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By the Numbers: How San Diegans Gave Back in 2021

A year-end look at nonprofit and household giving
How San Diegans Gave Back

How San Diegans Gave Back

Nonprofits had to pivot in 2020 with reduced staffing and virtual events. Despite these setbacks, nonprofits are continuing to help those in need, and even more San Diegans are giving back.

The Big Picture


Nonprofits in San Diego (Registered 501(c) organizations)


Total revenue


Total assets


Average total employment in San Diego


Total wages

How San Diegans Gave Back


Average dollar-per-household donation 


Percentage of households that donated


Percentage of households that volunteered 


Average number of hours each household volunteered

A Changing Environment

Top 5 Things Nonprofits Changed in 2020:

*Made new grants as unrestricted as possible

*Provided multi-year support

*Funded capacity building

*Shortened applications

*Reduced reporting requirements

Public Confidence

More San Diegans have a “fair” amount to “a great deal” of confidence in nonprofits than in other sectors:

Nonprofits: 82%

Corporations: 70% 

Government: 56% 

Giving Milestones

United Way of San Diego County started the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative, which provided $2 million in financial relief to more than 10,000 San Diegans in need.

The San Diego Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce to start the Urban Business Resource Center, a new hub for Black entrepreneurs.

The Parker Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. Founded by Gerald T. and Inez Grant Parker, the foundation has given $56 million in grants to over 750 organizations in San Diego, including the Balboa Park Conservancy, San Diego Rescue Mission, and 211 San Diego.


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