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The Rancho Santa Fe School Endowment Fund

Our Past, Present and Future

In 1997, 10 School families came together to establish The Rancho Santa Fe School Endowment Fund (the “Endowment”), the first major initiative in a productive 20-year public-private partnership between the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation (RSFEF) and the Rancho Santa Fe School District (the “District”).

The Endowment began with two goals in mind. First, to ensure the hiring of additional teachers to maintain small class sizes and individualized instruction despite declining public funding in California. Second, to provide for long-term financial security for the District. Endowments are structured so that the principal stays intact and any annual distributions are made from investment income.

The Fund has grown to its current value of nearly $5 Million through contributions made by school parents and community members and the appreciation of its principal.


What is the difference between the RSF Education Foundation and the Endowment?

Through its Annual Giving Campaign, the RSFEF raises private funds for the immediate purpose of delivering an extraordinary education to all RSF students. Its focus is on the near- term – any given school year (funds raised are paid out for that school year).

The Endowment is focused on the long-term financial health of the District. Funds raised increase the potential distribution to the District in perpetuity, while protecting principal for long-term financial security.

How are the amounts of the two distributions determined?

  • District Grant (short-term)

Annually, the District requests a grant from the RSFEF to meet its Fiscal Year Operating Budget. Discussions begin in the spring for the following school year and the amount is determined by mutual agreement with the District based on projections of budgets, public funding sources and the resulting shortfall. The District Grant is met by funds raised through the Annual Giving Campaign.

  • Endowment (long-term)

Funds raised for the Endowment increase its principal thus the potential distribution made to the District. Annual distributions from the Endowment range form 3-5% of the principal per its Distribution Policy, which is set forth by the Endowment Advisory Board, a subcommittee of the RSFEF Board of Trustees.

Why can’t we use the Endowment to meet the District Grant?

We are grateful to the original founding families and others for paying it forward so that generations of RSF students are assured a first-rate education.

In recent years District costs increased about $200,000 per year primarily due to increasing personnel costs. These costs will continue to escalate along with the deficit even without additional staffing or programs. State funding varies, primarily according to the local property tax base and market cycles, and to a lesser extent the state’s current budget priorities. The Fund offsets these cost increases and uncertainties by making an annual distribution to the District.

Can I make a contribution to the Endowment?

Absolutely. We ask, that school parents help us meet the District Grant first by making a contribution to the RSFEF Annual Giving Campaign.

What is the Distribution Policy?

Subject to meeting its minimum return requirements, the Endowment makes an annual distribution to the District of up to 5%. In 2015-2016, the Fund made its first distribution of $126,000 to the District.

Who manages the Fund?

Since 2003, the Fund has been managed by the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation (, a professionally managed community foundation with a long history of local service. Periodic audit of services are conducted by the Endowment Advisory Board.


Art Auction

Annual Art Auction Celebration, usually in held in May. Find out more information here.

Holiday Sing at the Inn

The Middle School Choirs travel to the Inn to sing holiday favorites for guests of the inn and the community.

Scholar’s Circle Recognition

(Adults only) An intimate evening event celebrating the philanthropic donors whose significant, multi-year contributions solidify the RSFEF annual grant.

Mother/Son Event

Moms! Grab your boys and get ready for a fun-filled night of bonding.

Father/Daughter Event

Dads, shine those shoes and buy a corsage. It’s time to take your daughter out for a special evening!
Phone: 858-756-1141