Today, philanthropy encompasses all forms of giving and is sometimes characterized as providing gifts of “time, talent and treasure” to help others enhance their quality of life.

Among the many San Diego changemakers are individuals like Jay Kahn, Janie DeCelles, Charles Lu, Leon Williams, and Bill and Marisa Rastetter. Their contributions have created lasting and positive change that moves our region forward.

While their philanthropic accomplishments are exceptional, remember that anyone may become a philanthropist and you, too, can make an impact through your generosity.

How to Become a San Diego Philanthropist

Embarking on your philanthropic journey may be easier than you think. It’s never too late to make a meaningful difference in someone’s life.  

Discover 25 ways you can affect change and become a San Diego philanthropist. Explore the list below to learn about the power of making a difference in our region.

You can:

  1. Open a donor-advised fund (DAF)
  2. Make an online donation to address the greatest need in our region
  3. Join our San Diego Sustainer recurring program
  4. Start your charitable legacy with a planned gift
  5. Discover the benefits of corporate philanthropy
  6. Create a scholarship fund
  7. Find a simpler solution to your private foundation
  8. Choose your charitable fund that matches your giving strategy
  9. Explore the San Diego Economic Equity report to learn about disparities in our region
  10. Learn about San Diego Foundation’s core social impact areas, including Children & Families, Education, Environment, Housing, Racial & Social Justice, Workforce Development, and Crisis Philanthropy.
  11. Discover local organizations working to address our region’s greatest needs.
  12. Preserve our environment
  13. Strengthen your neighborhood
  14. Give directly to a San Diego nonprofit endowment fund
  15. Leverage impact investing strategies to improve housing access and affordability
  16. Find out how your giving aligns with San Diego’s community needs
  17. Protect, connect and increase access to San Diego’s outdoors
  18. Build enduring assets for your nonprofit forever
  19. Nurture science and technology education
  20. Connect with our giving team to learn how you can give the gifts you want
  21. Inspire your peers to give through a variety of ways
  22. Refer charitably inclined clients to San Diego Foundation
  23. Attend an upcoming San Diego Foundation event
  24. Engage with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
  25. Explore nonprofit trends to watch for in philanthropy

As you can see, there are numerous ways to be a philanthropist in San Diego.

We hope the list above inspires you to begin or continue your philanthropic journey and helps enlighten you about the many opportunities available in our region.

Together, we can create a more just, equitable and resilient San Diego.

Explore Ways to Give