Last year, for the first time ever, charitable giving across the U.S. surpassed $400 billion, according to the Giving USA report.

And as evidenced by the latest Nonprofit Institute State of Nonprofits & Philanthropy report, San Diego was a leading driver for that growth in giving.

According to the annual analysis, 50 percent of San Diego households contributed to nonprofits in the past year, averaging $352 per quarter. That’s a 19 percent increase in the value of giving per quarter.

The San Diego Foundation also saw a similar increase in grantmaking over the past year. From July 2017 to June 2018, donors at The Foundation gave a record-breaking $67.4 million to nonprofits strengthening our community and advancing quality of life.

San Diego Household Volunteering & Giving 2018

Right now, trust in organizations making an impact was extremely high, with 86 percent of respondents to the State of Nonprofits & Philanthropy report expressing high confidence in San Diego nonprofits.

This is one of the many reasons philanthropy is on the rise and continues to play an increasingly significant role in the development and growth of local communities.

In San Diego and cities around the U.S., community foundations and philanthropists are working together with business, government, academia, nonprofits and other leaders to launch initiatives that advance quality of life for all residents, particularly vulnerable populations.

Strategic Giving

As outlined in the 2018 Giving USA report, donors and funders are becoming more sophisticated in their approaches to philanthropy as they draw on the increasing availability of new data, modern technology and innovative ideas.

For example, Patty Brutten’s strategic grantmaking through The San Diego Foundation went a step beyond traditional grantmaking to address a regional challenge in a unique way. Patty recognized that it was difficult for families to locate outdoor spaces in San Diego – finding a park often meant looking through dozens of online website and resources.

Patty believed philanthropy could step in with a perfect solution. With her expertise, fund at The San Diego Foundation and collaboration with Foundation environment experts, she helped create a new online tool that increases access to more than 1,100 parks in San Diego with the click of a button. The website, Get Outside San Diego, allows anyone to search in one central location to find the perfect park, preserve or open space for any activity.

Our community is strong thanks to generous philanthropists like Patty and thousands of others who help make San Diego a vibrant region for current and future generations.

Learn more about local philanthropy

Why do you give back to San Diego? We want to hear the personal stories behind the numbers. Share your reason for giving in the comments below!