REGION — Each year, San Diegans get the opportunity to participate in a day of giving to help support local nonprofits, and this year, three Encinitas organizations are being highlighted for their years of work in the community.
San Diego Gives Day, started in 2021, has given charities around the county a chance to earn donations toward achieving their overall goals or completing specific projects. Last year, 327 nonprofits raised $1,088,647 from over 3,700 donors.
San Diego Gives aims to raise at least $1.5 million for 350 nonprofits this year, and many have nearly reached or already surpassed their set goal point.
In Encinitas, multiple charities seek help funding future projects, including California Institute for Human Sciences, Community Resource Center, and Coastal Roots Farm.
California Institute for Human Sciences
The California Institute for Human Sciences, located on El Camino Real in the heart of Encinitas, is an accredited university teaching students who want to dive deeper into the mind, body, and spirit.
“Our whole mission is mind, body, spirit education,” Nicole Riel, director of development and public programs at CIHS, said. “We have degrees in integral health, holistic psychology, and noetic sciences, and we focus on the whole person.”
In 2021, CIHS earned regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College, and University Commission, one of six national institutional accrediting agencies.
After 30 years of being part of Encinitas, the organization is committed to providing higher education to whoever walks through its doors, mainly offering students seeking master’s or Ph.D. degrees.
The school has only just partnered with San Diego Gives after discovering them last year a little too late to register as a nonprofit. But this year, they are hoping that the community that they established will help them reach their $20,000 goal.
“We’ve got a couple of specific projects that we’re looking to get funded,” Riel said. “Our number one is the scholarship fund, which we are just launching in the fall of 2023. We also have a research fund that we’re trying to get funded to help with consciousness research and expand another open research.”
The school is also organizing a conference next year to speak on the tie between neuroscience and consciousness.
So far, CIHS has not received any donations through the San Diego Gives site but will continually accept donations until the campaign ends in September. After that, there is also a place to donate directly on their website.
Community Resource Center
The Community Resource Center aims to help people create paths to healthy food, stable homes, and safe relationships. The nonprofit, founded in 1979, provides emergency assistance, case management, counseling, shelter, and food assistance to low-income individuals and families who are economically vulnerable, unsheltered, or at imminent risk of being unsheltered, including domestic violence survivors.
The CRC is the primary provider of social services and domestic violence programs in coastal North County San Diego, serving more than 6,400 individuals each year regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, or immigration status.
They have been working with San Diego Gives since its beginning in 2021 and have exceeded the expectations they set every year since.
“In 2021, we exceeded my expectations for fundraising by more than 200%,” said Debbie Murray, chief philanthropy officer at CRC. “In 2022, we experienced yet again the generosity of our community, seeing another increase in gifts received. And, over the two years, 9% of donors have been new donors, illustrating the impact of San Diego Gives in making CRC more visible to a wider audience.”
Murray hopes that the continual use of partnering with San Diego Gives will help the organization gain even more recognition in the county as a helping hand and possibly bring more people to them that need help.
“Although CRC is widely recognized in the North Coastal region of San Diego County, we aren’t as well-known throughout the rest of the county,” Murray said. “I thought San Diego Gives would be a great opportunity to increase our visibility to a wider audience – the community of potential supporters, but also, great importance, those individuals and families who might need our programs.”
Last year, with their support exceeding what they expected, they were able to help over 300 people in the North Coastal region.
“CRC relies on the generosity of our community for financial support. Last year, we helped 333 people find safe housing, distributed more than 612,000 pounds of food, and answered 2,790 calls to our 24-hour domestic violence hotline,” Murray said. “Financial support is critical to ensure we have the staffing and program funding to provide the assistance our neighbors need.”
This year so far, CRC has been able to raise $15,553 after just setting the goal of $15,000.
“Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of our neighbors in need of food, stable housing, and safe shelter from domestic violence,” Murray said. “Supporters transform lives, helping our neighbors move from hunger to hope, from crisis to community, from the shadows to shelter.”
Supporters of the nonprofit can continue to donate through the San Diego Gives website or learn more about the charity and get more involved.
Coastal Roots Farm
Coastal Roots Farm is a nonprofit Jewish community farm and education center in Encinitas owned by the Leichtag Foundation. They thrive by practicing organic farming, sharing the harvest with those who lack access, delivering unique farm-based, environmental education, and fostering inclusive spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about food, farming, and Jewish tradition.
They believe engaging in ways that catalyze a healthier, more vibrant community and a more sustainable future for our region is essential.
The Farm, located on land recognized as indigenous to the Kumeyaay and Luiseño peoples, is responsible for growing 80,000 pounds of fresh organic food that goes to more than 40,000 people.
They have been able to be a part of San Diego Gives Day since it began in 2021 and have been able to fundraise for initiatives on the Farm that would not be possible without donations.
“Any nonprofit in San Diego is invited to be a part of this greater movement of a fundraising campaign,” said Kesha Spoor, director of philanthropy, communications, and impact strategy at Coastal Roots. “The Farm, we do our campaigns during other times of the year, but we’ve felt we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to join this greater movement of San Diego giving.”
This year, they are asking for and have received $1,800 towards their environmental education initiative. On the 17 acres of land run by Coastal Roots Farm, they run multiple educational activities besides producing food.
The Farm’s Environmental STEM, Nutrition & Workforce Development Programs provide San Diego County youth with barrier-free, outdoor environmental science and nutrition education, workforce development, and career pathway experiences, including Field Trips, Career Pathway Experiences, After school on the Farm and Seasonal Farm Camps, a Counselors-in-Training Program, and Farm Internships.
The Farm strives to reduce barriers to participation by ensuring its educational programs are accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. While the Farm’s educational programming is open to all students from San Diego County and beyond, the Farm actively partners with communities across San Diego County that have historically been underserved to participate in Farm programs at no cost.
The Environmental STEM, Nutrition & Workforce Development Programs serve over 9,800 youth, including half of low-income and underserved students.
Coastal Roots Farm is still accepting donations through San Diego Gives website but has multiple other opportunities to also go towards giving back to them. They have a farm stand open twice a week on a pay-what-you-can system with food grown by them. There are also opportunities for direct donations through their website.