Our History

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A hallmark of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is the grassroots nature of its establishment and growth. While the founding gift used to start our endowment was generous though it was modest in size relative to founding gifts to other community foundations. The vision of the Founders has been carried forward to inspire a broad base of donors in our community to build and support the work of The Foundation since the very beginning. While this has been a challenging task, it speaks to the strength of support for the Foundation in our community. This grassroots foundation will serve our community into the future.

Milestones

  • 1996: The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation was established as a 501c3 community foundation for the benefit of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in our community. A general endowment fund to benefit our community was created with a gift of $29,000 provided through the generosity of the family of the late Lincoln Aston.
  • 1998: Our Foundation is introduced to the public with our first gala event Springtime in the Park. This becomes an important annual event to promote the vision and potential of an LGBT community foundation in San Diego.
  • 1999: The Board of Directors hires staff, including an executive director, to lead Foundation activities. This gives SDHDF a full-time presence in our community.
  • 2001: In collaboration with the San Diego Foundation and others, SDHDF raised $300,000 for our first grant program.
  • 2003: San Diego Pride establishes a donor advised fund to distribute funds raised through our annual San Diego Pride festival. This fund has distributed over $200,000 to our community since it was established.
  • 2007: First grant program funded entirely by income from our general endowment fund. This demonstrates the benefit and potential for a general endowment fund.
  • 2008: AIDS Foundation San Diego selects the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation to manage the majority of their assets as a donor advised fund.
  • 2009: Alliance Healthcare Foundation awards SDHDF a major contract to manage the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative. That year $220,000 was granted out to local HIV service organizations.
  • 2010: The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative grants out $496,685 to local HIV service organizations.
  • 2011: The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative grants out $476,685 to local HIV service organizations.
  • 2012: The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative grants out $438,469 to local HIV service organizations.