Explore the local impact of donor-advisors at the San Diego Foundation
Coming to the Rescue
The 2003, 2007 and 2017 wildfires that blazed through San Diego County serve as a stark reminder of what can happen when disaster strikes our local communities. Destroying thousands of homes, taking numerous lives and causing millions of dollars worth of damage, all three fires were crippling for this community. During the aftermath, San Diego philanthropists and corporations used their donor-advised funds to contribute more than $13 million to the Regional Disaster Fund at The San Diego Foundation. Their support helped hundreds of families and survivors rebuild their homes and lives at a time when all seemed lost.
Tending the Gardens of Tomorrow
Living to the age of 100, San Diegan Susan Gephardt spent countless days exploring Balboa Park and visiting the many museums and gardens within this “Jewel of San Diego.” Some of her fondest memories were spent visiting the iconic rose garden that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Before she passed away, Susan established a fund with The San Diego Foundation with the specific purpose of enhancing and enriching the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in hopes that others could enjoy the beauty of Balboa Park just as she did. Today, the rose garden remains one of the most popular attractions within Balboa Park, with approximately 1,600 roses and more than 130 varieties.
Former San Diego aeronautical engineer Samuel L. Blasker had a passion for science and the environment. When he had the opportunity to become a philanthropist, his purpose was clear. Samuel believed in innovative approaches to solve critical problems – as he described it, “old problems require new thinking.” In this spirit, Samuel established Blasker-Rose-Miah Endowment Fund at The San Diego Foundation to support unique and innovative research and emerging scientists working to address the region’s environmental challenges. Thanks to Samuel’s generosity, The San Diego Foundation Climate Program has been able to work with experts and community leaders to prepare for a changing climate to sustain the quality of life and vibrant economy the community cherishes.
Building Climate Resiliency
Bridging the Education Gap
As the first in their families to graduate from college, Pat and Chris Weil understand firsthand the value of education. Without the opportunity to attend college, neither of them would be where they are today and that reality drives the way they give back to the San Diego community. Through their fund at The San Diego Foundation alone, they have awarded more than $2 million in scholarships and helped hundreds of students pursue higher education, many of whom would not have been able to pursue a four-year degree without financial support. Their philanthropy reflects a deep understanding and awareness of the opportunity that higher education affords an individual.
According to the National Research Council, brain development from birth to age five is more aggressive than at any point in a person’s life. Children who do not have access to quality child care and early learning experiences may be as much as 18 months behind their peers when they start kindergarten. San Diego philanthropist Guy Clum recognized the significance of this data and recently made a transformational $13.8 million gift to create the Early Childhood Education & Development Fund at The San Diego Foundation. Through direct grantmaking and systems-level change, Guy’s gift will strengthen early childhood education and development opportunities for generations of San Diego children. His generosity is proof that philanthropy can create a brighter future for all of San Diego.
Giving More Children a Chance
Championing the Arts
Local philanthropist and former public school educator Jill Hall knows the impact of arts education for people of all ages. In fact, one of the most important lessons she learned during her career was how impactful the arts can be in learning and personal growth. For Jill, arts helped shape her life, and she knew she wanted to pay it forward with her philanthropy once she retired. Through her donor-advised fund at The San Diego Foundation, Jill helped establish the Creative Catalyst Program, which has partnered with 30 arts and culture nonprofits and 45 artist fellows to engage more than 170,000 San Diegans in new and innovative art projects.
Supporting Age-Friendly Systems
San Diego philanthropist Don Ambrose is using his donor-advised fund to drive systems-level change in partnership with local governments, community leaders and advocates. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the number of people 65 and over in San Diego County is expected to double by 2030. This shifting demography presents new challenges in health services, housing, transportation, employment, safety, social inclusion and civic participation – as well as opportunities we can seize. Don is acutely aware of these opportunities and in just a few years, his philanthropy has already helped ensure the future of San Diego is strong. Utilizing support from Don’s fund at The San Diego Foundation, the City of San Diego, County of San Diego and City of Chula Vista have officially signed on as Age-Friendly Communities.
Investing in Nature's Stewards
As a young girl walking along the beaches of San Diego, Sue Randerson came across a giant kelp-like plant with a whole host of little creatures living inside. It was at that moment, in all her excitement, that Sue fell in love with the ocean and San Diego’s natural environment. During the years that followed, that passion for the outdoors grew and ultimately shaped Sue’s community work and her philanthropy. Through her fund at The San Diego Foundation, Sue supports the Opening the Outdoors Program, which has helped more than 40,000 youth access the outdoors and protected more than 65,000 acres of green space in San Diego County.