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

Current grant opportunities are listed below. 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.

Climate Initiative Grants Program
Building Regional Resilience: Smart Cities and Water Solutions

The San Diego Foundation is inviting proposals from cities or public agencies to support innovative water projects that demonstrate how public-private partnerships can advance sustainable water use and management in the San Diego region.

The primary goals of the Smart Cities and Water Solutions Grant Program are to support projects that:

  1. Advance community efforts to prepare for impacts of climate change on our region’s clean water supplies and put the San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer? report into action.
  2. Support innovative public-private partnerships that catalyze adoption of new or existing technologies to support sustainable water management in our region.
  3. Achieve measurable savings of water through conservation, capture or reuse of water.
  4. Build on existing efforts to help more cities throughout the San Diego region to become “smart cities” and achieve robust climate and sustainability goals.

Total available funding for this grant program is approximately $100,000-$150,000, from which applicants may request between $25,000 to $100,000. Project partnerships and collaborations are strongly encouraged to maximize impact. We anticipate funding 1-3 projects.

The deadline for submitting an application is Monday, August 22, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

Interested but need more information? Not sure whether to apply? Want to find other local government or private sector partners for your project? Foundation staff will be available by appointment to answer questions or discuss proposal ideas. Please contact Kim Fields at to schedule a time.

Grant Guidelines

Applications Questions and Instructions

Apply Now

See more grant opportunities from local philanthropic 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) 402-1827 to speak to a team member right away.

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