SAFE – Building a supportive community in the advertising and marketing industry

In this week’s blog, we’d like to salute SAFE – San Diego Advertising Funds for Emergencies.  SAFE is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to individuals who work in the San Diego County advertising industry and are experiencing a life-crisis situation. Founded in 2000, SAFE has provided over a quarter million dollars in grants.  Through the years, a total of 325 volunteers have touched the community through their involvement with SAFE.

As part of the founding group of SAFE, Oster and Associates’ president, Bev Oster, saw a need in the community when some of our industry’s members were hit with medical emergencies.  As then President of the San Diego Ad Club, she worked with the Board of Directors on how to get help to these people. From finding a way to structure a new nonprofit to acquiring the necessary licensing to be a California 501(c)3, the group started with initial donations from colleagues associated with the San Diego Ad Club, but felt it should be an organization that stood on its own. The organization still functions thanks to an annual SAFE fundraising party that brings in the majority of the funds. This year SAFE hosted “Party in Paradise” at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spaat the end of April.

Our industry never knows who will need assistance next. While all help is strictly confidential and goes only to those who have been an active part of the local industry for at least three years, the need for assistance has been widespread in the past 16 years. Sometimes the applicants are well known in the community. Sometimes they are people who have been completely behind the scenes. Some have chosen to share their stories, while others prefer the opposite. But all are deserving individuals who have shown the deepest gratitude for this safety net in their time of need.   

SAFE couldn’t happen without the support of its volunteers. Local professionals actively involved in advertising, communications and marketing work together to evolve the industry into a supportive community. Thanks to SAFE, the unexpected bumpy roads that are part of life’s journey are transformed into hope and new possibilities.

To find out more about SAFE and how you can help, visit



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