The San Diego Foundation works with a variety of donors, including individuals, businesses and organizations, to award grants that enable community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Together, we help move nonprofit programs and organizations forward to better serve those in need and provide greater equity and opportunity for all San Diegans.

How Grantmaking Works

The San Diego Foundation grantmaking is driven largely by our donors through their advised funds, which allow donors to direct charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations of their choice.

This past year, we granted more than $104 million – the most charitable year in our organization’s 46-year history. Donor-directed grantmaking accounted for half of those grants, while the remaining grantmaking reflected The San Diego Foundation’s priorities.

Donors grant to nonprofits in many fields, including education, civil society, health and human services, arts and culture, youth development and environment. Check out our grantseeker Frequently Asked Questions to learn how donors select nonprofits to support.

Strategic Grantmaking by The Foundation

Outside of grantmaking through advised funds, The Foundation oversees a set of programs and funds focused on supporting the San Diego region in a variety of impact areas. In order to find Requests for Proposals (RFPs), please visit our Apply for Assistance web page. Any currently open grant opportunities will be listed there.

Before applying for a grant, we encourage grantseekers to closely read descriptions about our current programs and funds to determine whether your project is aligned with these areas. If you believe that your nonprofit meets the criteria and is aligned with a strategic program goal, then you may consider applying to a grant or RFP related to that program.

Due to very specific grant criteria, some program grants are by invitation only. Due to a large volume of inquires, we are unable to respond to unsolicited requests for funding.

Apply for Assistance



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Nonprofit Events & Opportunities

View the monthly “Nonprofit Events & Funding Opportunities Update” on our blog. The Nonprofit Events and Funding Opportunities Update is also included within the Nonprofit e-Newsletter.

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Social Media

We encourage all nonprofits that serve the San Diego region to connect with The San Diego Foundation through social media. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.