What is a Scholarship Fund?
Give local students the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams through your scholarship fund at San Diego Foundation.
Whether you want to establish a legacy, honor a loved one, or give back to your community or your alma mater, you can create a scholarship that is uniquely your own.
As the largest scholarships provider in the region outside of the university systems, we partner with individuals, families, corporations and nonprofit organizations to transform the lives of first-generation, low-middle-income and other deserving students through the gift of higher education.
For the 2021 – 2022 academic year, our donors awarded $3.5 million in college scholarships – our highest annual amount ever – to 983 local students.
Since 1997, our Community Scholarships Program has awarded nearly $40 million to more than 10,000 college students from San Diego.
Impact of Scholarships
Celebrating Leon Williams’ Legacy
Individual & Family Giving
Black Philanthropy Month: Amplifying Black Donors Making an Impact in San Diego
Scholarship Fund Honors Dr. Wilma Wooten for Her Courage and Commitment to the Region
Benefits of Scholarship Funds
Scholarship funds help students achieve their educational goals. Key benefits include:
- Create a scholarship that is uniquely your own. You determine the scholarship purpose, selection and award criteria aligned with your charitable aspirations.
- Participate in the scholarship selection process as much (or as little) as you would like. We offer scholarship selection committees comprised of experts in education, who can put their years of experience to work for you.
- We handle the administrative tasks – including recordkeeping for taxes, student outreach, application set up, recipient selection and the payment process – to ensure that your scholarship awards are disbursed as they should be.
- We conduct extensive outreach to local high schools, colleges and youth organizations to promote your scholarship opportunity.
- Contribute the assets you want to give to your fund, including cash, stock, or complex assets like mutual funds, real estate and more, and receive optimal tax benefits that calendar year. Add to your fund at any time, including through your estate.
- Leverage our investment expertise to grow your scholarship awards over time.
- Opt for privacy by awarding scholarships anonymously if you do not want to be identified publicly.
- Engage your family in scholarship philanthropy to instill lifelong charitable values in younger relatives and set up a framework for multi-generational giving that honors your charitable legacy.
How to Get Started
Start your scholarship fund by following these six steps:
1. Identify Who You Want to Support
If you’re unsure which students you would like to support, our team of experts will share insights on educational barriers and trends to help you respond to emerging needs in our community.
2. Decide What to Give
Contribute the assets you want to give to your fund, including cash, stock, or complex assets like mutual funds, real estate and more, and receive optimal tax benefits that calendar year.
3. Define Your Scholarship Timeline
Your scholarship can be an annual fund that you award once every year. Another option is to create a scholarship endowment fund, which is permanent.
4. Choose Your Eligibility Requirements
Our staff can assist with establishing scholarship eligibility requirements and criteria that reflect your interests and priorities.
5. Name Your Scholarship Fund
If you prefer anonymity, you can choose a name that reflects your charitable purpose(s) rather than your family name or business.
6. Create a Selection Process
You can choose to serve on the selection committee or have our volunteers evaluate and make selections for the scholarship(s).
Frequently Asked Questions
Open a Fund Today
Set up a charitable fund that matches your philanthropic goals and personal interests.
Scholarship Fund Fees
Fees from scholarship funds at SDF fund our operations and are re-invested into communities through grantmaking, programs, and initiatives that support urgent regional needs.
Funds are assessed an annual fee to offset the cost of administration. For more information on investments, fees, returns and policies, view our current fee schedule.
Connect with our Giving Team
Your philanthropy is personal, and we are here to help you by delivering world-class service and promptly responding to your needs.
Our experienced staff understands the technical complexities of charitable giving and helps simplify the process. We are your personal support team here to help you manage your fund(s) and give confidently.
Contact us at (619) 814-1332, email us or submit a Contact Form.