CARLSBAD — Those whose mission is to make Carlsbad a better and more generous city did so last week during a fundraising ceremony.
The Carlsbad Charitable Foundation presented six nonprofit and charitable organizations with a total of $70,000 in grants during its ninth annual grants celebration at the home of board members and Carlton and Sandy Lund.
The foundation is an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, which aims to improve communities through philanthropy.
“The mission is celebrating and investing in Carlsbad,” said Grants Chair Catherine Magana. “We had 38 proposals that applied … we reviewed all the proposals and selected nine for the site visits. We had eight on the ballot and from that we had six selected.”
On the receiving end this year were Museum of Making Music and Interfaith Community Services, who each were granted $20,000; while the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad, Champions for Health, Meals on Wheels Greater San Diego and Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego each received $7,500.
Founded in 2008, the CCF has steadily built its foundation and donations through efforts of recruiting individual members and businesses.
In its first year, the CCF raised $43,780 and topping out at $132,403 in 2012-13. This year the group raised $102,200 for a nine-year total of $637,998 plus a $500,000 endowment.
After 2012-13, the CCF’s donations dipped under the $100,000 mark, but have rebounded the past two years.
Still, the money is growing and the membership sits at about 65 to 70 members. The board, meanwhile, held a strategy meeting to look at the future, determine short- and long-term goals and prioritize its agenda.
“We will be collaborating as a board and seeing what direction we want to go,” Magana said. “Part of that is what’s the real need and focus of the community. That’s really going to be the heart of our discussion.”
Estela Mitrani, a regional affiliate manager for the SD Foundation, said the group’s focus is on growth, especially with their under-40 and corporate programs. In the past year, 15 new members, including businesses, have joined CCF.
She said the CCF has a unique and robust mix of individuals and corporations and has steadily grown its endowment.
Regarding the endowment, Mitrani said the initial goal was to reach $10 million, although Monday’s strategy meeting may alter the number. Nevertheless, she expects to reach the $1 million mark by 2020.
“We kind of reached a five-year peak, but we are continuing to grow our endowment and grow our charitable giving,” Mitrani added. “We are staying at a nice pace. We have a lot more stability now and are focusing on growth.”
The evening also acted as a recruiting event as the CCF aims to increase its membership, especially with those 40 years old and younger demographic.
Membership fees run $1,000 per individual and $1,500 for businesses per year, although the push to generate a larger base among twenty and thirty-somethings comes at a discount. For those members, annual dues are just $250 per year.
Over the past several months, Magana and Mitrani said the CCF has recruited six new members under 40, but also is continuing efforts to reach more of the younger core of Carlsbad.
“It’s something new we launched this year,” Magana said. “As they continue to grow in the families and careers, they can see the benefit and eventually pay for the full membership. We don’t want to limit it because of money because there are opportunities to be part of the community. We don’t want that to be the reason they don’t get involved.”