gtk-jcfThe Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego partners with individuals, families and community organizations to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. This fall, the Foundation is celebrating two important milestones: surpassing one billion dollars in grants since its inception in 1967 and over 20 years under Marjory Kaplan’s leadership as President and CEO, Miriam and Jerome Katzin Presidential Chair. We sat with Marjory and spoke about her tenure and the Foundation’s work in our community.

Giving Back Magazine: What brought you to the Foundation?

Marjory Kaplan: Before coming to this position, I had a career in human resources and investments in the banking world. There, I always volunteered for community boards and found the work to be very gratifying. Having a chance to combine my financial background with serving the community was a dream job!

GB: What services does the Foundation provide?

MK: We have two main areas: the first is facilitating donor advised funds – personal philanthropy accounts that are easy to establish with a minimum of $1800 where our donors can go online 24/7 to recommend grants to the community. The second focus is helping individuals and families create their charitable legacies for their favorite organizations and areas – either during their lifetime or afterwards – through endowment funds.

GB: What is the advantage of giving through the Jewish Community Foundation?

MK: Our donors value our guidance in making their philanthropy more meaningful, involving their children, and working with their professional advisors to make sure their philanthropy coordinates with their overall financial and estate goals.

GB: What are some of the Foundation’s achievements from the past two decades?

MK: What I am personally most proud of is the trust we have built with our donors and community organizations. We have been the largest grantmaker in the region for many years, due to the immense generosity of our donors. The billion-dollar milestone is made up of more than 60,000 individual grants!

GB: What has motivated you throughout your 20 years in this role?

MK: It is all about building sustaining and positive relationships – with our outstanding board and staff, with our generous donors, and with all the excellent organizations that serve our community.