women’s Fund gathering. (Courtesy of RSF Women’s Fund)

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund gathered at a member’s home on June 9 to celebrate a successful year. Incoming chairwoman Susan Hoehn welcomed the membership and thanked outgoing chair Candise Holmlund for her leadership.

    “The women of the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund are delighted to be able to meet and mingle again in person,” said Hoehn in a news release. “We enjoyed gathering at the stunning home of Sabrina Applegate to celebrate another amazing year of grant giving.

    Rosemarie Rohatgi, Cheryl Slamans, Jillian Spector, and Adrienne Hoehn Sherman.

    Rosemarie Rohatgi, Cheryl Slamans, Jillian Spector, and Adrienne Hoehn Sherman.(Courtesy of RSF Women’s Fund)

    “The women’s fund gave away over $300,000 this year to worthy institutions in the San Diego region who had applied for funds to enhance their organization, and who had gone through the organization’s rigorous grant selection process. The 10 recipients this year range from childcare for our armed services at Camp Pendleton to domestic violence shelters.

    “We are proud to be a part of the San Diego community and enhance individuals’ lives through our grants,” Hoehn said.

    The RSF Women’s Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, was established in 2004 as a way for members to join together and give back. The fund is currently welcoming potential new members. For more information, visit rsfwomensfund.org or contact the membership chair at Sara.bennett@marshmma.com.

    Carlie Berke, Joanne Marks and Connie Pittard

    Carlie Berke, Joanne Marks and Connie Pittard (Courtesy of RSF Women’s Fund)

    Maureen McMahon, Paula Bates, Shari Cirkus and Kathy Yash

    Maureen McMahon, Paula Bates, Shari Cirkus and Kathy Yash (Courtesy of RSF Women’s Fund)


  • 14 Jun 2021 6:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pickleball celebration for Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund held at RSF Tennis Club

    Birgitte Bradshaw (Tennis Club staff), Diane Culp, Elizabeth Macleod, Kathy Stumm

    The RSF Women’s Fund held a pickleball event May 20 at the RSF Tennis Club to celebrate a year ending in donations of over $300,000 to grants for women, children and military families. The event was organized by RSF Women’s Fund member Courtney LeBeau, who is also a RSF Tennis                                                                             Club board member.

    Photos by Jon Clark

    Marina Pastor, Diana ClarkJulie Klaus, Francie Free, Marina Pastor, Diana Clark

  • 24 May 2021 9:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Volunteer Chair Ellie Cunningham, grantee Operation Hope representatives Cindy Taylor and Nicole Ketcher. Seated: Member-at-Large Kathy Yash, Jennifer Handy of grantee Interfaith Community Services

    MAY 24, 2021 10:31 AM PT

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund Grant Celebration took place May 11 at a luncheon held at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. This year the RSF Women’s Fund presented more than $300,000 in grants to 10 local charities.

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund (RSFWF), which was started in 2004, captures the generous spirit of women who live in the Rancho Santa Fe area of the county. Every member contributes $2,300 to the fund each year, and all the money is donated every year to select recipients. RSFWF has granted more than $4.4 million over its 17 years. The vetting process of candidate organizations is rigorous, with members of RSFWF spending seven months pouring over the grant requests to see which are the most worthy. This year the two focus areas for grants are “Education and Economic Development” and “Children and Youth.”

    Since COVID started many organizations have had more demand for their services, less funding and the challenges of meeting needs virtually. The grants they receive are significant resources for their continued service in the community. For more information, visit www.rsfwomensfund.org.

    Women's Fund Board Chair -Candise Holmlund, outgoing & Susan Hoehn, incoming

    Sharon Considine. Kimberly Laws of grantee Girls on the Run, Michelle Pius of grantee Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, Sue Major, Anna Maria Maybury of grantee Girls on the Run. Seated: Caitlyn McTaggert of grantee Girls on the Run, McCall Pinnell, Barbara Freundt

    Women's Fund members and 2021 Grantees

    Grants Co-Chairs Mara Buchholz and Nikki Ream, Advisory Chair Candise Holmlund, Incoming Advisory Chair Susan Hoehn2021 Grant Chairs - Mara Buchholz & Nikki Carmody-Ream; Candise Holmlund & Susan Hoehn

  • 31 Mar 2021 5:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    APRIL 15, 2021 3:23 PM PT

    Marian Benassi and Ellie Cunningham

    In the spirit of its mission to collectively support the community, members of the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund recently gathered to assemble Easter baskets for children from three local nonprofit organizations: Ronald McDonald House, San Diego Rescue Mission, and Carol’s House supported by the Community Resource Center in Encinitas.

    “I can only imagine the stress that women and children are under while living in a shelter. If I can help alleviate a bit of stress and put a smile on a child’s face with an Easter basket, then I’m very happy to help. We all need to support each other as much as possible,” remarked member Ellie Cunningham who has been the volunteer coordinator for the RSF Women’s Fund for the last several years. As such, she coordinates events in which the members can tangibly give to the community in more personal ways than the annual grant process allows.

    Susan Hoehn

    This outdoor, socially-distanced event was hosted by member Susan Hoehn. “The joy was palatable as members greeted each other after such a long hibernation during COVID. Excited to do what we came there for, we eagerly assembled Easter baskets full of goodies for homeless or financially stressed families, some with hospitalized children. Being together and having fun while doing good for others is what the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is all about,” said Hoehn. The RSF Women’s Fund was founded by Gayle Gillies-Mize in 2004 as a way for members to join together in meaningful and engaging ways and to give back to the greater San Diego community. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 million in grants to local nonprofits.

    Ellie Cunningham

    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is nearing the final stages of its current grant cycle, and looks forward to congratulating and presenting funds to the final selected organizations on May 11 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club during its member meeting. For more information about RSFWF, visit its website (rsfwomensfund.org) or contact the current chair, Candise Holmlund at candise.holmlund@gmail.com or the fund administrator, Korri Ball, at womensfund@rsffoundation.org.

  • 29 Jan 2021 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Anyone looking to prepare a chef-inspired dinner from their very own kitchen? If so, how does coq-au-vin paired with molten chocolate lava cake sound? On Feb. 11, the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund will host San Diego native chef Travis Swikard in a virtual Valentine’s Day-themed cooking class. Swikard most recently returned from New York City where he worked with Michelin-starred French chef Daniel Boulud for 10 years. Participants will get the opportunity to prepare a delicious meal while connecting with fellow members of the community.


    The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund is also creating other ways for members to remain connected. At the end of February, they are hosting a virtual all-member meeting where members will have the opportunity to sign up to participate in virtual site visit meetings for organizations currently requesting a grant from RSFWF. Even though these visits cannot be conducted in person as in years past, it’s important to the members of RSFWF that they continue to engage in their diligent grant process so that they can support deserving organizations in this time of great need.

    Guests are more than welcome to attend both of the events listed above. Please see their website (rsfwomensfund.org) for additional events as they become available.


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Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund

Established in 2004  |  tax #95-3709639

162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite B30, Encinitas, CA   92024

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