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Cover Photo: Creative Work Fund traditional artist Linda Yamane
At the Walter & Elise Haas Fund we believe in collaborating with partners whose work provides access and opportunity, building a more equitable community. We invest in our Bay Area neighbors because doing so fosters a more just and vibrant society for current and future generations.

Our Shared Vision

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our founders, Walter and Elise Haas, firmly believed that everyone should share in access and opportunity. For those of us who work for and with the Fund, that core belief remains strong. Sixty years later, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund continues to work with community organizations, philanthropic colleagues, and government agencies to support our neighbors struggling for social and economic footholds and stability.

However, in 2014, we saw the barriers to equity grow to a degree that was both alarming and daunting. We witnessed this in terms of widening disparities in economic and educational opportunity and achievement. It became evident in terms of the prospects community members shared — or did not share — for personal artistic engagement and connection. The playing field has tilted dramatically against equity; basic access to the sustaining benefits of community — including safety, nourishment, and shelter — is no longer available to far too many.

The trustees and staff of the Fund are responding to this challenge with a heightened clarity of purpose. We initiated a review of our work in 2014 to further concentrate our resources, both human and financial, against the increasingly unconscionable levels of inequity in our region. Across all of our program areas, we are using an explicit equity lens to assess our work, present and future. Our intent is to increase our effectiveness, and that of our grantees, by more intentionally focusing on the racial, cultural, gender, and other types of barriers to access and opportunity.

We know there is no silver bullet — that no single entity or approach can solve this complex problem — but we are dedicated to reversing the tide. An enduring part of our legacy is working in strategic partnerships with others who share our values and goals. Given the size and complexity of the challenges today, building and supporting those partnerships is more important than ever. With our colleagues in community, philanthropy, and government, we will build momentum towards a more just, equitable, and vibrant society.

The outcomes we imagine are gradual advances, made long-term, against endemic problems. Yet we firmly believe that incremental, constant improvement is possible. It is also imperative. We know that seemingly small improvements can have transformative effect on the lives of our neighbors and our community. Over time, together, we have the power to dismantle the barriers of inequity.

The Bay Area’s diversity — long a source of pride and strength — is at risk. It is our responsibility to preserve and extend the opportunities that makes this community a home for all of our neighbors. Thank you for working with us to make the Bay Area better for everyone.

Walter J. Haas
President, Board of Trustees

Pamela H. David
Executive Director

Program Areas

The Arts

to enable Bay Area residents to realize the full potential of the arts to build cross-cultural understanding, preserve cultural heritage, and enrich individual lives.

Economic Security

to help low-income adults and families achieve upward mobility and economic security through workforce development and the protection of financial assets.


to improve the quality of public education by building effective school communities through focus on school leadership, teacher quality, and school improvement.

Jewish Life

to foster a vibrant, inclusive Jewish community that offers opportunities for engagement in Jewish life and encourages participation in our broader society.


to include grantmaking that has a direct relationship to Walter and Elise Haas, that supports the Fund's mission, and that responds to emerging community needs.


Grants Paid by Program Area

Grants Paid by Program Area

Statement of Financial Position

Statement of Financial Position

Change in Net Assets

Change in Net Assets

Download the 990-PF

©2024 Walter & Elise Haas Fund | One Lombard Street, Suite 305, San Francisco, CA 94111 | (415) 398-4474 Walter & Elise Haas Fund Website | Past Annual Reports