Questions About SDHDF


Q: What is the SDHDF?


  • The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is the only local foundation solely dedicated to benefiting the LGBT community. We fund programs and projects that promote equality, tolerance, health/wellness, well-being, and human dignity. We work to strengthen other LGBT organizations and their leadership. We nurture philanthropic giving to support our LGBT community and to address our important community issues.

Q: What are the Foundation’s goals?

  • Primary goals of the Foundation include:
  1. Improving the quality of life within the San Diego LGBT community through responsible philanthropy
  2. Encouraging members throughout the San Diego LGBT community to make philanthropic contributions to their community and to make philanthropy an integral part of their ways of life.
  3. Establishing and growing a permanent endowment to help meet the current and future needs of the San Diego LGBT community.
  4. Evaluating the needs of the San Diego LGBT community and to implement action to help meet those needs.
  5. Assisting San Diego LGBT community organizations to support each other through shared goals, information, and/or resources.
  6. Helping to educate and inform the San Diego LGBT philanthropic community.

Q: What is the need for the Foundation?

  • Having a vibrant LGBT community foundation is one of the most important ways to meet our local needs, to build our community’s capacity to help itself, and to improve the quality of life for all members of our LGBT community.The Foundation focuses on the needs of the local LGBT community and helps to educate donors about the most effective use of their charitable contributions. The Foundation gives guidance to donors about these community needs and about the organizations best aimed at meeting those needs.

 Q: What is the Foundation’s history?

  • The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation was established in 1996 for the benefit of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. A general endowment fund to benefit our community was created with a “seed” gift provided through the generosity of the family of the late Lincoln Aston. Since that time many other community members have stepped up to help the endowment fund to grow and to allow the Foundation to expand its vision for the community.

Q: What does the Foundation do?

  • Since our 1996 founding, some of our accomplishments include:
  1. Grant-making. Along with our funding partners, the SDHDF has granted over $1,000,000 in gifts to worthy nonprofit organizations including support for LGBT health, youth, seniors, LGBT arts and culture, and civil rights advocacy.
  2. Fund-Creation. Over 20 individuals and organizations have established funds with the SDHDF, allowing grants to support a wide variety of worthy charitable causes.
  3. Wealth-Expansion. Many individuals have joined our Legacy Society, naming SDHDF in their wills or trusts to ensure that our community’s needs are met, now and for generations to come. These legacy gifts represent many millions of dollars of future value to our community, and many of these gifts will be deposited directly into our permanent endowment, which is an asset that can never be taken away.
  4. Endowment-Building. Our permanently-endowed assets continue to grow. The Foundation’s general endowment represents a permanent financial resource that will benefit our community for generations. With an endowment, the principal of the gift is preserved in perpetuity and is carefully invested; then, the additional funds produced by the investments are used for grants. Our growing endowment is a vital source of stability, confidence, and pride for our community.
  5. Community Partnerships. The Foundation is in tune with the ever-changing needs of our community. We have helped form several innovative, collaborative partnerships to address complex community needs that require convening the skills and resources of many organizations. This collaborative approach is one of the hallmarks of the SDHDF philosophy.
  6. Donor Education. Our educational seminars (on a variety of topics from domestic partnership laws to charitable-giving plans) keep donors connected and involved.
  7. Professional Expertise Development. In 2008, we launched our Professional Advisor Network which brings together the most expert and respected minds in the legal, tax, and financial planning community for the benefit of San Diego’s LGBT community.

Q: Why should I get involved with the Foundation?

  • Every responsible member of our San Diego LGBT community looks for opportunities to help our community meet its needs and to face the challenges before us. There are many worthy organizations established to meet specific goals within our community and we encourage you to also contribute to them as you see fit. The Foundation’s own philosophy takes a “bigger picture” approach to the San Diego LGBT community and its ever-evolving priorities. We look at our community as a whole, evaluate where the current best use of community funds should be directed, and distribute funds, as available, to those organizations.

Q: What are some ways that I can help the Foundation?

  • The Foundation gratefully accepts donations that are:
  1. Made to our endowment fund/program support (in any amount that you can afford) online/via check
  2. Given to establish/support a Donor Advised Fund
  3. Set up via Planned Giving
  4. Made through trusts, wills, and bequests.
  • Volunteers from the community can donate their time and expertise to the Foundation by joining the Board of Directors or pitching in to assist with special projects/initiatives.Community members also donate by participating in various fund-raisers sponsored by the Foundation.As with any effective community organization, the Foundation greatly benefits from growing its reputation within the community. The more familiar you are with the Foundation, its goals, and its accomplishments, the more likely you are to become an informal “ambassador” to spread the word about the Foundation among your friends and other contact.Please learn more about us. You can find out more about us from our website/Facebook page or from LGBT community leaders then encourage your friends to do the same.If you have additional questions, please email the SDHDF at or call (619) 291-3383