Nancy Jamison believed in the power of individuals in our region to make a difference. True to the passion of the fund’s namesake, the NJFSJ celebrates the people behind the work. The NJFSJ seeks to support under-celebrated individuals working towards racial equity and social justice – in any capacity – throughout San Diego county. Honorees receive $50,000 in unrestricted funding to advance their work.
The fund remains open for donors who wish to provide further support to San Diego racial equity and social justice leaders. If you are contributing over $500 and unable to use the gift-assist feature, please consider contributing by check. It really helps with the fees! Donate above or mail donations to:
Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties
Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice
5060 Shoreham Place
San Diego, CA 92122
Tax ID: 33-0868261
Nancy Jamison served as President and CEO of San Diego Grantmakers (SDG, now Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties) from 2005 to 2019. Under her leadership, SDG grew as a network of foundations, corporate giving programs, grantmaking public charities, government funders, giving circles, and impact investors. In her role, Nancy gained unique insights into philanthropic and nonprofit practices while becoming increasingly aware of and committed to the need for philanthropy to reckon with inequality and racism.
Nancy led SDG to develop an equity-centered strategic framework with an initial focus on racial and gender justice; shifted internal culture and practices; and evolved member educational offerings and collaborations. In 2020, in recognition of the action-oriented network that had blossomed under her leadership, SDG became Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
While Nancy’s accomplishments are easily codified, equally important is the manner by which she traversed this challenging landscape. Authenticity, grace, and steadfastness are hallmarks of Nancy’s leadership. She was open as she learned how long-standing philanthropic decision-making processes unintentionally supported inequality. With vulnerability she shared her own struggle and emotion in committing to this work, and by doing so encouraged others to join her. As a result, she made great strides in moving our sector towards a commitment to equity, justice, and inclusion.
In 2019, Nancy had recently launched a consulting practice to continue to move the sector on a national scale when she was diagnosed with cancer. The Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice (NJFSJ) was established in her honor by local community leaders who wanted to find a way to keep Nancy’s indelible spirit alive with those working towards social change in our region, and to continue the work that was so important to her.
Who should apply?
We encourage anyone working towards racial equity and social justice in San Diego County to review the selection criteria and consider nominating someone (and self nominations are welcome, too!)
What are the selection criteria?
Any resident of San Diego County can be nominated, and self-nominations are welcomed. Those selected for the award demonstrate:
- A compelling “why” that fuels their work
- Steadfast integrity and indelible spirit
- A demonstrated ability to bring people together that goes deeper than partnership
- A vision for advancing a specific area of racial equity or social justice in the San Diego region, and the determination to realize it.
- A willingness to be recognized in this capacity
What is the timeline?
Nominations will be accepted October 24 – December 30. All applications will be reviewed and scored by the NJFSJ Grants Committee, composed of community leaders. The top five finalists will be interviewed by the Grants Committee in February, with recipients announced in March of 2024.
How many awards will be granted?
We anticipate granting two $50,000 awards annually for the next four years. We will continuously evaluate our plan and may determine course adjustments as necessary along the way.
To support transformational learning opportunities for philanthropic, nonprofit, and social sector leaders working to advance social justice and equity in San Diego County.
- Focus on equity and social justice in all we do
- Build trusting relationships with a diverse population of individuals and organizations
- Create enduring partnerships to sustain the work of racial equality and justice
- Engage with curiosity with an eye towards understanding and honoring differences
- Champion creativity and courage of individuals and organizations
- Foster continuous learning to fuel our individual and collective progress
To gain and honor diverse perspectives, The Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice recruited original grantees of the Fund (as determined by Nancy before her passing) to serve on its grant committee. The committee dreamed up the NJFSJ award program as you see it today, and works with Nancy’s family in making funding decisions aligned with the Fund’s values of equity and inclusion.
The committee includes:
- Dr. Kyra Greene, Center on Policy Initiatives
- Diana Ross, Mid-City CAN
- Aline Racic, San Diego Leaders
- Mark Dillon, Husband of Nancy Jamison
- Katie Janowiak, Committee Advisor, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties
The Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice launched at Catalyst, where Nancy’s social justice journey began.
The first grants in 2022 included funding to organizations identified by Nancy and her family.
The original grant recipients formed the Grants Committee and developed the Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice program as we know it today.
The fund originated as an idea from Nancy’s close friend in the sector, David Lynn, as a way to honor her legacy. The outpouring of support from those working towards social justice in San Diego combined with Nancy’s estate gift has enabled us to sustain this effort for several years to come.
Nancy was clear in her wishes when establishing the fund that she wanted decision making to be in the hands of community members. The original advisory committee started the fund, and then handed all design and decision making over to the Grants Committee.
The Advisory Committee includes:
- David Lynn, Mission Driven Finance
- Sharyn Goodson, Leichtag Foundation
- Janine Mason, Fieldstone Leadership
- Linda Spuck, Linda Spuck Consulting
Who was Nancy Jamison?
Nancy Jamison was a philanthropic leader in San Diego who served as the President and CEO of Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties (formerly San Diego Grantmakers) for more than 14 years. Under her leadership, the network blossomed to more than 150 organizations, funders and impact investors committed to building an equitable social change ecosystem for the San Diego region. Nancy’s sense of joy and curiosity about life was infectious and her commitment to racial equity and social justice was felt by all who knew her. Nancy passed away in July 2021 after a battle with glioblastoma. The Nancy Jamison Fund for Social Justice (NJFSJ) was established in her honor by local community leaders who wanted to find a way to keep Nancy’s indelible spirit alive with those working towards social change in our region, and to continue the work that was so important to her.