The SG Foundation was founded by Stuart C. Gildred Sr. along with co-founders Richard Kieding and William Sauer in 1984. From its inception the goal of the SG Foundation has been to help the less fortunate of the world to live better lives using the strong Judeo-Christian values of the founders as guidelines.
Stuart Gildred Sr. was the sole Trustee and President of the SG Foundation until May 26, 2001 when he passed away to be with our Lord. Prior to his passing Mr. Gildred appointed seven new trustees to carry on the work of the foundation. Richard Kieding, William Sauer, Joseph Lambert, and John Donati were already serving SG Foundation as an Advisory Board and accepted Mr. Gildred's request. Additionally, Mr. Gildred asked his wife Lynn Gildred, son Stuart C. Gildred Jr., and Russell Fraser to join the board. These seven individuals served the foundation on a voluntary basis with dedication and sincere compassion. Richard Kieding became our second President and retired to honorary status in 2005. He was succeeded by William Sauer and in 2011 Lynn Gildred was elected President. She continues in this leadership role to the present time. The current trustees are Lynn Gildred, Stuart Gildred Jr., Tyler Gildred, Todd Gildred, and Duane Serritslev. Past trustees are Dick Kieding, Bill Sauer, Russell Fraser, Joseph Lambert, John Donati, and John Crowell.
Early in the history of SG Foundation certain guidelines were established by Stuart Gildred Sr. He decided that a small private foundation must of necessity limit itself in terms of grant consideration. He was opposed, for example, to funding large research projects. Another firm rule was established by Mr. Gildred: although Judeo-Christian values guide the decisions of the Foundation trustees, no grants will be awarded for the sole or primary purpose of proselytizing. Mr. Gildred was most interested in smaller organizations that were committed to and capable of providing humanitarian services to the poor, especially long term development projects. He was partial to NGOs that might otherwise have difficulty obtaining funding. And, since the poorest of the poor are more readily found outside the boundaries of the United States, the majority of the annual grant budget was designated for international programs. As time passed grant and proposal policies were clarified. See our current Grant Focus Area and Proposal Guidelines sections for the current grant guidelines. Most of the grants awarded by the SG Foundation can be described by one of the following categories: community development, literacy and youth education, job training and programs that promote entrepreneurial efforts, health and nutrition programs, and clean water projects. We tend to favor projects working with youth.
SG Foundation grants are issued in varying amounts but average $15,000 per grant. The Trustees approve grant amounts based upon the proven need for funding and compatibility with the SG Foundation goals. Over the years since inception this foundation has awarded over $40 million.
Geographically the foundation focuses on countries in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Haiti internationally and north Santa Barbara County and Central California nationally. Please see Grant Focus Area for more details.