From the Executive Director
Pamela H. David, Executive Director
Pamela H. David
Executive Director

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letters from the
Executive Director]

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

An essential part of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund's mission is to help create a society in which people feel a sense of responsibility and connection to those around them. The financial challenges that began in 2008 challenged us all, including the Fund's staff and trustees, to reevaluate and strengthen that commitment to our communities.

We have done our best to serve as a resource for grantees as they have had to adapt to the changing economic climate. Towards the end of 2008, our trustees established a new "safety net" program; as a result, we began to make a set of grants to key Bay Area organizations helping families and individuals with basic needs, such as food and shelter. This Safety Net Initiative will be continued into 2009, and, if necessary, 2010.

For several years, the Fund has played an important role in supporting disaster preparedness across our community, as well as providing core operating grants to American Jewish World Service and International Rescue Committee to maintain their ability to respond to disasters around the globe. In this past year, we took important steps to improve our own disaster preparedness, and are encouraging other foundations to do the same. We have done so both to protect the health and safety of our staff and to ensure that our Fund will be able to continue operations and assist with recovery in the case of an emergency.

I am greatly honored to work for a board of trustees that takes its stewardship of resources and commitment to community seriously, and with a staff that provides exemplary leadership in all that they do. In looking back at 2008, we made wise investments of our human and financial capital, and hope to continue demonstrating the same levels of diligence, thoughtfulness, and respect for the nonprofit sector. I am also proud of our ongoing work to build more effective relationships with local government. We have been particularly engaged on two large scale initiatives, Communities of Opportunity and HopeSF, created to reduce poverty and rebuild public housing in San Francisco's southeastern neighborhoods.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Walter and Elise Haas Fund's 2008 Annual Report. We look forward to continuing to work with you to build a healthy, just and vibrant society.


All the best,

Pamela H. David

Executive Director