How Giving Helps

Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM was a gift to the National Presbyterian Church from Arthur and Phoebe Pack in 1955. Since that time it has served as an international education and conference center, welcoming thousands of visitors each year. Today, Ghost Ranch has many different meanings for the people who come to share its richness.

Ghost Ranch is a place for fun, recreation, reconnecting as a family, for grand adventures outward on the trails and inward into souls. It is a place to learn and exchange ideas about science, art, technology, music and theology. Some see it as place a sanctuary – a place of peace and healing. For others, Ghost Ranch is a place for awakening and adventure, inspiration and transformation.

To those who have already given, consider an increase in your annual contribution or begin a recurring gift program where the amount you designate will be billed to your credit card monthly.

Featured Gift Opportunity

Matching Gift Opportunity
As Ghost Ranch prepares for the future, a comprehensive site plan is underway. Help support this important step in ensuring our future by donating today. A generous donor will match up to $30,000 to help us reach the goal of $80,000. Donate now.


    $75,000 +
    $25,000 – $74,999

    $10,000 – $24,999

    $5,000 – $9,999

    $1,000 – $4,999

    $249 & BELOW

Second Year of Reporting to the Presbyterian Foundation – It’s a New Day at Ghost Ranch NGRF and PCUSA

2017 ushered in a new beginning for Ghost Ranch. While the ownership of the Ranch by the Presbyterian Church’s Board of Christian Education has not changed, improvements have been established that increase the efficiency of the Ranch’s day-to-day management and operations. The Ranch’s new structure and increased local control bring greater fiscal responsibility. We are on our own financially. Now more than ever, we must be vigilant and diligent in developing the necessary funding to support our mission. During 2016, the Governing Board of Ghost Ranch worked with the Presbyterian Church and its agencies to enable the Ranch to function as a more independent operation within the Church. Our mission remains the same. As of January 1, 2017, Ghost Ranch began reporting to the Presbyterian Foundation, not the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). This allows both the Ranch and PMA to focus on their core mission and responsibilities. This new Ranch operational entity has a familiar name–the National Ghost Ranch Foundation. We adopted this name because of the ease of enhancing the existing 501(c) (3) designation for operating policies and our mission purpose. The role of the former NGRF will now become the “Friends of Ghost Ranch.” Read more – NGRF – PCUSA Org.

Friends will continue to support numerous Ghost Ranch activities such as the annual auction, hosting regional gatherings of Ranch supporters and more. Again, many of you have been generous with your financial gifts. As we begin 2017, we ask you to consider making a special gift or increase your giving to help us celebrate and fortify a robust first year of independence for our beloved Ghost Ranch.

July 2018 Update from Debra Hepler, Executive Director

Dear friends of Ghost Ranch,

Our work toward transformation and sustainability are forever ongoing. Allow me to thank you for your continued support in 2018. You are part of the energy that keeps us moving forward as we steward the many gifts of Ghost Ranch. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your support.

Here is a summary of our efforts and recent developments and activities:

The aqueduct is being replaced and is being funded by a USDA cost-share arrangement. There is also a portion of the arroyo being restored with a combination of a grant from US Fish and Wildlife and volunteer assistance from Adult and Youth Service Corps. (Construction is almost complete as of 9/7/2018)
The roof repairs on the Dining Hall and Ghost House, resulting from damage from the April 17 twister, will commence this month. We are working with the Presbyterian Foundation, Presbyterian Mission Agency Risk Management Office and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to cover the major costs of the repairs. (These repairs are currently underway 10/10/2018). 

Guests this summer have been inquiring about Upper Pavilion and the two tents for meeting spaces. As a reminder, the tents are being utilized for meeting space for Programs and Groups and special events because of the loss of meeting and studio spaces in the 2015 flood, and Upper Pavilion was taken down in December 2017 after serious structural damage and construction issues not-to-code were discovered. The foundation was left in place in the event another structure could be placed there in the future.
We are still in an “exceptional” drought, a rating higher than “serious”, although Carson National Forest and Santa Fe National Forest have opened after being closed. We are still utilizing water conservation measures and are still restricting campfires but the hiking trails are all open. (Rains have finally come in August and the fields are currently green again – 9/7/2018)
We have been experiencing months of phone issues with both our provider, Windstream, and with our internal phone system. We are still problem-solving but may need to fully replace the phone system to correct all of the issues.
Run River Consulting was on site the week of July 8, with principals Pam Harris and Garrie Stevens, and with Garry Batty and Brian Frick. Run River has been contracted by the Presbyterian Foundation, as defined in our legal agreement, to analyze systems and processes of the Ranch, and to review sustainability models, board and staff structures and mission alignment.
If you haven’t seen the Toyota truck commercial on tv, filmed at the City Slickers cabin, it’s worth a look on youtube. It’s called “The Untameables” and I assure you that nothing (or no one) was damaged in the filming.
We are in the heart of the Festival of the Arts weeks, will move into Community Day Camp in August, and then still in full swing with programming and retreats through the first of November.

The plein air group that was on the Ranch in April brought in the highest sales of inventory in the trading post and the largest number of artists at one time on the Ranch, brought to the Ranch by Diane and Tom Arenberg, and another large group from this event has booked a retreat at the Ranch for the fall of 2019.
Charles Jaynes has arranged for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 78th Annual Meeting at the Ranch in October and for the VSP eye clinic on site in November to conduct free eye exams and free glasses for the community.
Marilee Hopkins is bringing a retreat in September.
Jon Hall participated in the Signs of the Times: Fostering Watershed Discipleship course,
Brian Frick stayed with his family for a week’s R&R (when he wasn’t fixing a broken van),
Jane Cooper and Connie and David Brakebill are participating in Gospel week after a few days of volunteerism
Newly-retired David Burpee will be our chaplain August 1-14.
Friends Sandy and Cassandra Gaines helped with the plein air day event and are working on the September 28-October 7 auction, Johnny Beth Page participated in a Festival of the Arts writing course, Jane Hanna reviewed/edited the Ghost Ranch Through the Years document, researched and updated by Billie Rogers, Dale and Olive Smith assisted in Open Studio and Tom and Diane are enabling (in a good way) their daughter Liz’s leadership in Sr. High Initiative by care-taking Liz’s children this summer. Thanks to all!
Carrie Marsh is working with the Development Committee and Campaign Cabinet on strategy and development initiatives and major gifts proposals
Jill Santuccio is continuing to work on grant applications including a $100,000 NEH grant submission for the museums, a Los Alamos Lab’s program underwriting grant
An Archeological Institute of America grant for continued arroyo restoration and appreciating the recent receipt of a $1,500 grant from First Presbyterian Church in Neenah, Wisc., based on a lead from Lawrence Willis and information from Geoff Mather, for scholarship funding for First Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque’s annual Family Camp. Thank you, everyone!
Mary Ann and John Bumgarner hosted a wonderful reception in June in their home in Tulsa, Okla., where Bill Major and I presented updates of the Ranch and opportunities to be friends (and to be re-involved as friends) and donors, and I presented to the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery and College Hill Presbyterian Church in Tulsa that week too. Jim taught a great Sunday School class tying the beatitudes to the mission of Ghost Ranch. Thank you to Mary Ann and John and Bill and Robert for their hospitality and hosting that week.
I also did an annual welcome and presentation to the Quakers in their Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM) in June, a group that has been generous and supportive of our flood recovery, of our staff, and the Ranch leadership.

Our listing in the National Register of Historic Places for our fossil quarries was approved by the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee meeting on August 8. Charles Jaynes has worked many hours on this endeavor and represented the Ranch at the August meeting. The listing is a recognition of important prehistoric and historic places and does not restrict the property owner’s ability to use, sell, transfer or develop the property. While we wanted to be listed on the registry for all of our historical and cultural significance, the state and national register coordinator advised that more/all was not better in the application process and was most interested in the paleontology focus.

In the May update, I included information on Leslie Carter who was to fill the Fund Development Administrative Coordinator position; unfortunately, her brother was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and she needed to spend time with him so she will not be joining our fund development team at this time.
Jon Usher has remained on contract with shortened hours now that Adolfo Montoya started as the Director of Finance and assisting in the finalization of the audit, and is still an involved friend of the Ranch and leadership team.
Krystal Garcia has returned from leave, a very welcome return for us both personally and professionally in the Finance office, and her new baby and family are all doing well.
Kristen Andreasen resigned as Marketing Director in June due to serious health issues with her father and grandmother in Texas. Anna Maria Gonzales has been promoted to Marketing Director and doing a tremendous job; Anna Maria’s 20+ year tenure with the Ranch along with the help of Linda Seebantz, former Marketing Director, assisting Anna Maria on a contract basis, give our marketing efforts consistency and momentum.
Shane Tolbert resigned as Program Manager in June; Shane is a young artist who was just commissioned for five works of art for United Airlines and he wanted to concentrate on these projects and further his career as an artist. Ben Ahern-Wild, our Events Recruiter Assistant working with Stephen, has stepped in to assist in Program as we plan Shane’s replacement.

for Leslie’s brother and for Kristen’s father and grandmother
for Anna Maria Gonzales and family upon the death of Anna Maria’s father and for Linda Seebantz and family upon the death of Linda’s father
for continued healing for Tom Arenberg who had a fall last month and needs energy for grandchildren (and fund development)
for Cindy Garcia who lost her niece in a car accident; she was a young mother with four young children
for the family of Rose Marie Christison, artist and former jewelry instructor for the Ranch who passed away, memorial donations to Ghost Ranch
for Shane’s good fortune and new career
for David Burpee’s retirement
for thanksgiving and appreciation for our guests, staff, volunteers and friends AND
for thanksgiving and appreciation for all of our Board and Friends and your work and commitment to the legacy of Ghost Ranch

Thank you for your love of Ghost Ranch.

Your love, your time, your support, your generous and kind hearts, are ALL appreciated more than you will ever know. THANK YOU!

With love, peace and gratitude,
Debra Hepler
Executive Director

Recurring Gifts – Spread Your Gift Into Multiple Payments

Recurring gifts help keep us sustainable all year-round and might be easier on your budget. Once you click the orange donate now button, you can choose your donation frequency, either a one-time gift or split your annual gift into multiple payments to fit your budget.

Give to the Annual Fund or Choose a Special Project

Also, from the section labeled “Apply My Donation To” you can either donate to the annual fund or choose the special project of your choice including the Transition Fund, Agua es Vida Aqueduct Rebuild or the Holding Courage program for men and women with recent cancer.

The Future of Ghost Ranch Lies in Sustainability – How Giving Helps

A sustainable environment, a sustainable financial picture and a sustainable people living in healthy community, growing and learning.

Transformation… Your Gift Gives & Gives
Each person who visits has a ripple effect around the world. Person by person, Ghost Ranch is making a difference as people take their experiences and build upon them in their own lives and communities.

Your gift is making a difference. Your gift adds value to peoples’ lives. Your gift has a ripple effect around the world. The Ranch is comprised of 22,000 acres or 33 square miles. Program and lodging fees do not cover the cost of staffing or maintaining such a large property. So we look for help from those who most enjoy the Ranch and wish to see it improved and preserved for the next generation.

Friends of the ranch are people who watch over, pray for and provide financial commitments towards ensuring Ghost Ranch is maintained in the best ways possible. Join with us as we work to improve the experience here by maintaining the land and facilities, enhancing activities and opportunities, and ensuring the financial health of Ghost Ranch. We know you will find Ghost Ranch worthy of your annual support, as we strive to be good stewards of the gifts we receive. Any amount is appreciated.

To Send a Check

For those who prefer to send a check, please make checks payable to:

National Ghost Ranch Foundation

Mail check to:

Mary Martinez
Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
280 Private Drive 1708
Abiquiu, NM 87510

2017 Ghost Ranch Community Outreach List

• Abiquiu Boys and Girls Club
• Abiquiu Elementary School
• Abiquiu Fire Department
• Abiquiu and Tierra Amarilla Health Clinics
• Abiquiu and El Rito Libraries
• Abiquiu Northern Youth Project
• Alcoholics Anonymous
• Amigos Bravos
• Archeology Scholarships for Pueblo graduate school students
• Arroyo Seco Wildlife Center
• Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico
• Catholic Church Confirmation Class Retreats
• Center for Restorative Programs
• Community Youth Day Camp at Ghost Ranch
• Community Youth Swim Lessons at Ghost Ranch
• Concerts (Bluegrass, Chorale, Men’s Ensemble, Gospel), 4th of July Fireworks and Lectures at Ghost Ranch, all free to the community
• Dar al Islam
• El Mogote Co-op in Canones
• Escalante High School
• Española High School
• Española Farmer’s Market
• Española Valley Fiber Arts Center
• 4-H of Rio Arriba
• Food Banks in Northern NM
• La Madera Owl Peak Farm
• Luciente-Abiquiu Studio Tour
• Luciente-El Rito Studio Tour
• MATCH New Mexico (Mentoring and Tutoring Creates Hope)
• Mercado at Ghost Ranch (with local artisans) and Consignment works in Trading Post
• Monastery of Christ in the Desert
• Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert
• Moving Arts Espanola
• New Mexico Conference of Churches
• New Mexico Hospitality Association
• New Mexico Natural Helpers (Student Leadership Program)
• Ohkay Owingeh
• Rio Grande Restoration
• Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Partnership (which includes the hiring of local youth)
• San Ildefonso Pueblo
• Santa Clara Pueblo
• Scholarships for those in financial need and discounts for all Rio Arriba County residents for Ghost Ranch workshops
• Science Education Programs for Rio Arriba County children at Ghost Ranch museums, and curriculum for off-site school program
• Silver Bullet Productions (educational film projects)
• Tewa Women United
• Tierra Amarilla American Cancer Relay for Life
• Tierra Amarilla Elementary School

Tax-Favored Charitable Gifts

For those aged 70 1/2 or older, it is once again possible to make tax-favored charitable gifts from traditional and Roth IRA accounts.On December 18, 2015, Congress passed legislation retroactively extending the charitable IRA rollover for 2015 and made this provision permanent for future years. A total of up to $100,000 can be transferred directly from traditional or Roth IRAs to the National Ghost Ranch Foundation free from federal income tax each year. There may also be state income tax savings. Amounts given in this way count toward required IRA minimum withdrawal amounts for the year of the gift.

To make such gifts, it is important not to withdraw funds before a gift but have the gift amount distributed directly from an IRA to one or more qualified charities. For those with check writing privileges on their accounts, this may be the most efficient way to make gifts directly from an IRA.

Check with us, your IRA administrator or your tax advisor for more information.

View the 2016 Annual Report PDF or view the Flip Page Version

View the 2015 Fall Appeal & 60th Anniversary Timeline

View the 2015 Annual Report PDF

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Abiquiu Inn
David Michael Kennedy Photography

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