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The Conrad Prebys Foundation Inaugural Grant Cycle Awards $78M in Grant Funding to 121 Projects



Honoring our namesake’s passion and legacy for philanthropic giving, The Conrad Prebys Foundation is awarding nearly $78 million in grants to 121 grant projects during its inaugural grant cycle.

Grant recipients include prominent San Diego institutions such as Rady Children’s Hospital, Sharp HealthCare, KPBS, Scripps Research, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and Mingei International Museum, among others. The list of awarded grants also includes a number of organizations who have benefitted from Conrad Prebys’ philanthropic giving in the past, including San Diego State University, UC San Diego, Boys & Girls Clubs of East County and Greater San Diego, La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Museum of Art, The Old Globe, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Scripps Health, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and more. A few notable projects include: A few notable projects include:

  • $150,000 to University of San Diego to create a scholarship fund for nonprofit leaders of color.

  • $225,000 to San Diego Blood Bank to provide to new mobile facilities for its Campaign for Life.

  • $50,000 to transcenDANCE youth arts project to support a new East County facility.

  • $1,000,000 to Scripps Research to support COVID-19-related efforts for Outsmarting Emerging Pathogens in an Interconnected World.

  • $20,000 to Autism Tree Project Inc. to support Autistic children who face increased social interaction challenges due to the pandemic.

  • $30,000 to Tariq Khamisa Foundation to support a Safe School Program for kids impacted by gang violence.

A full list of organizations, grant amounts and projects funded can be found here: https://www.conradprebysfoundation.org/awards


Nearly $30 million awarded in the foundation’s winter grant cycle will be dispersed in 2021, with remaining funds administered in future years as part of multiyear grant requests. The size of the grants awarded range from a $7,500 one-time grant to a $15 million multiyear grant.


The selection process of the grants came at a unique time in history, and the awarded applicants reflect a balance between focus areas of personal interest to Conrad Prebys – including visual and performing arts, higher education, medical research, health care, youth development and animal conservation – and the urgent needs of these communities, which have been upended due to the coronavirus pandemic.


“Our staff and Board are honored to serve as stewards for The Conrad Prebys Foundation, and with our role comes the responsibility to empower the nonprofits creating meaningful change across San Diego,” said Erin Decker, director of grantmaking for The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The grantees have exhibited an extraordinary level of resilience, innovation, and compassion during this very challenging time, and it is these organizations that will heal our community in the months and years to come. The foundation is proud to be a part of their story.”


In addition to the nearly $78 million in grants announced, the foundation has already received letters of intent for its next grant cycle, which will be announced this summer. Looking beyond 2021, the foundation is committed to exploring innovative ways to maximize its impact in the region – from unique funding structures to strategic partnerships and the identification of urgent community needs.


“During his philanthropic years, Conrad experienced so much joy through the act of giving to causes he was passionate about,” said Tony Cortes, a longtime friend of Conrad Prebys and board chair of The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The foundation hopes that these gifts – including the many matching opportunities being funded – will inspire others to feel that same ‘jump-up-and-down’ joy through giving.”

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