Process & Guidelines

Decide what causes or organizations you’d like to support, and we help with the rest.

With deep community knowledge and a team of experts, we partner with thousands of nonprofit organizations and public institutions throughout San Diego to advise you of the best course for your charitable giving to help transform lives.

  • San Diego Foundation fundholders can recommend grants through our online donor portal, MySDF, or by completing and emailing a Grant Recommendation Form.
  • Individuals who do not have a fund with us but wish to give to SDF can donate online or contact our Donor Services team at
  • The grant award minimum is $250. Weekly approval of grant awards is the responsibility of the San Diego Foundation Board of Governors.
  • Grant award checks are mailed directly to recipient nonprofit organizations. An award letter accompanies the check, which is mailed out within three working days of approval.
  • Grants can be made for charitable purposes only. Grant awards cannot provide a personal benefit to any San Diego Foundation donor, fund advisor, staff member or volunteer and cannot represent the payment of a personal pledge or financial obligation.
  • Grant awards are reflected on donor fund statements, viewed on MySDF for easy access and tracking.

Connect with our Giving Team