Donors establish funds at community foundations to utilize charitable giving expertise and community knowledge, and make meaningful grants to valuable nonprofit organizations.

Each community foundation has a grant recommendation process and guidelines to follow.

Grantmaking Recommendation Process

The following is our grantmaking recommendation process at The San Diego Foundation. Note that our Board of Governors typically approves all grant recommendations unless the purpose is not charitable and/or there is a real or perceived conflict of interest in making the grant.

  • The required minimum for grant awards is $250.
  • Donors can recommend grants on NetCommunity, The Foundation’s online donor tool, or by completing and mailing a Grant Recommendation Form.
  • Final approval of the grant award resides with The Foundation’s Board of Governors.
    • The Executive Committee is solicited each Friday through an approval poll so that they may review all recommendations.
    • Grant recommendations must be submitted by Thursday at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for inclusion in the current week’s approval poll.
    • Recommendations received after this cutoff will be submitted on the following Friday’s poll.
  • Grant award checks are mailed directly to recipient organizations. An award letter accompanies the check, which is mailed out within three working days of approval.
  • 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.

The Foundation enhances our community by working with individuals, businesses and organizations to establish charitable funds. Grants from these funds support charitable groups and programs working to improve the quality of life in San Diego County and beyond.

Learn More

With hundreds of philanthropic partners, we support nonprofits and public institutions in fields such as health and human services, education, arts and culture, environment, civil society, science and technology, disaster relief and other areas of need as diverse as the region itself.

We provide several different fund options as well to fit donor needs.

See Fund Options