From the Board


Dear Friends and Colleagues:


I am pleased to present to you the Walter and Elise Haas Fund's 2008 Annual Report. This year, the Board has steered a steady course through turbulent economic waters, while staying true to my grandparents' vision of building a healthy, just and vibrant society.

With great challenges currently facing the country and the San Francisco Bay Area, our family's commitment to supporting our community becomes all the more important. We at the Fund are working closely with our grantees to help them adjust to the current economic downturn while preserving their important programs and services.

Regarding the Fund's own financial position, the Board's policy of using the average market value of the endowment over the past three years to establish our grantmaking levels provides a degree of protection against the uncertainties in the financial markets. We do intend to award nearly the same amount of grant funding in 2009 as we did in 2008, but we will forego new multi-year commitments until the economy stabilizes. We will also be carefully considering our grantmaking in 2010, based on the yield of our endowment and general economic conditions.

That said, we remain focused on nurturing community through our programs in the arts, public education, economic security for the working poor, and Jewish life. This past year, the board adopted new guidelines for our Jewish life grantmaking, which should result in more effective grantmaking that can meet the needs of the American Jewish community for the 21st century.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and extend our Trustee's appreciation to the exceptional performance by Pam David and our Fund's staff. Together, they have worked as a cohesive team to face today's challenges with skill and sensitivity; individually, their knowledge and commitment is truly exemplary. We are indeed fortunate to have such a fine collective of professionals involved in our efforts to better our society.

Thank you for your interest in the Fund's activities. We look forward to working with you to continue our family's legacy of social responsibility.

Best regards,

John D. Goldman

John D. Goldman

President, Board of Trustees

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