Expanding Philanthropy and the Social Economy

Leading to a More Generous Region

This initiative is at the heart of our mission. The pace of change in philanthropy is both rapid and profound – from our region's dynamic demographics and the rise of the next generation of philanthropists, to the continuing transfer of enormous wealth to heirs and the advent of new technologies for giving. The Foundation is responding to these trends while working in partnership with our fundholders and community partners to create a better future for all. We nimbly stay abreast of new ways of giving, as demonstrated on Big Day of Giving, which is transformational for our region. New innovations like GivingEdge—our nonprofit database which makes Big Day of Giving possible—and other programs like our Grants Advisory Board for Youth are making philanthropy more accessible by attracting new people to charitable giving and offering the opportunity to have greater impact by giving together.

Local dancers helped us celebrate Big Day of Giving 2015.

Part of our philanthropy initiative, our Big Days of Giving have raised more than $16 million for nonprofits in the Sacramento region.

Learn more about this dynamic event

The "social economy" refers to the intersection of the private, public, and philanthropic sectors. Our partnerships in all three sectors help us to make significant change together and grow support for local nonprofits. Being in a leadership position means taking some risks and experimenting with new ways of moving the region forward. While we may not always get it right the first time, we will make lasting progress by focusing on “upstream” approaches, addressing the root causes of issues, rather than relying on “downstream” approaches that are only temporary fixes.


  • A strong nonprofit sector leads to a strong community. Nonprofits in the Sacramento region generate over $7.4 billion in total revenue annually. 
  • Local giving in our community has been steadily climbing. Despite initially lagging national averages for both the percent of area households that give and the average amount given locally per household, donor participation in giving days has grown exponentially since 2013. 
  • Giving days make philanthropy more accessible. On average, more than sixty percent of the donations made during our Big Days of Giving have been between $25-50. 


  • Promoting individual philanthropy through dynamic community-building events like Big Day of Giving, and by supporting projects that foster equity and inclusion in local giving like our APIs Rise Fund.
  • Creating smarter and stronger nonprofits through effective capacity-bulding efforts, like leadership development and donor stewardship
  • Advancing collaboration among nonprofits and promoting sector transparency through GivingEdge, our region’s online nonprofit resource.


  • Big Day of Giving has raised over $23 million for nonprofits in the Sacramento region from tens of thousands of donors since 2013. More than a 24-hour effort, the Big Day of Giving is a year-round capacity building opportunity for local nonprofits. 
  • GivingEdge continues to shine as a reliable resource for donors and nonprofits, promoting transparency in the nonprofit sector and providing valuable information on nonprofit impact, financials, management, and needs. Learn more about the beginnings of GivingEdge or explore GivingEdge to find your favorite nonprofit.
  • Gifts to our Community Impact Fund have grown substantially, allowing us to fund our Strategic Initiatives and make a greater, focused impact throughout the region. Learn more about partnering with the Foundation to pursue lasting change in our community.


Big Day of Giving
A 24 hour giving challenge to support local nonprofits

Grants Advisory Board for Youth
Sparking young peoples’ interests in giving and taking action on issues that are important to them

The region’s online nonprofit resource 

Philanthropic Advisors’ Forum of Greater Sacramento
Inspiring and supporting professional advisors to help clients create charitable giving plans that strengthen their families and communities