Investing in a more just and vibrant Bay Area for current and future generations.
Looking back at — and learning from — 2019.
To a large extent, our past determines how we — as a family foundation — address the present and approach the future.
In 2019, with our transition to Jamie Allison’s leadership as executive director completed, and with a full complement of 4th generation family participation on our board approaching, it seemed appropriate to review and reconnect with our organizational history. We wanted to be sure to calibrate our future work to the core values set forth by Walter and Elise Haas, because no matter what or where our grantmaking and leadership might take us, it’s their example we intend to honor.
As part of this process, the Board of Trustees studied the Fund’s archives and had substantive and revealing conversations about the historical context of the Fund and the passions of the founders. We looked at the causes and issues that were of greatest importance to them and reexamined the ways that their legacies could be continued and reinforced.
What this review revealed most clearly was that Walter and Elise Haas were futurists. They saw the world as it was while envisioning and investing in what could be.
They were generous in service to the community. They forged new ground as pioneers — as with Elise’s leadership at SFMOMA or with Walter’s social responsibility innovations at Levi Strauss & Co. And underpinning both their generosity and their leadership was a heartfelt concern and steadfast commitment for those who lacked privilege and for the world as a place of peace.
We live in disruptive times, and that makes the enduring values of my grandparents essential. Our challenge when considering the Fund’s legacy is to decide how to live up to their examples in the face of new challenges and new opportunities.
As an example of the way we’re doing this in 2019 and beyond, and as Jamie explains in her letter, we decided to refocus our Education Program. As both philanthropists and businesspeople, Walter and Elise Haas would have approved of reaching out to engage the private sector to meet public need.
Now we move into a future that probably would have amazed our founders. Yet, they would have encouraged — and maybe insisted — that we look forward with energy and enthusiasm, knowing that our new board members and executive director bring fresh ideas and perspectives. Coupled with the lasting legacy that Walter and Elise passed on to each generation, I am excited to see how we bring our values to bear on the world we all share responsibility for.
A more healthy, just, and vibrant society in which people feel connected to and responsible for their community — this is the vision of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund. In 2019 — my second year as executive director — we made adjustments both large and small to bring this vision to life.
The biggest shift was the adoption of a new Education grantmaking strategy. While we had been focused on teacher recruitment, retention, and professional development — goals we will continue to support within the context of our new focus — our Education Program now will support San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts in their Linked Learning and Career Pathways work.
To say it succinctly, we’re now aiming to provide a systemic, empowering response to all the Bay Area students who ask, “Why do I have to learn this?”
Linked Learning and Career Pathways contextualizes high school classes within a professional industry selected by the students. For example, if you’re interested in environmental science, then math might be about quantifying CO2 levels. Students additionally receive real world training via internships and shorter externships within the local business community.
We see this strategy shift as a response to the widening income and wealth gaps in the Bay Area. While we have the country’s lowest unemployment and great wealth here, public high school students lack access to employment opportunities and the prosperity to which those connections lead. Career Pathways also helps engage private businesses in public education —investment needed to build the society to which we aspire.
The Fund launched other notable projects in 2019. In partnership with San Francisco Interfaith Council and the Jewish Federation, The Fund’s Jewish Life program gathered a task force of faith leaders and law enforcement personnel to address the increase in violent attacks on houses of worship across the country. A video the Fund’s Economic Security and Safety Net programs produced, A Tale of Two Tickets — illustrating how fines and fees inequitably effect those without sufficient assets — won a Shorty Award. And our Betting on the Bay blog series brought in new ideas from leaders across California.
One personal highlight of 2019 was the opportunity I had to listen to young people and let their wisdom guide my actions and fuel my passions. I eagerly anticipate the Fund’s direct involvement with Linked Learning as students come to work with us over the summer. Making meaningful investments in young people — that’s the key to the more vibrant society our founders envisioned.
In 2019, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund Arts program staff reviewed its arts education grantmaking to discover we supported programs benefitting an estimated 27,000 students on top of the 366 principals, teachers, and organizational leaders who took part in professional development. Grantees worked in 80 sites in San Francisco and 71 in Oakland with after school offerings clustered in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Mission, and Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhoods and Oakland’s civic center, San Antonio, and West Oakland neighborhoods. All this data points to success in our goal of reaching low-income students, but we can do more. The Fund, in 2019 and beyond, endeavors to reach more of those students who struggle to access arts education — including newcomer students, English language learners, and those with special needs.
Other 2019 Arts grantees helped improve the lives of adults with low-cost or free arts access through grants for Trolley Dances, Skywatchers, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, and more. Through the Creative Work Fund, 16 grantee pairs of artists and non-profit organizations began developing groundbreaking new works to address challenging topics including homelessness, immigration, and human rights.
|Advaita Society||Arts Education||$15,000|
|Bay Area Children’s Theatre||Arts Education||$15,000|
|Bay Area Girls Rock Camp||Arts Education||$10,000|
|California Alliance for Arts Education||Arts Education||$80,000|
|Chapter 510 Ink||Arts Education||$20,000|
|Cypher Pilot Project||Arts Education||$2,000|
|Destiny Arts Center||Arts Education||$80,000|
|Jamestown Community Center||Arts Education||$25,000|
|Leap Arts in Education||Arts Education||$120,000|
|Luna Kids Dance||Arts Education||$15,000|
|Magic Theatre, Inc.||Arts Education||$30,000|
|Museum of Children’s Arts||Arts Education||$40,000|
|Oakland Youth Chorus||Arts Education||$85,000|
|Oaktown Jazz Workshops||Arts Education||$40,000|
|Performing Arts Workshop||Arts Education||$30,000|
|Prescott Circus Theatre||Arts Education||$15,000|
|Root Division||Arts Education||$15,000|
|San Francisco Art Institute||Arts Education||$40,000|
|Southern Exposure||Arts Education||$25,000|
|Success Center San Francisco||Arts Education||$45,000|
|Young Audiences of Northern California||Arts Education||$20,000|
|Young Musicians Choral Orchestra||Arts Education||$50,000|
|Youth Beat||Arts Education||$60,000|
|Youth Speaks||Arts Education||$20,000|
|Z Space Studio||Arts Education||$15,000|
|Zaccho SF||Arts Education||$90,000|
|API Cultural Center||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Asian Refugees United||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Ballet Afsaneh Art & Culture Society||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Ballet Afsaneh Art & Culture Society & Ustad Farida Mahwash||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Campo Santo & Joan Osato||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Chaksampa Tibetan Dance & Opera Company||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Chaksampa Tibetan Dance & Opera Company & Bhalu Bhaloo||Creative Work Fund||$44,000|
|Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco & Sofia Cordova||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco & Leslie Dreyer||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Diamano Coura West African Dance Company & Fely Tchaco||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Dimensions Dance Theater & Nimely Napla||Creative Work Fund||$40,000|
|Earth Activist Training & Suzanne Husky||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|East Bay Center for the Performing Arts||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Emerging Arts Professionals||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Filipino American Development Foundation||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Filipino American Development Foundation & Sydney Loyola||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Greenlining Institute & Desi Mundo||Creative Work Fund||$30,000|
|Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|Montalvo Arts Center & Hector Dionicio Mendoza||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Oakland’s Providence House & Sharon Siskin||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Sins Invalid||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|SOMArts||Creative Work Fund||$500|
|The Contemporary Jewish Museum & Jewlia Eisenberg||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|University Corporation at Monterey Bay & Binh Danh||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organization Network & Van-Anh Vo||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|Women’s Audio Mission & Meklit Hadero||Creative Work Fund||$45,000|
|3rd i South Asian Independent Film||Cultural Commons||$15,000|
|509 Cultural Center||Cultural Commons||$25,000|
|Acción Latina||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|Alliance for California Traditional Arts||Cultural Commons||$240,000|
|Betti Ono||Cultural Commons||$30,000|
|Bisemi Foundation Inc.||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|Californians for the Arts||Cultural Commons||$30,000|
|Dancers’ Group||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|Fresh Meat Productions||Cultural Commons||$40,500|
|Gamelan Sekar Jaya||Cultural Commons||$15,000|
|Golden Thread Productions||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|Grantmakers in the Arts||Cultural Commons||$5,000|
|Hope Mohr Dance||Cultural Commons||$10,000|
|Intertribal Friendship House||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|Joe Goode Performance Group||Cultural Commons||$30,000|
|La Peña Cultural Center||Cultural Commons||$30,000|
|Northern California Grantmakers||Cultural Commons||$15,000|
|San Francisco Zine Fest||Cultural Commons||$10,000|
|Shakespeare-San Francisco||Cultural Commons||$25,000|
|Sixth Street Photography Workshop||Cultural Commons||$15,000|
|Small Press Distribution||Cultural Commons||$25,000|
|The Litquake Foundation||Cultural Commons||$15,000|
|The Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives||Cultural Commons||$25,000|
|The San Francisco Foundation||Cultural Commons||$20,000|
|World Arts West||Cultural Commons||$50,000|
The significant economic growth that has lifted the Bay Area since the Great Recession has left far too many of its residents behind. Almost 20% of San Franciscans and 17% of Alameda County residents live in poverty. One-third of Alameda County residents and near the same percentage of San Franciscans do not have enough savings to cover their basic expenses for three months in an emergency. Income and wealth inequities are at a historic high; if you are a person of color, a woman, an immigrant, a person with a disability, an older adult, or even simply a parent to a dependent child, you are more likely to struggle to make ends meet.
To address these profound challenges, in 2019 the Walter & Elise Haas Fund’s Economic Security grantees provided workforce development services to people with significant barriers to employment, placing them in high-quality jobs; helped low-income people to obtain income supports that build and protect their financial assets; supported entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses and create good jobs; and worked to improve the systems and policies that promote economic well-being for all Californians. We believe that these investments in the inherent value of all in the Bay Area will, cumulatively, move the needle toward economic justice.
|Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative||Build and Protect Assets||$20,000|
|California Asset Building Coalition||Build and Protect Assets||$40,000|
|City and County of San Francisco||Build and Protect Assets||$10,000|
|City and County of San Francisco||Build and Protect Assets||$75,000|
|East Bay College Fund dba Oakland Promise||Build and Protect Assets||$100,000|
|FreeFrom||Build and Protect Assets||$50,000|
|FUSE Corps||Build and Protect Assets||$45,000|
|Golden State Opportunity Foundation||Build and Protect Assets||$100,000|
|Justice in Aging||Build and Protect Assets||$30,000|
|United Way of the Bay Area||Build and Protect Assets||$120,000|
|California Budget & Policy Center||Public Policy and Systems Change||$150,000|
|Public Rights Project||Public Policy and Systems Change||$5,000|
|Small Business Majority Foundation||Public Policy and Systems Change||$150,000|
|Economic Security Project||Workforce Development||$25,000|
|HOPE SF||Workforce Development||$300,000|
|Human Impact Partners||Workforce Development||$10,000|
|Jacob Kornbluth Productions||Workforce Development||$45,000|
|Jewish Vocational and Career Counseling Service||Workforce Development||$200,000|
|One Fair Wage||Workforce Development||$25,000|
|Rising Sun Center for Opportunity||Workforce Development||$100,000|
|Rubicon Programs Inc.||Workforce Development||$200,000|
A highly-qualified and diverse teacher workforce is an important component in both improving outcomes for youth and closing the achievement gap. To this end, between 2015 and 2019, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund focused its Education grantmaking on efforts to recruit public school teachers, retain them, and support them in becoming excellent, effective educators. The Fund staff and trustees were pleased that the Governor’s newly released education budget reflects these priorities as well.
In 2019, through more than 50 interviews with local education leaders and stakeholders, the Fund began to explore new directions for our Education program area. Inspired by what we learned, we are directing our Education grantmaking toward Linked Learning and Career Pathways in San Francisco and Oakland public high schools, starting in 2020. Through this work, the Fund aspires to be part of preparing all Oakland and San Francisco public school students — especially those furthest from opportunity — for college, career, and civic life.
|City and County of San Francisco||Career Pathways||$45,000|
|Spark* SF Public Schools||Linked Learning||$45,000|
|San Francisco Emerging Leaders Project||Field Building||$40,000|
|San Francisco Unified School District||Teacher Pipeline||$50,000|
|Center for Cities and Schools||Teacher Practice||$25,000|
|Oakland Public Education Fund||Teacher Practice||$50,000|
|Oakland Unified School District||Teacher Practice||$40,000|
|Black Teacher Project||Teacher Retention||$50,000|
|Californians for Justice Education Fund||Teacher Retention||$25,000|
|Mills College||Teacher Retention||$45,000|
|Science & Health Education Partnership||Teacher Retention||$25,000|
|World Savvy||Teacher Retention||$25,000|
In 2019, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund’s Jewish Life program took steps to address rising levels of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry that threaten the security and health of our communities. In the Bay Area and beyond, Jewish organizations spoke out, voicing growing concern over white nationalism’s devastating impact on minority communities. Fund grantees joined with others to proactively ensure that all are able to practice their faiths safely. In one highlight of this work, the Fund partnered with several grantees and representatives from the law enforcement community to sponsor a full day security training for 280 clergy of all faiths.
The Jewish community also recognized the need to look inward in 2019, striving to become more welcoming of Jews in all their diversity. One stellar example of a project that seeks to ensure a more equitable community is The Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, which was launched with seed funding from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund and several philanthropic partners. This new initiative provides funds, training, and research to help organizations provide support and opportunities for Jews of Color.
|B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$80,000|
|Challah for Hunger||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$50,000|
|Faith In Action Bay Area||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$100,000|
|Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, San Francisco Hillel||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$85,000|
|Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$110,000|
|Islamic Networks||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$80,000|
|Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$50,000|
|Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$100,000|
|Jewish Funders Network||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$10,000|
|Jewish Social Justice Roundtable||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$50,000|
|Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$100,000|
|National Council of Jewish Women Incorporated||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$30,000|
|One America Movement||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$60,000|
|Shalom Bayit||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$60,000|
|T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$25,000|
|The Kitchen: Slow Down, Jew Up||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$50,000|
|Union for Reform Judaism||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$90,000|
|Urban Adamah||Building Partnerships for Social Justice||$175,000|
|Dimensions Educational Consulting||Diversity is a Strength||$50,000|
|Jewish Community Center of San Francisco||Diversity is a Strength||$150,000|
|Jewish LearningWorks||Diversity is a Strength||$20,000|
|New Israel Fund||Diversity is a Strength||$125,000|
|Wilderness Torah||Diversity is a Strength||$70,000|
|Asylum Arts Inc.||Innovation is an Imperative||$20,000|
|Jewish Studio Project||Innovation is an Imperative||$30,000|
The Walter & Elise Haas Fund’s Safety Net program helps ensure the basic survival of those Bay Area residents persevering despite low incomes. We address the persistent challenges the community faces by funding both immediate relief — through organizations that provide food, shelter, and social services — and by supporting longer-term impact via policy and advocacy efforts and creative approaches to addressing hunger and homelessness.
At least 1 in 5 residents of San Francisco and Alameda counties are on the edge of not having regular access to sufficient food, and homelessness is increasing. Given the impact of the ongoing affordability crisis and federal policies that threaten the most vulnerable, in 2019 the Fund remained a steady source of support for organizations that provide access to basic needs and instill a sense of dignity for all. Also this year, the Fund’s Safety Net program increased its support for legal services organizations that help remove barriers to housing, employment, and stability.
|East Bay Community Law Center||Legal Services||$30,000|
|Eviction Defense Collaborative||Legal Services||$30,000|
|Legal Aid Association of California||Legal Services||$25,000|
|Legal Link||Legal Services||$25,000|
|Open Door Legal||Legal Services||$25,000|
|Alameda County Community Food Bank||Food||$50,000|
|Davis Street Community Center||Food||$30,000|
|Meals on Wheels of San Francisco||Food||$30,000|
|Mercy Retirement Care Center||Food||$30,000|
|Project Open Hand||Food||$30,000|
|San Francisco Marin Food Bank||Food||$50,000|
|Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County||Food||$30,000|
|St. Anthony Foundation||Food||$30,000|
|Young Mens Christian Association of San Francisco||Food||$30,000|
|A Safe Place||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Abode Services||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Bay Area Community Services||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Catholic Charities CYO||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Catholic Charities of the East Bay||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Compass Family Services||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Cornerstone Community Development Corporation||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Hamilton Families||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|International Rescue Committee||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$20,000|
|La Casa de las Madres||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Mei Fong & Associates||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Providence Foundation of San Francisco||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Raphael House of San Francisco||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|Simply the Basics||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$25,000|
|Southern Alameda County Comite for Raza Mental Health||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$30,000|
|The Gubbio Project Inc||Housing & Homeless Prevention||$20,000|
|Eden I&R||Information & Referral||$30,000|
|United Way of the Bay Area||Information & Referral||$20,000|
|California Association of Food Banks||Policy & Emerging Needs||$30,000|
|California Food Policy Advocates||Policy & Emerging Needs||$30,000|
|Western Center on Law and Poverty||Policy & Emerging Needs||$30,000|
2019 financial information, including audits, tax returns and investment performance, can be found on our website.
General Operating Support Project Support Capital