How Grants Are Awarded

We award grants to local nonprofit organizations that make San Diego a better place to be WELL (Work, Enjoy, Live & Learn) today and in the future.

Through WELL, The Foundation is:

  • Mobilizing resources to prepare San Diegans for 21st century work;
  • Championing the belief that all in our community have access to treasured outdoor and cultural amenities;
  • Advancing efforts for all local residents to have access to a clean and healthy environment, vibrant and engaged neighborhoods, housing affordability and convenient transportation;
  • Ensuring that San Diegans have access to vital tools to thrive in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), arts- and environment-based education.

The Foundation awarded 5,650 grants totaling more than $58.5 million to 1,666 nonprofits that served and supported community needs in Fiscal Year 2016.

Where Do Grants Come From?

In Fiscal Year 2016, 130 new funds were established, bringing our total number of funds to more than 2,000. A Foundation donor-advised fund is the most common giving vehicle, providing a convenient tool for charitably-minded and mission-driven donors to make and administer grant recommendations.

How the Grant Process Works

  1. Donors establish funds at The Foundation to utilize our community knowledge and grant administration expertise to make meaningful grants to nonprofit organizations. This is accomplished through the grant recommendation process.
  2. Applications are accepted during prescribed periods, and grantee selections are made by advisory committees and Foundation staff, pending final approval by The San Diego Foundation Board of Governors.