Apply for a Grant

We fund the work of nonprofits through donor-advised gifts, strategic grantmaking, and competitive grantmaking primarily through our Regional Affiliate program. The funding provides greater equity and opportunity throughout the San Diego region, an effort that relies on the impactful work and collaboration of nonprofits, businesses, government, academia and community leaders.

TSDF Grant Opportunities

Please note that available grants, applications and deadlines change throughout the year. We encourage you to revisit our site frequently for active opportunities, or subscribe to SDF News to get grant opportunities delivered to your inbox.

Escondido Charitable Foundation

2018 Grant Cycle
Arts & Culture

Escondido Charitable Foundation (ECF) invites 501(c)3 nonprofit public charities and government entities serving the Escondido community to submit applications directed towards enhancing Escondido through arts and cultural experiences.

Focus Area

Enhance Escondido through interactive, publicly-accessible arts and cultural experiences. Participation in these activities connects people to each other and to their community by providing opportunities for dialogue and expression, shared experiences and civic pride. To promote this goal, ECF will accept proposals that aim to positively impact the image of Escondido and create positive experiences in our community.

The goals of this grant include:

  • Elevating the image of Escondido through arts and culture
  • Increasing community pride
  • Enhancing community identity
  • Providing interactive experiences that have the potential to become longstanding, well-known community fixtures or traditions

Grant Range: $15,000 to $50,000.

The application deadline is Tuesday, February 20 at 5:00pm PST.

Grant Guidelines

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Opening the Outdoors

2018 Grant Cycle

The San Diego Foundation is inviting Letters of Interest (LOI) from nonprofit organizations working to protect and connect outdoor spaces and improve outdoor access, especially for our most park-poor and underserved communities. Specifically, nonprofits may apply for $25,000 to $75,000 for projects/programs that contribute to one or more of the goals listed below:

  • Create and sustain access to natural amenities in communities where access to green space is limited, as defined in resources such as the Parks for Everyone report or Parks for All Californians.
  • Build community support for timely public policies or funding measures that will significantly expand protection, connection or access to wildlands and green space.
  • Connect and protect nature through conservation/restoration/acquisition of open space.


Across three grant cycles from 2015 to 2017, The San Diego Foundation has worked with a diverse set of donors to award approximately $1.3 million through 33 grants for projects involving more than 50 organizations working throughout San Diego County. Organizations have led inspiring projects protecting wild places, creating new natural amenities such as parks and trails, revitalizing canyons and vacant lots and engaging youth with otherwise limited opportunities to enjoy nature-based education and recreation.

Yet we know that while much has been accomplished, solutions to the challenges presented in the Parks for Everyone report are both long-term and multi-faceted. Through our Opening the Outdoors program in 2018, The San Diego Foundation will continue its commitment to invest in community solutions that protect, connect and increase access to nature for today’s communities and future generations.

IMPORTANT: This year, the Opening the Outdoors program will prioritize applications that:

  1. Demonstrate they are developing long-lasting solutions to overcome underlying barriers preventing high-need, low-income, and/or park-poor populations from accessing the outdoors, with particular focus on the communities of El Cajon, Escondido, Lemon Grove, National City and neighborhoods within the City of San Diego with limited access to green space. AND/OR
  2. Building the capacity of their organization(s) to deliver more effective or efficient solutions to protect, connect and increase access to the outdoors.


LOIs are due by March 9 at noon, after which selected nonprofits will be invited to submit a full proposal by April 16. For full application instructions, please refer to the Grant Guidelines. For questions regarding the application or grants program generally, please contact Everett Au at or Nicola Hedge at

LOI Application Deadline: Friday, March 9 at 12:00pm (noon).

Grant Guidelines

Apply Today

Webinar & Office Hours

We will host a webinar for interested applicants Tuesday, February 27 from 10:00am – 11:00am. We will hold office hours by appointment from 3:00pm – 5:00pm February 15 and 22, and March 1 and 8.

Register for the Webinar

Contact Everett Au at to sign up for office hours.

See more grant opportunities from local nonprofit organizations here.


The Foundation welcomes applications from organizations that meet the criteria below. If you have additional questions, please read the Grantseeker FAQ.

Timely Submission

Application forms must be submitted on the deadline date and within the time outlined in the grant guidelines. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. Most applications are submitted through our online portal powered by SmarterSelect. Other submission options, if needed, are outlined in the grant guidelines and may only require email attachments.

Valid Tax-Exempt Status

The Foundation awards grants to organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Organizations working with a fiscal sponsor (an organization willing to administer the grant if awarded) that meet these criteria are also eligible. We do not accept unsolicited proposals.

Region Served

Any 501(c)(3) organization located in or providing services to San Diego County is eligible to apply for a grant through The San Diego Foundation.

Overlapping Grants

Each organization may submit only one proposal per grant program area, but may submit to multiple programs at The Foundation if each proposal is for a different project. If a project is undertaken as part of a partnership with other organizations, no more than one organization may submit a proposal for that project. If more than one proposal is submitted for the same project, all applications will become ineligible. Grantees who have previously received a grant award may apply again.

If you have program area or project specific questions, please contact the person listed in the grant guidelines or our grants administration team.

Contact Our Grants Administration Team

  • Or call us at (619) 235-2300 to speak to a team member right away.

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