During the typical holiday season, there is a drumbeat for gift giving – to friends, family, colleagues, clients, and household helpers (to name a few!).

This year, however, a turbulent presidential campaign, geopolitical unrest and pressing social equity issues may put a damper on excessive shopping. Indeed, as people seek ways to cut down on gift giving, they may instead focus on how to make a difference.

On December 1, hundreds of thousands of civic-minded individuals around the world will celebrate #GivingTuesday by donating to their favorite nonprofit organization or cause, and spreading the word to encourage more giving.

According to “Giving Tuesday and Beyond”, 38 percent of those who donate to charity said that they are more likely to do so during the holiday season.

Here in San Diego, our community is known to be extremely generous – approximately 50 percent of households contribute financially to local nonprofits. Meanwhile, 36 percent of households volunteer for a local nonprofit.

San Diego Giving to Nonprofits

Especially during uncertain times, our region needs the support of engaged people who care. Below are resources, tools and details to inform your philanthropy and community involvement.

Intentional Donations

Here at The San Diego Foundation, we process double the grants and donations in November and December than other months of the year. We know that donors are responding to emotional year-end giving appeals from nonprofits. They are also reminded by tax advisors to increase or accelerate their charitable contributions.

Given all the pressure to donate during the holidays, we advise donors to be thoughtful and deliberate with their charitable giving. We recommend consulting GuideStar or Charity Navigator to research their favorite causes.

We also encourage review of organizational annual reports, websites and social media feeds (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) to gain a richer sense of a nonprofit’s leadership, program priorities and impact.

For donations of appreciated stock or other non-cash assets, The Foundation can provide expert guidance and insights.

We also have numerous onsite giving opportunities, including the Fund for the Future, Age Friendly Communities, and the Creative Catalyst Fund. Alternatively, you could consider giving the gift of membership to one of our affiliate organizations or the San Diego Women’s Foundation.

Gift of Volunteering

San Diego VolunteerismDuring family gatherings over the holidays, we encourage discussion of shared values and exploration of how to “give together”. The San Diego Foundation can even help facilitate a giving planning session or coordinate site visits to potential grantees.

But nonprofit organizations need more than your financial support.

Numerous volunteering opportunities arise in November and December, given the increased needs of our region’s vulnerable populations during the colder months. Three local resources for volunteering include Hands-On San Diego, Volunteer Match and the City of San Diego.

Joyful Giving

We are grateful and honored to support your philanthropy.

See below for The San Diego Foundation’s deadlines to recommend grants and process charitable donations. Please contact our Charitable Giving Team for assistance with opening a new donor advised fund or for guidance in donating charitable assets.

  • Grant recommendations must be made by noon on Wednesday, December 23 (for grant checks to be processed by year-end).
  • Cash donations should be hand-delivered to our Liberty Station office by 5:00pm on Thursday, December 31.
  • Stock donations must arrive in The Foundation’s brokerage account by 5:00pm on Thursday, December 24.
  • Credit card donations must be processed by The Foundation by noon on Thursday, December 31.
  • Check donations must be postmarked on or before Thursday, December 31.

Learn How to Give with TSDF