From the Board


John D. Goldman, President of the Board of Directors
John D. Goldman
President of the Board

Dear Friends and Colleagues:


The Walter and Elise Haas Fund is an enduring expression of the philanthropic values of my grandparents. Along with my cousins and nephew, I am proud to be a part of continuing Walter and Elise Haas's legacy, providing ongoing stewardship of our resources. Every page of the Fund's 2007 Annual Report is a testimony to our family's commitment to community, which began long before the Fund was formally established in 1952.


We have been fortunate to have enjoyed the dedication and talents of our staff, each of whom has made significant and impactful contributions to the work of the Fund. One of the most striking outcomes of the Fund's 2007 survey of our grantees, referenced in our Executive Director's letter, was the high regard in which grantees hold the Fund's professional staff. Our program officers are valued not just for the financial resources directed to grantees, but also for their intelligence, experience, and contributions to their fields. Additionally, staff was praised for the respectful ways in which they interact with grantees. The board was pleased to learn that the values we believe guide our philanthropic work are, indeed, those experienced by our grantees.


In 2007, the board reaffirmed the Fund's continuing focus on our key program areas - the arts, public education, economic security for the working poor, and Jewish life. At the same time, we recognize the importance of adjusting our strategies as necessary to increase our effectiveness and impact.  In this light, the trustees agreed to some important revisions of our education program in mid-2007. We remain deeply committed to improving educational equity, as well as addressing the deep racial and economic disparities in achievement. We are doing so, however, with a new emphasis on supporting effective school leaders and strong school communities that leads to improved outcomes for students in our public schools.


While this letter serves as an introduction to our 2007 Annual Report, I also need to acknowledge the worsening economic conditions we are now facing. The Fund's trustees are committed to thoughtfully balancing our charge to preserve the Fund's endowment for the next generations of family members, while concurrently addressing critical community needs. The Walter & Elise Haas Fund will continue to be an important partner to the Bay Area, through both good and hard times.


Thank you for your interest in the Fund's work.


Best regards,

John D. Goldman

John D. Goldman

President, Board of Trustees