New Report Benchmarks Foundation and Corporate Grantmaking in San Diego County

First of Its Kind Study of Organized Philanthropy

San Diego Grantmakers (SDG) and the University of San Diego (USD) Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research today released The Grantmaking Report: Foundation and Corporate Giving in the San Diego Region, a first of its kind report for this county.  The study provides a benchmark on the type and amount of charitable grants in 2005, the most recent year of available data.

“For the first time, this research gives the community a clear picture of organized philanthropy in our region. It is vitally important that the public have credible information on San Diego’s private and community  foundations, corporate giving programs and the United Way - how much they give, where they give and what their giving priorities are,” said Nancy Jamison, executive director of San Diego Grantmakers.

Highlights from the San Diego report include:

• Charitable giving by foundations in San Diego County has grown dramatically.  78 percent of the region’s private foundations were established after 1990 and nearly 50 percent of these were incorporated after 2000. Most of the foundation growth is in small, typically unstaffed, family foundations.

• Higher education, human services-related nonprofits, and religion-related nonprofits received the highest proportion of grants from foundations located in San Diego County during the year that was studied.

• When combined, San Diego’s private and community foundations have considerably fewer assets ($2.29 billion) than the assets reported by foundations in California’s two other major cities, San Francisco ($31.3 billion) and Los Angeles ($34.7 billion). This could in part be due to the fact that San Diego does not have a major state or national foundation headquartered here.

• Despite the recent downturn in the economy, almost 28 percent of the respondents to a survey of San Diego’s largest corporations stated that their companies’ corporate giving was likely to increase during the next two years, while 62 percent predicted that giving levels would remain the same.

Laura Deitrick, the lead researcher from USD, stated that “by doing this research, we can better understand the landscape of philanthropic investments to help determine where philanthropy is focusing now and where grantmakers may need to shift focus to better serve the San Diego community.”

“All of us have benefitted in some way from the work of nonprofits, and therefore have felt the impact of the philanthropic organizations that support them,” added Jamison.  “While this report covers philanthropic data, the numbers are really just a reflection of the lives of San Diegans: those giving to, serving and receiving the support of San Diego’s 9,000 charities.”


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.