The Joy of Giving - 2019 Annual Report The Joy of Giving - 2019 Annual Report

Philanthropy and the joy of helping neighbors has been part of the Human Experience ever since the Greeks adopted ‘love of humanity’ in early society. Their philosophy centered around the human potential and how charity fostered communal strength and solidarity with one another.

Today, that philosophy and the shared benefit it creates is a fundamental principle of a community foundation like The San Diego Foundation. What both the gift givers and receivers have in common is something simple and elusive in today’s world – joy.

Joy, or the feeling of immense pleasure and happiness, is one of the greatest, mutual benefits of philanthropy.

For 44 years, The Foundation has focused on joy-making for donors, partners, nonprofits and the many San Diegans whose lives are impacted by charitable work in the community. We help those interested in making a difference to maximize their efforts and identify important causes and organizations where their strategic investment can benefit the region for good, and often, forever. This Annual Report reflects the significant philanthropic impact generated by our donors and partners.

As we look toward the future, we are focused on how we can further increase that joy for the donors we support and the communities we serve. We recognize San Diego County is a region rich with generous philanthropists, as well as unique challenges that require strong leadership. This year, The San Diego Foundation will embark on a strategic planning process to help determine on what will we lead. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this important work with you soon and value your partnership throughout the process.

On behalf of our Board of Governors and staff, thank you for your commitment to making joy possible.

  • P. Kay Coleman
    Constance Carroll P. Kay Coleman Chair, Board of Governors
  • Mark A. Stuart
    Connie Matsui Mark A. Stuart President & CEO

Creating Inclusive Cities

San Diego is facing an ongoing boom of new older adults. By 2030, the population of adults 65 and older will have doubled in just 10 years. To better support this demographic shift, The San Diego Foundation is working directly with local municipalities to implement policies and programs that incorporate the needs of older adults. To date, our Age-Friendly Communities Program has facilitated the membership of the County of San Diego and the cities of Chula Vista, La Mesa and San Diego to the World Health Organization’s Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities, and we are continuing to bring new cities into the fold each year.

Read More

Giving Together

Grants we awarded

  • 2019 $52,569,000
  • 2018 $67,425,000
  • 2017 $50,938,000

Every year, we work with thousands of generous donors, businesses and organizations that give back to our San Diego community by helping those in need and supporting the causes they care about most.

Thanks to their kindness, 5,667 grants totaling $52 million were awarded in Fiscal Year 2019 to 1,740 nonprofit organizations strengthening the lives of individuals, families and San Diego communities.

Empowering the Next Generation

Investing in our students is one of the most effective ways to support our San Diego region and future generations. Yet only a fraction of students capable of earning a degree actually do, and low-income, underserved students are greatly underrepresented in our colleges and universities. Thanks to significant grant support from the College Futures Foundation, and the Barbara Monroe Scholarship Fund and Diane Johnson Legacy Fund at The San Diego Foundation, our Community Scholars Initiative is working to change that. In the first two years of the pilot project, more than 150 low-income, first-generation students have received support and scholarships that will help them prepare for, pay for and persist through college.

Read More

Kindness in Action

Where grants do good

As a community foundation, we are a transformative partner aligning systems, sectors and structures. We bring people, resources and organizations together to tackle important challenges across San Diego County. That work and the generosity of our donors is reflected in the variety of areas supported in Fiscal Year 2019.

  • Health & Human Services

    $16,714,673 | 31.8%

    Human Services $9,887,905
    Health Care $2,311,499
    Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief $1,414,452
    Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines $812,411
    Mental Health & Crisis Intervention $598,180
    Food, Agriculture & Nutrition $444,820
    Crime & Legal-Related $385,133
    Recreation & Sports $376,340
    Medical Research $276,815
    Housing & Shelter $179,548
    Employment $27,920


  • Education

    $14,562,561 | 27.7%

    Higher Education $3,856,980
    Scholarships & Student Financial Aid $3,005,629
    Pre-K Through High School $2,762,669
    Fund Raising & Fund Distribution $2,296,248
    Libraries $1,199,069
    Other Education $732,746
    Educational Services $479,057
    Single Organization Support $181,393
    Student Services $48,770


  • Arts & Culture

    $7,862,438 | 15.0%

    Symphony Orchestras $2,236,956
    Museums $1,645,307
    Music $1,145,504
    Other Arts & Culture $1,083,385
    Media & Communications $684,397
    Theater $536,182
    Dance $263,500
    Opera $207,996
    Arts Education $59,210


  • Civil Society

    $4,864,927 | 9.3%

    Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations $2,219,026
    Public & Societal Benefit $931,534
    Community Improvement & Capacity Building $887,273
    Science & Technology $640,100
    Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy $186,995


  • Environment

    $3,690,556 | 7.0%

    Animal-Related $1,131,532
    Natural Resources Conservation & Protection $732,462
    Land Resources Conservation $658,780
    Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management $541,327
    Environmental Education $243,173
    Forest Conservation $154,250
    Other Environment $141,804
    Alliances & Advocacy $57,000
    Environmental Beautification $26,963
    Botanical Gardens & Arboreta $3,265


  • Youth Development

    $1,960,614 | 3.7%

    Youth Development Programs $1,038,687
    Youth Centers & Clubs $373,420
    Other Youth Development $228,259
    Scouts Organizations $218,259
    Big Brothers & Big Sisters $77,140
    Youth Leadership $24,850


Other grantmaking totaling $2,913,891 includes international, foreign affair & national security; mutual & membership benefit, and religion-related grants.

Linking Values with Impact

Social good and profit can go hand-in-hand. Thanks to a new partnership with Mission Driven Finance, The San Diego Foundation is providing donors with innovative ways to address major community needs with charitable investment that is recoverable and can be re-invested. Through this impact investing partnership, more than $1 million has been raised to build affordable homes for local low-income families, while additional investment is helping build a youth development center in southeast San Diego that will provide thousands more students with opportunities to thrive.

Read More

Local Impact

Where grants go

As San Diego County’s community foundation, we value our place-based leadership role in growing a more vibrant region by building trust and consensus through local partnerships. While our donors give all over the U.S. and the world, our primary purpose and impact lies within the region we call home.

  • San Diego County   San Diego
  • California (OUTSIDE SAN DIEGO) California
  • Rest of U.S. (OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA) United States

Helping Others Prosper

Sometimes all it takes is a serendipitous moment to change a life. That’s what happened for donor Donna Marie Robinson when she decided to sign up for a service trip as a college student. That early experience building homes in Appalachia left a mark and since then, Donna Marie has always made time to give back. “The human to human interaction is really what makes philanthropy so impactful and rewarding for me, you never know whose life you are going to touch by giving back,” she explained. By giving her time, talent, treasure and testimony, Donna Marie is the perfect example of how generous the San Diego region is.

Read More

Investing for the Future

Endowment portfolio performance

Through sound and prudent investment strategies, we protect, steward and grow the San Diego region’s charitable resources and provide donors with the ability to maximize the impact of their giving.

TSDF Actual Policy Index
1 year
  • 4.0%
  • 5.0%
3 years
  • 8.1%
  • 8.5%
5 years
  • 4.8%
  • 5.0%
10 years
  • 8.6%
  • 8.3%

The Foundation’s Policy Index is a composite of indexes reflecting our diversified portfolio, specifically: 49% MSCI ACWI IMI (net), 17% BBgBarc US Universal Bond Index, 9.1% NCREIF ODCE, 15% HFRI FOF Index, 6% Cambridge Assoc. U.S. Private Equity Index lagged 1 Quarter, 3.9% Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Learn About Our Investment Strategy

Caring for Our Environment

Access to and enjoyment of nature is one of the most important values shared among San Diegans of all ages. However, according to The San Diego Foundation Parks for Everyone report, many low-income, ethnically diverse communities have limited access to parks and open spaces. The Opening the Outdoors program serves to close this gap by investing in long-term solutions and organizations that ensure all San Diego youth grow up with equitable access to nature and the outdoors. Our many partners are fostering the next generation of environmental and park stewards in San Diego.

Read More

Joyful Community

Where grants come from

We are a family of like-minded donors, businesses and organizations that comes together to advance quality of life in the region for the good of everyone. The Foundation currently has 2,196 charitable funds, including 91 funds opened in Fiscal Year 2019, a number that continues to grow thanks to the generosity of our community.

  • 94% Donor & Agency Advised Funds
  • 6% Community & Field of Interest Funds

See New Funds

Cultivating a Spirit of Generosity

The Regional Affiliate Program brings friends, neighbors and local businesses together to create a culture of philanthropy in neighborhoods across San Diego. Focused in 4S Ranch-Del Sur, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona and Rancho Bernardo, through grantmaking and endowment building Regional Affiliate members have reshaped the way our local communities care for one another and advance quality of life. In a little over a decade, Regional Affiliate members have surpassed $11 million in impact in the region.

Read More

A Mission for Good

Generosity brings happiness, and for the past 44 years we have been a builder and co-creator of a deep culture of philanthropy and gratitude for our San Diego region while helping thousands find joy in giving. Today, thanks to the charitable commitment of each donor at The San Diego Foundation, we manage and invest more than $894 million in assets, with $561 million in endowment funds that will support the region’s needs for good, forever.

  • 2019 $894,700,000
  • 2018 $835,556,000
  • 2017 $732,323,000

View Our Financial Statements

See Contributions

See Previous Reports

Annual Report 2019 data unaudited as of June 30, 2019

Leading the Change

This year, we welcomed President & CEO Mark A. Stuart to The San Diego Foundation. As a long-time San Diego community member, Mark is a selfless champion of change whose vision will help ensure that the best days are ahead for all who call the San Diego region home. His engaging, people-first leadership style will benefit the thousands of donors and organizations that trust in The Foundation to steward the region’s charitable assets and foster positive, equitable change for all our communities.

Read More

Experience the Joy of Giving

What are your philanthropic goals? Each of us has different needs and interests and that’s why we’re here to help you realize your philanthropic goals and find the most joy in your philanthropy. Giving a gift through The San Diego Foundation is an investment in the future of your community and enables you to experience the joy of giving in a unique way that works for you.

Start Your Giving Journey

Recommend a Grant to a Local Nonprofit

Learn More About Foundation Programs & Impact