San Diego Women’s Foundation Seeking Grant Applicants to Combat Human Trafficking

SDWF Human Trafficking
An estimated 3,000-8,000 victims/survivors are affected by human trafficking each year in San Diego County.

The San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF) is proud to announce that our next grants cycle will fund programs to combat human trafficking in San Diego County.

Human trafficking, which can include sex and labor trafficking, is a crisis in our community. Thousands of lives are impacted each year. For victims, it’s hard to escape, and harder still to get their lives back on track.

We believe that we can make a difference.

SDWF will provide about $200,000 in funding for prevention and intervention services, which can include a wide range of services to help survivors on the road to recovery.

Is Human Trafficking a Problem in San Diego?

An estimated 3,000-8,000 victims/survivors are affected by human trafficking each year in San Diego County.

It’s a larger problem than many San Diegans realize.

Here are a few more reasons SDWF is focusing its grant cycle on human trafficking:

  • Human trafficking is different than smuggling. Human trafficking is defined as forced or coerced labor, and does not require a person to have been forcibly transported. A person can be trafficked within their home community.
  • It’s big business in San Diego County. Human trafficking is our region’s second largest underground economy, with over $810M generated by sex trafficking alone.
  • The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is just 16 years old. Recruitment often happens on middle and high school campuses.
  • It’s not just about the border. 80 percent of local sex trafficking victims are born in the U.S.
  • Victims face additional barriers to recovery. 50 percent of adults incarcerated for prostitution are actually victims of sex trafficking. Even after release from incarceration, a criminal record creates challenges for survivors working toward recovery.
  • Abusive employers take advantage of vulnerable populations. 28 percent of migrant workers experience labor trafficking at the hands of their employer, which can include imprisonment, beatings and sexual abuse.
  • Industry matters. Industries with the highest rates of labor trafficking are construction, janitorial and cleaning, food processing and manufacturing.

How Can You Help?

There are five ways you can work with us to make a difference.

  1. If you know of an organization in San Diego County that is working to prevent human trafficking or to provide recovery services to survivors, please share our grant guidelines with them.
  2. If you are an organization doing this work, join us on Wednesday, August 1 for our Grantseekers Forum, where we will explain our grant criteria and selection process, and answer questions about our grant application process.
  3. If you would like to contribute to our grants pool, you can do so here. 100 percent of contributions to our grants pool will be granted to highly effective organizations that have been thoroughly vetted through our multi-stage review process.
  4. If you’d like to make a matching grant or contribute through a stock gift, donor advised fund or corporate gift, contact me at
  5. If you’d like to join SDWF as a member, we would love to have you. Each additional member increases our impact in the community. SDWF members are all decision-makers in our annual grants selection process, and we will begin reviewing applications in September.

Access the Grant Guidelines

Become an SDWF Member Today

About Katie Sawyer

Katie SawyerKatie oversees day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF), ensuring that programs and services delivered are consistent with the organization’s mission to engage women in significant philanthropy. Katie works closely with SDWF board of directors, members, community partners and staff to guide an effective grantmaking process and to provide programming that helps members become more savvy, strategic philanthropists.