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San Diego
Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

San Diego Foundation’s Record Year

NONPROFIT: Gives $150.8M to Nonprofits

Giving away money is not something San Diego Foundation takes lightly.

The group has granted $1.4 billion to nonprofits since it began in 1975, and during this past fiscal year, the region’s largest community foundation awarded a record-breaking $150.8 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that largely reflect San Diego Foundation’s vision and mission.

Mark Stuart
President and CEO
San Diego Foundation

“We launched our Strategic Plan and our vision for just, equitable and resilient communities last year,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of San Diego Foundation. “All this work would not be possible without our supporters’ partnership and commitment to San Diego. Together, we were able to help more San Diegans than ever before during a time when they needed it most.”

San Diego Foundation awarded 7,848 grants to 2,316 nonprofit organizations, from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, with the majority going to San Diego County-headquartered organizations.

More than $47 million was granted to education-related nonprofits, which includes college scholarships. In 2022, San Diego Foundation awarded 983 local students a historic $3.5 million in scholarships.

Additionally, more than $36 million was given to civil society-focused groups, including grantmaking foundations and those in the science and technology fields; $35 million was awarded to health and human services nonprofits, such as those that provide food and housing assistance; more than $12.5 million toward arts and culture; and $7.5 million to both youth development and environmental needs and causes.

Todd Gloria
City of San Diego

“Thanks to the collaboration of our community partners and San Diego Foundation, these grants are making a huge difference for our city’s nonprofit and small business owners who need it most,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

Making SD More Just, Equitable and Resilient

“We are thankful for all of the community-based organizations that have helped us advance our vision for just, equitable and resilient communities this past year,” said Pamela Gray Payton, San Diego Foundation’s vice president, chief impact and partnerships officer.

Pamela Gray Payton
VP, Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer
San Diego Foundation

“One of our new programs this past year was the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program that was funded through the SDF Black Community Investment Fund. The SDF Black Community Investment Fund is dedicated to prioritizing and investing in community-led, innovative efforts that increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans.”

The San Diego Black Homebuyers Program launched in August 2021 in partnership with Urban League of San Diego County and Local Initiatives Support Corp San Diego. The San Diego Black Homebuyers Program funded through the SDF BCIF has been a complete game changer, Payton said.

“(We) have been able to help more than 30 Black families buy their first homes and build generational wealth,” she said. “Program participants have used the words ‘life-changing,’ ‘unbelievable,’ ‘a silent dream’ and ‘a miracle’ to describe their experience as the inaugural beneficiaries. It is strong motivation for us to continue this important work.”

SDF’s annual report (https://www.sdfoundation.org/2022-annual-report/) quotes one Black homebuyers program beneficiary as saying, “When you have your own home, you’re planted there. We’re an amazing family. When you have us in your community, it’s going to grow; it’s going to be better.”

Other major achievements during the past fiscal year included several partnerships with local municipalities to provide nonprofit funding relief to maintain or grow nonprofit capacity. SDF partnered with the Cities of San Diego, Escondido and Chula Vista to provide more than $7 million collectively to local nonprofit organizations located in or serving the residents of each municipality.

COVID Relief Fund

In March, the city of San Diego and SDF announced $4.1M in grants to nonprofits as part of the city of San Diego Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Fund.

In May, the City of Escondido, SDF and the Escondido Community Foundation, a regional affiliate of SDF, launched the City of Escondido Nonprofit Relief Fund, offering $1.5 million in funding to nonprofits.

In August, the City of Chula Vista and SDF launched a similar program with $1.5M available to nonprofits.

Stuart said that this past year’s work is aligned with San Diego Foundation’s Strategic Plan, launched in July 2021. The plan focuses on four key pillars: advancing racial and social justice; fostering equity of opportunity; building resilient communities and delivering world-class philanthropy.

SDF officials say the group’s work will not be complete until everyone who calls San Diego County home has the opportunity to prosper, thrive and feel like they belong.

Steve Klosterman
Chair of Board of Governors
San Diego Foundation

“Our strategic plan focuses on what we believe are the most significant needs in our communities, the kind of impact we want to have to move our region forward, and the community foundation we want to be for San Diegans in the future,” said Steve Klosterman, chair of San Diego Foundation’s Board of Governors.

SDF maintained its assets during the past fiscal year at $1.3 billion as the organization continues to look for additional community partners to work with to help improve lives of individuals and groups throughout the region.

“By focusing our work like this, we believe our grantmaking can make a big difference in the communities with the greatest need in our county − and build a future where every San Diegan has the opportunity to succeed,” Payton said.

“As a community foundation, we are here to help build a better and more inclusive San Diego through our work with our donors and partners. We work with businesses, individuals and families to start donor-advised funds that give to causes they’re passionate about while providing tax benefits,” Payton added. “Our staff provides expert assistance in assisting donors in their giving and streamlines the process so donors can give easily and as frequently as they’d like.”


San Diego Foundation

HEADQUARTERS: Liberty Station, Point Loma
BUSINESS: Community foundation
REVENUE: $12.88 million (2021)
WEBSITE: www.sdfoundation.org
CONTACT: 619-235-2300
SOCIAL IMPACT:  San Diego Foundation helps in-need San Diegans, including children, families and seniors; education and environment groups; those working toward racial and social justice; workforce development and for crisis philanthropy.
NOTABLE: Group has granted $1.4 billion to nonprofits since 1975.


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