As we approach the end of the year, we know you’re not only thinking about tax deadlines. You’re thinking about impact, and about how you can continue to support just, equitable and resilient communities across San Diego and beyond.

This year, San Diego needed more help than it ever has in The Foundation’s history. With needs ranging from food insecurity to childcare, from accessing the outdoors to supporting trauma-informed counseling, donors like you and local nonprofits heeded the call to service.

Together, we granted more than $104 million – the most charitable year in our history – to local, regional, national and international nonprofits, leading to changed lives and immense impact.

We’ve been delighted to hear impact stories from San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund grantees, Level Up SD summer enrichment program students, San Diego Black Homebuyers Program homeowners, corporate philanthropy partners, Community Scholarship Program recipients and more.

Despite the challenges and crises of the past year – from the pandemic to social justice to natural disasters – you have continued to respond to urgent needs at unprecedented levels.

How to Make a Year-End Grant

Donors establish donor-advised funds at community foundations to grow their giving, access charitable giving expertise and community knowledge, and make meaningful grants to valuable nonprofit organizations.

With the giving season upon us, we are providing ways to maximize both your charitable giving impact and yearly tax deductions.

The most critical date to remember for your Foundation grantmaking is this: Grants guaranteed to be postmarked before December 31 must be received by December 23 at 12:00pm.

To recommend a grant, login to your MyTSDF account. Click on “Recommend Grant” and follow the instructions.

Or, contact our Donor Services team at (619) 814-1332 or for assistance.

Grant Recommendation Process

At The San Diego Foundation, our grant recommendation process is the following:

  • Donors who hold a donor-advised fund with us can recommend grants on our online platform MyTSDF, or by completing and emailing a Grant Recommendation Form.
    • Individuals who do not have a fund can make an online donation or work with our Donor Services team to make a gift.
  • The grant award minimum is $250. Weekly approval of grant awards is the responsibility of our Board of Governors.
  • Grant award checks are mailed directly to recipient nonprofit organizations. An award letter accompanies the check, which is mailed out within three working days of approval.
  • Grants can be made for charitable purposes only. Grant awards cannot provide a personal benefit to any donor, fund advisor, staff member or volunteer at The Foundation, and cannot represent the payment of a personal pledge or financial obligation.
  • Grant awards are reflected on donor fund statements, viewed on MyTSDF for easy access and tracking.

What Are the Most Urgent Needs in San Diego?

If you would like to support San Diego Foundation programs or initiatives that focus on the most urgent needs in our communities this giving season, considering the following:

Strategic Initiatives Fund

The benefit of 15 months of work on the COVID-19 Community Response Fund included witnessing first-hand the pre-existing and mounting inequities in our communities through the work of our nonprofit partners. In launching our new Strategic Plan for just, equitable and resilient communities in June 2021, it was with the knowledge and experience of the long-term health, economic and educational impacts of COVID-19, and pre-existing equity gaps in our communities.

By granting to our Strategic Initiatives Fund, you are making a difference in advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, and building resilient communities in San Diego.

Black Community Investment Fund

Co-founded by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and The San Diego Foundation in 2020, The Black Community Investment Fund prioritizes and invests in community-led, innovative efforts that increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans.

Within the last year, we have raised and leveraged $3.1 million and granted and committed $3 million to impact economic prosperity among Black San Diegans. By granting to the Black Community Investment Fund, you are helping to make San Diego County a better, stronger and more equitable region where every San Diegan can thrive, prosper and feel like they belong.

Community Scholars Initiative

Despite their talent and aspirations, first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students face unique and considerable barriers to achieving their academic dreams. Launched in 2018, the Community Scholars Initiative is a partnership with local nonprofits that focuses on college access and readiness programs to help low-income and first-generation students prepare for, pay for and persist through college. 

By granting to the Community Scholars Initiative, you are helping to provide financial support and critical wraparound services that bolster academic achievement through need-based scholarships for students.

Click here to see a complete list of The San Diego Foundation programs and funds that you can support this giving season.

If you have questions about your grantmaking or are seeking one-on-one guidance, please contact our Donor Services Team at (619) 814-1332 or

Critical Dates: Year-End Giving & Grantmaking

Refer to the critical dates below to ensure that contributions and grant recommendations are received and processed by December 31, the IRS deadline for yearly tax deduction eligibility. For some assets, these dates fall in November.

Contribution Type

Action Needed


Mutual Fund Call Donor Services at (619) 814-1332 or email Mutual fund donations must arrive to The Foundation by November 22.
Stock* Submit a Stock Contribution Form.
Call Donor Services at (619) 814-1332 or email
Stock donations must arrive to The Foundation brokerage accounts by December 29 at 1:00pm.
Credit Card Login to your MyTSDF account.
Click on “Give to My Fund” and follow instructions.
Call (619) 235-2300 to contribute to your fund with your credit card. Credit card processing fees will apply.
Credit card donations must be processed by The Foundation by December 30 at 12:00pm.
Check Mail to:
Attn: Donations
The San Diego Foundation
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106
Please write your fund name and number in the memo field of your check. Make the check payable to The San Diego Foundation.
Mail must be postmarked by the U.S. Post Office by December 31.
Electronic Bank Transfer Login to your MyTSDF account.
Click on “Give to My Fund” and follow instructions.
Call (619) 235-2300 to set up an electronic bank transfer to your fund.
Funds must be received by December 31.
Wire Transfer Call Donor Services at (619) 814-1332 or email Funds must be received by December 31.


Grants Login to your MyTSDF account.
Click on “Recommend Grant” and follow instructions.
Call Donor Services at (619) 814-1332 or email
Grants guaranteed to be postmarked before December 31 must be received by December 23 at 12:00pm.

*As of February 15, 2021, Northern Trust became The San Diego Foundation’s broker for gifts of appreciated securities, gifts of stock and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). When facilitating a transaction, please provide the following Depository Trust Company (DTC) wire instructions and information to your broker:

  • Depository Trust Company
  • FBO The Northern Trust Company
  • Participant Number 2669
  • Reference Account 44-98583
  • Your Name
  • Trust Name, if applicable – required for TSDF to accept gifts from a trust

Your San Diego Foundation Fund Name or Number
For gifts of mutual funds, please contact Donor Services at (619) 814-1332 or email