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Strategic Giving Nourishes the Soul

‘Tis the season! You may not be surprised but along with the holiday season comes a marked increase in individuals giving back.

Did you know, according to Chicago-based nonprofit technology provider Neon, nearly one-third of total annual giving occurs in December and 12 percent of all giving happens in the last three days of the year?

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At The San Diego Foundation, we embrace this seasonal boom with new and current donors. Every year, we support our philanthropists by providing research and strategic guidance to maximize the impact of their charitable giving. We offer philanthropic planning, strategic grantmaking services and even facilitate intergenerational giving sessions.

Focus Your Giving

No matter what your passion or interest area is, our team of expert advisors is here to assist.

EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy

The EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy pyramid prioritizes actions organizations can take to prevent and divert wasted food.

For example, a donor at The San Diego Foundation recently asked for direction on how to best address food waste in San Diego County. This charitably-minded individual was also interested in boosting food recovery programs to benefit food insecure residents.

Food waste is a national issue.

Every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfills annually, plus another 10 million tons that is discarded or left unharvested on farms.

Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure.

Diverting food waste is important to San Diego County because of a law that went into effect on January 1, 2016.

The Commercial Organic Waste Recycling Law mandates California businesses and multi-family complexes arrange for organics collection services (e.g. food waste). This includes schools, hospitals, stores, restaurants, for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

The new requirements will be phased in over several years and will help California recycle 75 percent of its generated waste by 2020.

Through our research, The Foundation’s team was able to identify how local organizations are addressing the problem, and what strategies might be the most strategic and effective use of the donor’s charitable giving.

Tackling Food Waste

According to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, grants addressing food waste and food recovery should prioritize investments in innovative technology, build inter-sector capacity, support consumer education programs, and champion social entrepreneurs.

[pullquote]We are incredibly grateful for this transformational grant to make a significant impact in food waste.[/pullquote]

In conjunction with the anonymous donor, The San Diego Foundation worked with the San Diego Food Systems Alliance, Kitchens for Good and Produce Good to create a $600,000 grantmaking program that incorporates the above priorities, and develops specific targets to reduce food waste and build food recovery programs for the region.

“We are incredibly grateful for this transformational grant to make a significant impact in food waste,” shared Elly Brown, Executive Director for San Diego Food Systems Alliance. “With this gift, the San Diego Food System Alliance will be deploying initiatives to change wasteful behaviors and support the needs of innovative food recovery organizations.”

The San Diego Foundation also consulted with other community leaders and partners, including San Diego Grantmakers Food Funders, to ensure the donor’s investment generates the strongest impact.

Building a Giving Strategy

As 2016 comes to a close, when you think about how you’d like to give back  we encourage you to consider a strategic approach to philanthropy.

The food waste example is just one of hundreds here at The Foundation every year focused on a variety of social impact areas, including arts & culture; civil society, community involvement, disaster relief/public safety; education; environment; food & nutrition; health & human services; housing; science & technology; and youth development.

For more information on how our charitable giving team at The San Diego Foundation can help inform your philanthropic strategy and accomplish your charitable goals, connect with us.

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