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By Pat Sherman
The nonprofit La Jolla Community Foundation announced this week that it has hired Julie Bronstein as its new executive director.
Bronstein’s fund-raising experience includes five years at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, where she was director of philanthropy, working on development, board relations and special projects. She has also worked with the Jane Goodall Institute, as well as last year’s successful campaign to elect former Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts to the County Board of Supervisors.
Bronstein has also done public relations and lobbying for Verizon and the Motion Picture Association of America.
“Part of the reason I’m so attracted to working for the La Jolla Community Foundation is because it gives me an opportunity to help with issues that are impacting the community as a whole,” said Bronstein, whose duties will include increasing foundation membership and launching a mobile street beautification program, as well as continuing the foundation’s thriving “Murals of La Jolla” public art campaign and its newer Philanthropy 101 program, which encourages local teens to embrace the culture of giving as they enter adulthood.
“From the development and fundraising perspective, I’ve interacted with a lot of very generous donors in La Jolla,” said Bronstein, who is scheduled to begin Sept. 3. “We’d also like to see more corporate sponsorship, and more local businesses get involved in a sponsorship manner.”
Though she will maintain a desk at the San Diego Foundation’s Liberty Station office, Bronstein will primarily work from La Jolla — where she can gather community input on how the foundation may best allocate its time and resources, and work to increase community participation.
Priority 1: Cleaning up La Jolla environs
Working in concert with an organization such as the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, which might oversee the proposed beautification program, the foundation plans to establish a cleanup crew to power-wash the streets of the Village and La Jolla Shores, and assure that public trashcans are emptied regularly and the lids secure.
Bronstein will help locate funding for the project, which the foundation estimates will cost between $100,000 to $120,000 with insurance, a truck and the first year’s salary for two employees.
“When the community comes together and takes on an issue with the La Jolla Community Foundation at the helm, there’s a real opportunity to make a difference — and to do so in a way in which everyone feels included and empowered, and that their voice is being heard,” Bronstein said.
La Jolla Community Foundation Board Chair Phyllis Pfeiffer (who is also publisher of
La Jolla Light
) noted that Bronstein is the foundation’s first director dedicated solely to carrying out its mission, goals and vision. The part-time position is being paid for by contributions from the La Jolla Community Foundation board.
“The goal from the very beginning of the foundation (formed in 2009) was to supplement programs and services in the community so that the community is the way the residents want it to be — because government is pulling back, and funds are declining,” Pfieffer said, adding that she believes Bronstein is the “perfect fit” to help the foundation grow to the next level.
“Julie has direct experience working with foundations, as well as a lot of deep connections in the La Jolla Community,” Pfeiffer said. “She won’t be learning on the job.”
Priority 2: Increasing board membership
The La Jolla Community Foundation’s mission is to encourage civic engagement and pride through local philanthropy.
The foundation is seeking as many as five new members to join its board of directors. In addition to Pfeiffer, current board members include: Rochelle Bold, Matthew Browar, Julie Dubick, Lynn Gorguze, George Hauer, Susan McClellan, Andrew Nelson, Matthew Peterson and Buzz Woolley.