Honoring the Legacy of Guy Clum

Children at Educational Enrichment Systems on January 13, 2020 (Photo courtesy of San Diego Workforce Partnership)
Children at Educational Enrichment Systems on January 13, 2020 (Photo courtesy of San Diego Workforce Partnership)

If there was a hall of fame here in San Diego to honor our most generous benefactors and philanthropists, there are names of some great people we would expect to see there: Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Conard Prebys, Audrey Geisel, Joe and Vi Jacobs, Denny Sanford, Ellen Browning Scripps, and Ernest Rady, to name a few.

Photo of Guy Clum
Guy Clum

Well, there is one name that deserves high praise and induction into that hall that very few people know. That is Guy Clum.

Guy lived his life in Bonita; made a fortune as a serial entrepreneur; and then near the end of his life, decided to share a large measure of that treasure to make a real difference in San Diego.

He made a transformational gift to The San Diego Foundation, asking us to see how we can better life for all San Diegans. Guy also gave us one explicit directive: he wanted a large portion of his contribution to go for the betterment of working families and our youngest residents – those from 0 to 5 years of age. Guy knew that the opportunities, resources and programs made available to our youngest residents could transform their life trajectory and, at the same time, make a huge and indelible impact on the vitality of our region.

Guy gave us one explicit directive: he wanted a large portion of his contribution to go for the betterment of working families and our youngest residents.

So, with that directive and his money, The San Diego Foundation set to work to figure out what was the highest and best use of this gift. We quickly realized that there was not a great body of knowledge, data and facts to guide our efforts. So, The Foundation did what it has done for 44 years and brought together dozens of subject matter experts and stakeholders, including lead partners like the San Diego Workforce Partnership and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, to conduct surveys, studies, and gather facts and data to point us in the best direction possible. This new best direction is summed up in a report unveiled on January 30 entitled, Workforce + Child Care.

The San Diego Foundation was and continues to be honored and grateful to be a partner, advocate, funder and educator in this effort. Especially, as all of us at The Foundation deeply believe that everyone who makes their home in San Diego County, particularly our working families and their youngest children, has all of the opportunities and tools needed to thrive, prosper and feel like they belong here.

I’m sure that Guy Clum is looking down upon all of us and saying: “OK, you have the plan, now get running.”

To begin to make a significant difference and to follow Guy’s directive, The San Diego Foundation is launching multiple grant initiatives in 2020 to fund responsive projects and solicit innovative ideas that will expand quality childcare experiences for the thousands of working families who cannot afford it today. I am excited for the proposals and bright ideas that come forward.

For Guy Clum, we are so grateful for his vision and financial support. While we are far from the finish line, we are ready to get running and to win this race for our youngest residents, who are the future of our region.

Learn more about the first set of grants available