Beginning in 1983, inspired by the work of the Los Angeles-based Liberty Hill Foundation, a group of San Diego donors began to support local grassroots organizing efforts. In 1995 the San Diego Foundation for Change was incorporated as its own 501c3 non-profit corporation, the name derived from the slogan, "Change, Not Charity."
In 2008 the Foundation for Change celebrated 25 years of grantmaking and honored Victoria Danzig as the organization's founder. Across this “first quarter century,” the Foundation for Change granted nearly $1 million to more than 200 community-based organizations that were either “too new, too small or too controversial” to have received funding from more established philanthropic organizations. (To learn more, see: Grants History.)
In 2007, the Foundation’s Board of Directors hired John Fanestil as Executive Director. Born and raised in La Jolla, Fanestil is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and the Claremont School of Theology. An ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, he served for fifteen years as a pastor at churches in Southern California, including a bilingual congregation in the border town of Calexico.
In 2008, building on Fanestil's passion and expertise, the Board of Directors determined to embrace our region’s changing demographics as a key focus of the Foundation’s work. As the recently-released results of the 2010 Census make clear, San Diego’s future depends on the capacity of its diverse communities to engage fully in our shared civic life. And San Diego’s future is inextricably linked to Tijuana, its sister city on the Mexican side of the border.
That same year the Foundation for Change began to go “beyond the grant,” organizing its work around campaigns – like justice in the wake of natural disaster (Fires Fund 2007-2008), the health of immigrant workers (Worker Health Justice Fund, 2009-2010), and civic participation (Census Fund 2010, Taking Off Fund 2011 and Redistricting Fund 2011). In this context, grants awarded are just one component of more complex work by which we offer sustaining support to organizations, leaders and networks. (To learn more, see: Grants History.)
The Foundation for Change is recognized as one of the leading local organizations with the capacity to engage, inspire and mobilize immigrants and other historically under-represented populations in the greater San Diego region.
Foundation for Change | firstname.lastname@example.org A publicly supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization EIN# 33-0628755