Frequently Asked Questions

What is Las Patronas?

Las Patronas is primarily a fundraising and granting organization. Its members are all volunteers with no paid staff or offices. The inspiration to raise money is based on the goal of helping nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego County. Las Patronas is proud of its legacy in San Diego and grateful to the many supporters who help it fulfill its mission.

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To whom do you give the money that you raise?

Las Patronas is committed to providing financial assistance to nonprofit organizations in San Diego County that provide valuable community services in the areas of health, education, social services and cultural arts and to continuing the tradition of service to enhance the quality of life of its fellow San Diegans. Between 50-100 beneficiaries are funded each year, depending on the size of the individual grant.

All funds raised by Las Patronas stay in San Diego County. Many grass-roots nonprofit groups are assisted as well as larger, more visible organizations. By giving to Las Patronas, a company or individual diversifies its philanthropic giving, reaching seniors, youth, the military, the homeless, and the disabled, as well as supporting medical, environmental, research, and cultural organizations in a broad geographical range within San Diego County.

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Where does your money come from?

The funds distributed to these organizations are generated through year-long fundraising efforts and the annual presentation of the Jewel Ball, one of San Diego's most enduring social, cultural, and philanthropic traditions. It is through the generosity of individuals and businesses throughout San Diego County that we are able to fund so many organizations annually. Individuals and businesses alike support Las Patronas through underwriting, advertising at the Jewel Ball, buying donations in our opportunity drawing and silent auction, and attending the spectacular Jewel Ball in August each year.

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How does Las Patronas evaluate the different organizations to distribute grants?

Las Patronas has a well established grants process and does extensive research as well as legwork to ensure that grant recipients are financially sound and have critical capital needs. The Las Patronas grants committee teams visit each organization that submits a proposal. Each team interviews organizations to determine their mission, verify their need for the capital item requested, review their financial statements, and evaluate the extent to which the capital item could help the organization improve its outreach and mission in San Diego.

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How do I apply for a grant to Las Patronas?

The Las Patronas Grants Process page explains the process and has links to guidelines and the application. Las Patronas has a fall funding cycle with an early September deadline and a spring funding cycle with a January/February deadline. All applicants must submit three complete copies of their application and all supportive documentation to Las Patronas by the stated deadline.

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What is the deadline for submitting a grant application to Las Patronas?

Please refer to the Grants Process page for the grant submission deadline.

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How can I support Las Patronas?

All contributions to Las Patronas are greatly appreciated. There are many ways to support Las Patronas, depending on individual interest. You can purchase Jewel Ball tickets if you contact us. Cash contributions are directed to underwriting. Contributions of goods or services to the silent auction or opportunity drawing are referred to donations of goods. Many businesses and individuals also choose to advertise in the Jewel Ball Program Book, a keepsake which captures the magic of the evening in print. Contributions to the Las Patronas Memorial Fund or Endowment can by used to honor or remember a friend or family member.

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How does someone become a member of Las Patronas?

Membership in Las Patronas is classified by two categories: Active and Advisory membership. Active members serve six to seven years and contribute a variety of hands-on talents and skills contributing to the production of the annual Jewel Ball. Advisory Members are those who have served their terms of active service and support Las Patronas through the payment of Advisory dues and provide other avenues of support. True to the Las Patronas charter, membership is by referral from existing members. Our members come from a variety of personal, professional and volunteer backgrounds. Active membership does not exceed 50 members.

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Las Patronas has been fundamental in the success of the Zoological Society of San Diego’s education programs, and we feel grateful by your continued partnership.

Yvonne W. Larsen President The Zoological Society of San Diego

It is with great appreciation and thanks that I am writing this letter. We are overjoyed to have received a generous grant to furnish the School of the Arts with new equipment.

Erika Torri Executive Director Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Your valuable contribution to A New PATH helps us get the word out that treatment really works. We appreciate your support in working on this critical and profound human and social problem.

Gretchen Burns Bergman Co-founder & Executive Director A New PATH