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The San Diego Women’s Foundation Brings the Power of Pooled Philanthropy to San Diego Communities

Funding for innovative educational programs can’t wait. Not when graduation rates are as low as 50 percent in some San Diego communities. Not when impoverished kids are academically two years behind their peers; or when gifted students are forced to give up on their college dreams due to family hardship. You can help change this reality…now. Education is the current focus of The San Diego Women’s Foundation, an organization that brings women together to turn passion into action with the power of pooled philanthropy. Foundation members prove that you don’t have to be a millionaire to change lives.

You just need partners.

San Diego Women’s Foundation introduced this philosophy to women throughout the county in the year 2000 to help non-profit organizations realize their goals. Over the years, the Foundation has supported a wide range of interests, from arts and culture and the environment to education and health and human services.
“Because of our collective strength,” Eileen Haag, a long-time community leader and new chair of The San Diego Women’s Foundation tells Giving Back Magazine, “we have granted more than $2 million to 58 impactful nonprofit programs and built a $2.3 million endowment since our founding 11 years ago. What we have achieved as a group would have been unthinkable to do alone. That is the essence of pooled philanthropy.”

Today, The San Diego Women’s Foundation has more than 200 members and looks to add another 100 members in the coming year. “More women mean more grants and stronger community impact,” said Haag. She noted that since its inception, founding members envisioned a lasting legacy beyond their own lifetimes. Today, 45 percent of each member’s annual contribution is allocated to a permanent endowment fund.

Earlier this year, The San Diego Women’s Foundation awarded $181,650 to five new community partners at its annual Grants Celebration. Grants recognized programs that provide accessible artistic and cultural experiences that engage and educate underserved K-12 youth, while honoring the diversity of the San Diego region. “This is the impact we can make when we stand united,” said Haag.

Women who wish to become a member of The San Diego Women’s Foundation or would like more information are invited to visit www.sdwomensfoundation.org or call (619) 235-2300.