Del Mar resident helps others give efficiently through key role at San Diego Grantmakers


When organizations and corporations want to learn how to give efficiently, they go to Del Mar resident Nancy Jamison.

Jamison is executive director of San Diego Grantmakers, a membership association for philanthropic organizations. Foundations and corporate giving programs go to Jamison and the Grantmakers to learn how to give more effectively in their community by participating in workshops, newsletters and collaborations.

One such collaboration that Grantmakers is spearheading this year is the Military Transition Support Project.

“It was put together and imagined and built through philanthropy, investing and community figuring out how we can do better, how we can take all this goodwill we have and do something and build something specific and durable,” Jamison said.

“It has gotten quite a bit of attention across the country as a potential model for other communities to do it this way, where entities and people are connected to each other in a more intentional fashion.”

Grantmakers helped develop the community project through collaboration among its membership organizations.

The project itself, once finished next year, will help members of the military transition to civilian life by creating a website fully armed with services and resources from across the community.

The website will act as a portal that supersedes the resources available and will provide service members with information about “what nonprofits they can go to, what services there are, what job openings there are, and other supports,” Jamison said. The resources will be available to them before they leave service once the site launches.

“A few years ago, (researchers) recognized, as they were studying the issues and needs of San Diego, that there was a need for more coordination of all of our many efforts,” Jamison said, including how much attention is paid to addressing the challenges and opportunities created by having so many Marines and service members return to civilian life.

This year, in addition to working on the Military Transition Support Project, Grantmakers is also working on collaboratives dealing with education, food, workforce, social equity funders and a transition aid youth fund.

Also, San Diego Grantmakers hosted its annual conference last month, attended by about 175 people and organizations to discuss effective local giving.

But at the end of the day, it’s all in a day’s work for Jamison.

“We’re just really big believers in philanthropists talking to each other so they’re more effective, and philanthropists talking to other stakeholders and constituents that have the ability to lead change, so again, government, business, nonprofits can all work together and make San Diego a better place,” Jamison said.