OVERVIEW: This funder supports San Diego, California-area nonprofits in age-friendly communities, civic engagement, climate, arts, outdoors, science and technology, and families and community. Most competitive grants are awarded through the funder’s regional affiliates.
IP TAKE: Grant seekers should get to know their regional affiliate foundation, what it funds, and who works there.
PROFILE: The San Diego Foundation (TSDF) is based in San Diego, California, and was established in 1975. The foundation got its start when the Gildred Foundation pledged $135,000, which included some unrestricted funds for startup expenses and staffing. Today, TSDF manages over 1,900 funds and has granted over $1 billion in support of local nonprofits.
TSDF has around $835 million in total assets and a $462 million endowment. View current financial data here. In a recent year, the funder awarded 5,686 grants, totaling at least $50.9 million. Funding interests include age-friendly communities, civic engagement, climate, arts, outdoors, science and technology, and families and community.
Other TSDF funds support regional disaster relief recovery, scholarships, the Malin Burham Center for Civic Engagement, a women’s foundation. The funder has raised millions for local nonprofits through annual give-a-thons, and contributed to Balboa Park improvements. TSDF also provides community meeting space to nonprofits at no charge. The San Diego Foundation has quite a few regional affiliates, including the following:
4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation
Carlsbad Charitable Foundation
Chula Vista Charitable Foundation
Escondido Charitable Foundation
La Jolla Community Foundation
Oceanside Charitable Foundation
Ramona Community Foundation
Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation
Most of the competitive grantmaking opportunities are offered through the foundation’s regional affiliate program. TSDF has offered its own Opening the Outdoors grant cycle to nonprofits that protect outdoor spaces and connect them to residential areas. These grants are for $25,000 to $75,000. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. The foundation often hosts webinars and holds office hours to enable nonprofits to connect with staff and learn more about current grant opportunities. Local grant opportunities are updated regularly on the website. TSDF uses an online application process but does not accept applications for donor-advised grants.
It regularly gives support for project support, capacity-building support, and core operating/general support. Overall, it makes grants through a WELL (Work, Enjoy, Live, and Learn) strategy. This typically leads to grants in workforce development, outdoor and cultural assets, affordable housing, convenient transportation, a healthy environment, engaged neighborhoods, and education in STEM, the arts, and the environment.
Email general questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (619) 235-2300. The address is 2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200, San Diego, California, 92106. Grant seekers can keep up with foundation news and events here.
Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).