The Price Philanthropies Foundation

In 1982, Sol and Helen Price founded the Price Philanthropies Foundation to help the community of City Heights, located in inner city San Diego. Formerly known as the Price Family Charitable Fund, the foundation is now run by their son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Allison Price. Sol Price, as a retail entrepreneur and philanthropist, believed in utilizing his wealth to give back to the community and provide better opportunities for the working class, according to the foundation’s website. In 1975, Price founded the Price Club, which later merged to form today’s Costco, where he was known for the caring way he treated his employees. He also aimed for tax fairness by dedicating resources to the Urban Institute, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and The Tax Policy Center.

Looking to help the 74,000 residents of City Heights, who are mainly refugees and immigrants from Latin America, East Africa and Asia, the Price family has developed and invested in multiple programs that forward Sol Price’s vision for a more just and fair society. And now, 20 years later, the foundation continues to work closely with lower-income communities not only in San Diego but also all over the world.

Major Program Categories:

Since its founding, the foundation has led multiple efforts to promote a fairer society. Furthering Price’s mission to help the residents of City Heights, a low-income community in San Diego, the foundation started the City Heights Initiative to partner with public and nonprofit agencies. The initiative utilizes a “holistic approach to improving residents’ quality of life,” such as helping with housing, promoting access to health and social services and education and offering legal assistance.

Further, in 1991, to honor the life of Aaron Price who passed in 1989 at the age of 15, the family started the Aaron Price Fellows Program. The program brings together a group of 9th grade students from four public high schools in San Diego for a three-year program that examines government, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Fellows are able to develop their leadership skills and are exposed to various career opportunities.

The foundation also started Aprender y Crecer (Learning and Growing), a program that provides supplies for elementary public schools in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Aprender y Crecer gives an average of $40 per child per year among approximately 86,000 children at 180 schools as well as class materials to over 4,200 teachers.

Additionally, Robert Price has extended the foundation’s efforts to helping educational programs in Israel. For instance, Price founded the organization Bidayat (Beginnings) to raise awareness of early childhood development and education among families in Arab Israeli society.

How to Apply: The foundation looks to make grants to non-profits within San Diego County that work to help the residents of City Heights with health and social services, education, child development and housing. All applicants must submit an initial grant request, and after these are reviewed, some will be asked to send a more comprehensive grant request. More information regarding the application process can be found on the website.

Name of Foundation: Price Philanthropies Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA


Contact Information:

City Heights Office – Ph: (619) 795-2000

La Jolla Office – Ph: (858) 551-2321

Coverage Area: San Diego, CA

Subject Area: Health and social services, education, child development and housing

Total Assets: $452 million (2014)

Last Year Total Grants Paid: $23.8 million (2013)

Recent News and Grantmaking:

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Stephanie Pham
About Stephanie Pham 16 Articles
Stephanie is a summer fellow for The Chronicle of Social Change and Fostering Media Connections as part of Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service fellowship program.