Our Mission

As a catalyst and convener of philanthropy, under a team of dedicated community leaders and volunteers, the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s goals are to:

Assist donors to become responsible philanthropists and build assets for their chosen charitable purposes and for improving the quality of life within San Diego’s LGBT community

Build and steward a permanent endowment through which donors can make legacy gifts to ensure that we have the capacity to meet the future needs of San Diego’s LGBT community

Promote responsible philanthropy, enhance awareness of ways to give responsively and purposefully, and encourage individual donors to see their philanthropic activities as a critical part of a vibrant, caring community

Explore and evaluate local and regional charitable needs, and then fund organizations that promote wellness and well-being within San Diego’s LGBT community

Support a network of volunteers and donors who make lasting and meaningful contributions to our future

Create alliances with San Diego’s philanthropic community that promote shared interests and goals

It can be difficult to understand what a community foundation actually does. At one level, it’s quite simple: we encourage philanthropic giving, aggregate gifts into a variety of funds, and make grants using these funds, directed by our donors or our board of directors depending on the type of fund. In our role as community catalyst and convener of philanthropy, we also promote responsible philanthropy and financial planning via educational seminars, and we support a network of volunteers, donors and professional advisors who believe in our mission.

Our most basic job is to be an efficient vehicle for implementing charitable gifts. As our capacity to make grants has grown, we’ve also become a knowledgeable partner in guiding donor contributions. As our assets and granting capacity continues to expand, we will play an increasingly vital role as community change agent and leader.

Our History

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.

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.