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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.

Donor Stories

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Open a Fund Today

Set up a charitable fund that matches your philanthropic goals and personal interests.

Get Started

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.

See Fees

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.

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