Steve Puterski: From Journalist to Philanthropist

San Diego Philanthropist Steve Puterski
Steve Puterski (middle) poses with fellow Carlsbad Charitable Foundation members Craig Knutsen (left) and Pam Valinet.

For more than 10 years, philanthropists from all backgrounds have come together to solve the most pressing challenges and opportunities in their local neighborhoods through The San Diego Foundation Regional Affiliate Program. Thanks to the various talents and experiences of the members, each affiliate is able to maximize the impact of their giving.

Steve Puterski, former reporter for The Coast News, is a perfect example of those unique experiences.

Philanthropy in San Diego became part of Steve’s life as a result of a serendipitous news assignment. As a journalist, Steve was used to having his fingers on the pulse of the region.

Making an Impact in Carlsbad

For more than 18 months, Steve covered every topic from business development in North County to the latest happenings at Carlsbad city council meetings. His knowledge of the community and broader regional challenges was expansive.

So in 2015, when tasked with a local Carlsbad news story, Steve didn’t think much of it. “Business as usual,” he assumed.

“Originally, my main reason for getting to know the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation was purely professional,” recalled Steve. “Carlton and Sandy Lund asked me to come to a membership event and I was under the impression it was to write about the organization for the local newspaper.”

He soon realized it wasn’t exclusively for that reason.

Once Steve learned about the level of impact CCF had within the community, the purpose of his visit evolved from professional to personal.

Shortly thereafter, Steve joined CCF as a member and found a new way to leverage his research and news savvy.

How do you give your time, talent or treasure in your neighborhood?
Share your impact in the comments below!

“I was able to look at a program or idea from my reporter lens and provide my fellow members with added context that could inform our grantmaking,” explained Steve. “CCF and its leadership are great at building upon past successes, and leveraging the expertise and talents of new members.”

And today, while Steve has left his reporting days behind, he continues to utilize his vast community knowledge to support CCF impact.

Over the past nine years, CCF has granted more than $707,000 to 44 programs committed to improve and preserve the quality of life in Carlsbad. Last year, CCF focused on programs that supported health & human services and the arts in Carlsbad.

Looking Ahead

Since joining, Steve has become more involved in the development of CCF.

In addition to recruiting his sister and brother-in-law to become members, he has also worked to build up the CCF Under-40 Membership with guidance from fellow member and Legacy Chair Justin Peek.

“Ten years ago the founders of the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation laid the groundwork for success, and new members like myself are now riding those coattails to help maximize the impact of the organization,” beamed Steve. “Our limits are our imagination, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish in the future.”

Once someone who was exclusively writing about the work of the Regional Affiliate Program, Steve is now directly part of its community impact.

Get Involved

Are you interested in learning how you can help strengthen your neighborhood like Steve?

Become a member of the Regional Affiliate Program to leverage charitable funds from your member fees, take collective action through grantmaking to improve your community, and build strong, resilient neighborhoods for your children and grandchildren.

Get Involved

How do you give your time, talent or treasure in your neighborhood? Share your impact in the comments below!