The Grantmaking Report
This 2008 report was a collaboration between San Diego Grantmakers and the University of San Diego’s Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research
. Our organizations share a belief in the importance of strengthening and expanding effective philanthropy to improve the quality of life in our region. With greater strategic philanthropic investments, our community’s nonprofit organizations will be better able to serve the people of San Diego. All of us have benefited in significant ways from the work of nonprofits, and therefore have felt the impact of the philanthropic organizations that support them. While this report covers numerical data about philanthropy in our region, the numbers are really just a reflection of the lives of San Diegans: those giving, serving and receiving the support of San Diego’s 9,000 plus nonprofits.
The overriding questions that this research leads us to ask are how can our community leverage our growing philanthropic resources, inspire more giving (both locally and nationally), and be strategic in matching community needs with community support?
, Fall 2008
, September 16, 2008
Tell us what you think we can do in San Diego to increase and enhance effective philanthropy! Email email@example.com
This study focused on philanthropic organizations that are engaged in organized grantmaking in San Diego County. The bulk of the organizations studied are classified as private foundations; data that describe other important grantmaking organizations—i.e., San Diego’s community foundations, selected corporate giving programs, and the United Way of San Diego—also were analyzed. Key findings are summarized below.
- Ninety-four percent of San Diego’s private foundations hold assets of less than $10 million. The majority, 53 percent, hold assets of less than $500,000.
- Seventy-eight percent of the region’s private foundations were established (received tax-exempt status) after 1990 and nearly 50 percent of those were incorporated after 2000.
- Between 2001 and 2005, San Diego experienced an increase in the assets of its private foundations of 14 percent. Despite this growth, the amount of total giving by private foundations declined by 14 percent over that same time period. The reasons for this apparent disparity are unclear at this time. Further research on this issue is warranted.
- 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).
- Differences are also evident when the assets of San Diego’s private foundations are compared to private foundation assets in other United States cities that, in other respects, could be considered demographically similar to San Diego.
Grantmaking (Private and Community Foundations Combined)
- Higher education, human services-related nonprofits, and religion-related nonprofits received the highest proportion of San Diego-based foundation funding during the year that was studied.
- San Diego-based foundations directed 28 percent of their grantmaking dollars to nonprofits located outside of the region.
- Non-San Diego-based foundations contributed nearly half ($205,120,195) of the total grant dollars received by regional nonprofits. Higher education, human services, and health-related nonprofits received the largest percentages of these dollars.
- Two organizations accounted for 92 percent of the assets held by San Diego’s community foundations in 2006: The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego ($224 million) and The San Diego Foundation ($484 million).
- Eighty percent of the dollars granted by San Diego’s 12 community foundations were made to organizations located within San Diego County.
- Arts and community development-related nonprofits received a larger percentage of grant dollars from community foundations than from the overall foundation community.
The United Way
- Though not officially classified as a foundation or corporate giving program, the United Way of San Diego contributed over $17 million to qualified nonprofits in 2006.
- Through their discretionary Community Fund, United Way of San Diego awarded $3.4 million to local nonprofits.
- Over 90 percent of donor-designated dollars gathered through their workplace giving programs were also contributed to nonprofit organizations within the county.
- Representatives from 37 of San Diego’s largest companies responded to a survey for this report. Seventy-five percent of those respondents reported that each of their companies’ corporate giving programs contributed more than $100,000 to nonprofit organizations in 2006. Seven of these representatives reported corporate giving in excess of one million dollars.
- Despite the recent downturn in the economy, almost 28 percent of the respondents 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. Only slightly more than 10 percent predicted that giving levels would decrease. Forty percent of the survey respondents reported that corporate giving to environmental groups was likely to increase during the next two years.
- Nearly three quarters of the respondents indicated that their corporations systematically established funding priorities to guide their corporations’ charitable giving. Unlike the private and community foundations studied throughout the report, corporations were more likely to fund K-12 education than higher education nonprofits.
- The South Bay and East County received the lowest percentages of dollars from the 37 corporations that responded to the corporate-giving programs survey.
Tell us what you think we can do in San Diego to increase and enhance effective philanthropy! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed by Nancy Jamison: "Boosting San Diego's Nonprofits"
San Diego Daily Transcript: "Effective Philanthropy and Non-Profits: Now More Than Ever"
San Diego Union-Tribune: "Area Foundations Hold $2.3 Billion in Assets"
San Diego Daily Transcript: "USD Helps Release Study on Corporate Giving, Foundation" (subscription required)
North County Times: "Local Foundations Less Endowed than Other Major Cities"
Gay & Lesbian Times: "USD to Present Philanthropy Study"
San Diego Grantmakers and the University of San Diego’s Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research wish to thank the following organizations for their support: