The History of SD BIG

Bill Walton and several other volleyball individuals originally installed the sports courts (14 beach volleyball courts and 1 basketball court) in 1997. 
In 2002, the courts were being neglected so a group of us decided to have a little fundraiser to buy new nets, lines and hardware. These events turned into silent auctions and eventually some fun beach volleyball tournaments. In 2007, Laura Hendrickson put in the time to make our efforts official and created San Diego Beach Improvement Group (SD BIG) and created a nonprofit 501(c)(3). As a San Diego native, it was the perfect fit for giving back to the beach and volleyball community she’d grown up.
Over the last many years, our events have shifted, but our purpose remains strong. Take care of the amazing beaches in San Diego, specifically the sports courts and beautification projects like beach cleanups and other projects that make the beach a nice place to visit.
Check out this great video that students from San Diego State University made showcasing the awesome experience of playing volleyball in South Mission Beach:


There are many benefits to having a nonprofit 501(c)(3) designation. One of the biggest reasons is to allow our contributors and members, who make donations, to obtain a tax-deductible receipt.

As a nonprofit, we also get discounts when putting on events and other tax breaks that are listed here:

  • Exemption from Federal income tax;

  • Tax-deductible contributions;

  • Possible exemption from state income, sales, and employment taxes;

  • Reduced postal rates;

  • Exemption from Federal unemployment tax; and.

  • Tax-exempt financing.

Because we want to be completely transparent in our activities, we have provided a separate page to help you know exactly where we are in our process to become an official 501(c)(3), where the money goes and how we run the nonprofit. Visit our page dedicated to these inquiries at Public Reporting and Transparency.



There are several ways to get involved beyond donations and membership. Please be a member, consider volunteering, being a sponsor, an advertiser or a mentor.

If you love beach volleyball and the beach, consider being a part of our tribe. Contact Laura Hendrickson at or 619-888-6743 to learn more about how to get involved. 




We offer membership for those of you that support SD BIG and creating great experiences at the beach! There are 4 categories to choose from: If you love sports at the beach and having the beach well-maintained and beautiful, we encourage you to support our cause. Currently these donations will go directly to the maintenance and equipment needs for the beach volleyball courts. As we make decisions to offer other activities and events, members will have pre-registration and/or a discount to participate.




Be a Sponsor