The San Diego Foundation has over 300 active agency funds dedicated to sustaining the nonprofit organizations strengthening our community.
But why open an agency fund, especially if your organization has been successful and sustainable for many years?
In the discussion below, we learn how San Diego Center for Children, the region’s oldest nonprofit serving children and families (which just celebrated its 130th anniversary!) is maximizing its impact thanks to sustainable funding strategies.
Kristi S. Worley, Senior Development Manager at the “Center”, spoke to us about how opening an endowment fund has created continuity of service for the community.
Why did you decide to establish an agency fund?
“For 130 years, San Diego Center for Children has provided hope and healing to children from all ages, backgrounds and experiences. As the oldest children’s nonprofit in our community, the Center has endured and withstood financial challenges at various times throughout the years.
“An endowment fund was created from a capital campaign for the Center. The fund was established to maintain the care and upkeep of the residential campus for youth at the Center. While this site continues to serve up to 80 youth in residential care, it is also home to our WASC-accredited non-public school, as well as hubs for some of our foster care and intensive outpatient therapy programs, which touch the lives of more than 1,000 people every day.”
Why did you choose to partner with The San Diego Foundation?
“The San Diego Foundation has such a strong presence and reputation in the community, and is well-known for partnership and collaboration with other nonprofit organizations.”
What was your process for determining whether to establish an endowment/agency fund? Do your donors see value in your fund?
“Our endowment was initially established in response to a renovation and expansion of facilities two decades ago. Generous donors to the Center saw great value and understood the importance of creating a legacy to ensure not only the condition of our facilities, but the quality of services we provide.
“As with any investment, supporters of the Center expect our organization to continue to look for ways to sustain and maintain financial security for the future. The agency fund does just that.”
How does your fund help staff and support your programmatic work?
“Given our long history, we understand that relying heavily on a few unpredictable funding sources and a lack of diversification may jeopardize our ability to deliver the continuum of educational and therapeutic services we provide to the most at-risk and vulnerable youth and families in our community. For us, sustainability is a means to confidently and consistently provide educational foster care and transitional services throughout the community, facilitated by our excellent and dedicated staff.”
Why is sustainability important to your work?
“Sustainability allows the Center to maintain and expand our services within the community, while weathering occasional economic short-term changes and challenges.
“We believe in today’s environment that having an endowment fund is an important indicator to partners, leaders, and philanthropists that the organization is serious about transparency and longevity. When we introduce new friends to our organization, many express their appreciation for the endowment to help continue our mission: to protect the joy of childhood, prevent emotional suffering, and incite change.”
Contact us today to learn more about endowment/agency funds or opening a fund at The San Diego Foundation.
About Candace Wo
As Mitigation and Nonprofit Funds Manager, Candace provides oversight, strategic direction and growth opportunities for mitigation and agency funds. She develops complex financial models and provides detailed proposals and recommendations that will produce revenue in perpetuity. Candace serves as the primary liaison to governmental agencies, project proponents and nonprofits in the greater San Diego region to realize their philanthropic needs.