Author Archives: The Walter & Elise Haas Fund

  1. Introducing the Generational Recovery Fund

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    The Walter & Elise Haas Fund is honored to participate in and support the Generational Recovery Fund, a pooled fund dedicated to the recovery of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: The Bay Area’s youth. Its first round of grants distributes $1.5 million to fifteen youth-serving nonprofits in San Francisco.


    About the Generational Recovery Fund

    The Generational Recovery Fund (GRF) recognizes the power philanthropy has to help counter the potentially disastrous, pandemic-related consequences faced by young people — especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). On top of personal and economic losses, this generation of youth has lived through a crucial year and a half of their lives dealing with isolation, illness, and uncertainty.

    Over the past four months, the Generational Recovery Fund raised a first tranche of over $1.5 million to be disseminated as general operating support grants. This first round of grants aids fifteen youth-serving nonprofits in addressing priorities identified by youth themselves: wellness, learning, and jobs.

    While Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) facilitates the GRF with pooled fund support from Amalgamated Foundation, the GRF is independent by design. And its grant making decisions are made by an independent team of youth and adults.

    Centered on Youth

    It is important to us that the GRF not only invests in youth, but also that it centers on youth at every turn. Youth voices guided the creation of the GRF in April 2021, highlighting their needs beginning in those first weeks of California’s initial shelter-in-place order. Youth co-designed the pillars and priorities for the Generational Recovery Fund’s first round of grants. Alongside other community members, youth nominated organizations for potential grants, joined panels to provide direction on grantmaking, and worked alongside adults in making final decisions.

    The GRF holds to heart the belief that nonprofit resilience today will translate to youth resilience both today and tomorrow. That’s part of why Generational Recovery Fund grants are intentionally given as general operating support grants. It’s also why GRF grants are made over a time period determined by each recipient organization, so nonprofits can respond to their community’s immediate needs while planning for long-term recovery.

    Grantmaking Details

    Generational Recovery Fund grantmaking is directed towards youth aged five to eighteen, and especially to BIPOC youth in that age range. It also favors organizations run by BIPOC leadership, that are deeply rooted in the community, and that offer youth compensated leadership positions. Among the three focus areas of the Generational Recovery Fund (wellness, learning, and jobs), youth prioritized those addressing wellness and jobs.

    From an initial list of over 40 nominated organizations, fifteen were awarded grants. Nonprofits receiving grants:

    • train and pay youth as environmental educators and community stewards;
    • organize systems-impacted girls and gender-expansive youth of color to campaign and lead the work to decriminalize girls;
    • empower Samoan and Pacific Islander elementary school youth through their culture;
    • teach low-income working youth about transforming their first paychecks into economic mobility pathways, so they can then train youth-serving nonprofits in the same; and
    • pay youth to support elders’ rental assistance needs and to run a community food pantry.

    Learn more about all fifteen grantees on the Generational Recovery Fund website.

    What Comes Next

    The process of growing this emerging fund has been extraordinary, from the ready generosity of the eight different foundations involved, to the incredible tenacity of the nominated nonprofits — we wish only that we had been able to provide grants to all of the recommended organizations. $1.5 million is worth celebrating and also not nearly enough.

    Please consider helping the Generational Recovery Fund do more for youth.

    These grants represent only the Generational Recovery Fund’s first round. We want your help in strengthening the process, whether by focusing the areas of support; adjusting our direction to match specific, local community needs; or by providing funds. Already, participating funders are convening to consider grantmaking needs in the East Bay for the next round of giving. Let’s do more, together.


  2. Welcome Jamie Allison-Hope, New W&EHF Executive Director


    The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that effective February 1, Jamie Allison-Hope will succeed Pam David as Executive Director of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

    Ms. Allison-Hope is currently Vice President Programs at the S. H. Cowell Foundation. Pam David, the Fund’s ED for 15 years, stepped down as planned at the close of 2017 — she is now pursuing the next phase of her career.

    In the 65-year history of the Fund, it has had only had two Executive Directors, making Ms. Allison-Hope its third. Board President, Peter E. Haas, Jr. extends his congratulations and welcome to Jamie Allison-Hope:

    We’re so pleased to have someone of Jamie’s caliber joining with us to lead the Fund in its future work. Jamie is devoted to developing the kind of leadership that brings a more healthy, just, and vibrant society closer to hand for everyone. Through her work with S. H. Cowell Foundation, she understands how crucial it is to ensure access and create opportunity for all in the Bay Area and beyond. On behalf of my fellow trustees and staff, I’m thrilled to extend to Jamie the warmest of possible welcomes. We are very much looking forward to working with her.

    Jamie Allison-Hope has helped lead the S. H. Cowell Foundation since 2006, beginning as the Program Officer in charge of Youth Development grantmaking. She became a Senior Program Officer in 2012, her portfolio growing to encompass Affordable Housing and management of program-related investments (PRIs). Then, she took over the role of Vice President Programs for S. H. Cowell Foundation in 2016.

    Ms. Allison-Hope grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Economics at the University of Tennessee. She earned her Masters from the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Her breadth of civic involvement includes serving on the board of The Whitman Institute, a philanthropy focused on promoting equity, among other priorities.

    Ms. Allison-Hope says:

    Being asked to build on the legacy of the Fund’s work is an extraordinary opportunity. It’s also a privilege, and one I’m honored and thrilled to have been asked to take on. The Fund’s mission of building a healthy, just, and vibrant society is one to which I have long been personally committed — and it’s one that’s vitally important for all of us to invest in right now. I look forward to helping to lead the Fund into its next phase of work and to adding my creativity and innovation to what Pam David, the family, staff, and so many others have built.

    Over its long existence, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has remained focused on the areas of support Walter A. Haas, Sr. and Elise Stern Haas identified in 1952. Their sense of responsibility for society, their active involvement and leadership, and their respect for community found a strong champion in Pam David.

    Among other achievements, Pam extended the Fund’s giving to include a portfolio to address economic security for the working poor and built upon the Fund’s commitment to collaborative partnerships and community initiatives that continue to improve lives in the Bay Area and beyond. Pam predicts Ms. Allison-Hope will find great success at the Fund:

    Jamie Allison-Hope is an inspired selection by our board of trustees. She is an experienced and thoughtful leader who shares the family’s and my values and perspective on the role of philanthropy in our communities. I am confident that she will not just continue the Fund’s legacy of being a reliable partner, facilitator, and funder, but will take the Fund to new heights of relevance and effectiveness. It has been an honor to lead the Fund for the past 15 years, and I am so happy to have Jamie step in at this difficult time for the nonprofit sector and the communities to which we hold ourselves accountable.

    Please join us in welcoming Jamie Allison-Hope to the Walter & Elise Haas Fund!

  3. Pam David to Step Down as W&EHF Executive Director

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    The Board of Trustees of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has announced that Executive Director Pam David will step down at the end of 2017, bringing her successful 15-year tenure to a close. During Ms. David’s stewardship, the vision and legacy of Walter and Elise Haas was enhanced and expanded for a new generation of trustees and residents of the continually evolving Bay Area.

    Leading by Example

    During her tenure as Executive Director, Ms. David built upon the Fund’s commitment to collaborative partnerships and community initiatives that continue to improve lives in the Bay Area and beyond. Under her leadership, the Fund launched an effective program area addressing economic security for the working poor, continued its commitment to public education, celebrated the Creative Work Fund’s 20th anniversary, and supported innovation in the Jewish community. Additionally, a $1 million annual Safety Net fund was created, helping communities respond to urgent food access and shelter needs. The Fund also played a leadership role in strengthening the capacity of anchor institutions in low-income neighborhoods to respond to disaster.

    Ms. David’s ability to bridge the gulf between the nonprofit, philanthropic, and government sectors increased the Fund’s effectiveness and reach at every level. Of particular note, she served as a board member and chair of Northern California Grantmakers and provided leadership to HOPE SF, San Francisco’s signature initiative to improve the lives of public housing residents.

    Inspired to Make a Difference

    Board chair William Goldman, a fourth-generation descendant of Walter and Elise Haas, said, “We have benefitted greatly from Pam’s ability to facilitate difficult conversations, find common ground, and build effective cross-sector partnerships. While Pam will step down at the end of this year, we know she will continue to offer her leadership and experience to benefit the social good. We applaud and honor all she has achieved as she approaches this next phase of her career.”

    Pam David, speaking of her departure, said, “I have had the immense honor of working with three generations of Haas family trustees and a staff that defines the word ‘excellence.’ I am grateful for the Trustees’ leadership, their critical support, and their enduring commitment.”

    Ms. David will serve as Executive Director of the Haas Sr. Fund until the end of December 2017. The trustees have begun planning for this important leadership transition and have launched a comprehensive search for her successor.

    About the Walter & Elise Haas Sr. Fund

    The San Francisco Bay Area’s Walter & Elise Haas Fund works to ensure access and create opportunity. Its support of a healthy, just, and vibrant society focuses on the arts, economic security, education, Jewish life, and safety net services that benefit people on the margins. The Fund was established in 1952.

  4. EVENT: How (& Why) Higher Ed. Contributes to Community

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    We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for a free event focusing on higher education’s role in building just and sustainable communities. We hope you will attend.

    Building Just and Sustainable Communities:
    Are Colleges and Universities Doing Their Part?

    February 21, 2017, reception 5 – 6 pm | program 6 -7 pm
    Presidio Trust South Gallery
    Presidio Trust Headquarters – 103 Montgomery St., the Presidio

    Colleges and universities have both special responsibilities and distinctive opportunities in creating strong and healthy communities. At their best, they contribute not only by preparing students for lives of engaged citizenship, but also by supporting research and institutional practices that serve the public good. In a moment of renewed focus on how local institutions can contribute to the sustainability of democracy, join us for a conversation about how higher education is rising to the challenge and building cross-sector collaborations to do so.

    Offered in partnership by Presidio Trust and California Campus Compact, this engaging evening of conversation features remarks by California Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn, followed by responses from the W&EHF’s Executive Director, Pam David, and Sheryl Evans Davis, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

    [Register here]


  5. Successfully Navigating Leadership Transitions

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    created by Proletkult Graphik from Noun Project

    We are excited to share news of the California launch of What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition, a program for long-time nonprofit leaders who anticipate transitioning out of their leadership roles within the next five years.

    We know that leadership transitions — especially those of long-time leaders — raise specific challenges and opportunities for executives, boards, and organizations. This three-day program helps. It helps late-career leaders to explore their legacy; supports boards in preparing for new leadership; and strengthens organizational readiness for change.

    Each What’s Next program invites executives to two intensive retreats bolstered by coaching and a peer network that encourages thoughtful reflection on preparing for change. Leadership transitions may be inevitable but there’s no reason why well-planned transitions have to remain as rare as they currently are in the nonprofit sector.

    The Walter & Elise Haas Fund partners with The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, The Durfee Foundation, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in order to offer What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition sessions in California for the first time. We’re doing this because we believe well-considered leadership transitions ought to be the norm.

    As some leaders may not yet be ready to broadcast their plans, inquiries about or participation in this program will be kept entirely confidential. All inquiries and participant selection will be managed by Third Sector New England, the organization that has provided this program to more than 65 leaders to date.

    Northern and Southern California sessions of What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition are open to late-career leaders from any nonprofit sector, but space is limited.

    Cohorts will meet in:

    • Petaluma, March 20 to 22 and June 11 to 13
    • Santa Barbara, March 14 to 16 and June 4 to 6

    The deadline to submit applications is February 8, 2017.

    For more information, visit

  6. Pam David Appointed Berkeley–Haas Social Impact Fellow

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    pamela-davidWalter & Elise Haas Fund Executive Director Pam David has, with honor, accepted an appointment to serve as a Berkeley–Haas Social Impact Fellow.

    Based at the Institute for Business & Social Impact (IBSI), University of California Berkeley–Haas School of Business, this program — now in its second year — invites professionals of exceptional talent and experience to serve as mentors to students. Fellows join panel discussions, attend events, and share their expertise with students and faculty. Through these contributions of time and thought, Fellows work in collaboration to amplify the social impact of an emerging generation of future leaders.

    Ben Mangan, Executive Director and Lecturer at the Center for Social Sector Leadership, describes the program as one that brings expertise and experience from the front lines of social impact direct to students. Choosing Social Impact Fellows is challenging, he says. The process requires narrowing a large initial list of potential candidates down into a much smaller group, one that can add a significant and diverse range of insights to the Berkeley–Haas experience.

    Mr. Mangan says of Pam’s appointment, “She has such a distinguished career that spans multiple sectors — being a pioneer in the LGBTQ community and movement for equality, serving as a public servant, and on through her leadership at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund. We try to select fellows who have this kind of breadth of experience. Pam will be an exemplary Fellow in this regard.”

    Pam adds:

    I am honored to have been invited to be a Social Impact Fellow. I started my career teaching Women’s Studies at San Francisco State and have always loved going back into college classrooms to share my experiences and perspective. I look forward to connecting with — and learning from — the next generation of business and social sector leaders. And I am honored to work with such respected leaders as Laura Tyson and Ben Mangan.

    Pam joins three Fellows returning from the inaugural 2015-16 year — Jorge Calderon, William Rosenzweig, and Jennifer Walske — along with three newly appointed Social Impact Fellows, Christy Chin, Robert Eccles, and Susanne Stormer for a full cohort of seven.

    Speaking of the inaugural group of Berkeley–Haas Social Impact Fellows, IBSI Director Laura Tyson said:

    “These fellows share one thing in common: they are changing the world with their deep and meaningful work connected to social impact and we are honored to welcome them to Haas. As the fellows become actively engaged on campus… we expect that they will create great new conversations, and strengthen their relationships with the Institute and with Haas.”


  7. NCG Member Spotlight on Frances Phillips

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    Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) — a support network for philanthropic organizations such as the Walter & Elise Haas Fund — unites stakeholders to address imposing issues and achieve shared goals. It also, today, published an interview with Frances Phillips, our Program Director, the Arts and Creative Work Fund.

    If you don’t yet know Frances, here’s an opportunity to discover a little bit about who she is, where she comes from, and how she thinks. The Haas Sr. Fund is a foundation built on people and the power of collaboration — Frances has been a key part of that for over twenty years.

    We’re happy, with the assistance of NCG, to help you two to get acquainted.

    Read the interview on NCG


  8. A Call for Tax Reform is a Call for Equity

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    The Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility recently sent around a compelling call to action on the issue of national tax reform. As the Tax Alliance clearly and correctly points out, an important goal of our tax system—beyond funding the government—is to aid Americans in developing their financial security.

    In this goal the system has failed.

    The current sprawling tax code favors the wealthy by an untenable margin. Its parade of deductions, credits, exclusions, and other loopholes provides more benefit to the top one percent of households than it does to those earning dramatically less. It leaves those Americans who most require assistance in building financial assets, such as savings for retirement, educational expenses or business development, with virtually no help.

    The Tax Alliance’s call for tax reform is essentially a call for equity—a call that resonates with the Fund, as equity drives our work. This initiative from the Tax Alliance also requires cross-sector collaboration, a central tenet of how we at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund (W&EHF) pursue our goals.

    While this campaign from the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility is new, the push for economic equity is not, and it is certainly not new for W&EHF.

    More than a decade ago, we launched the grantmaking area we call Economic Security for the Working Poor to address the widening income and asset gaps that separate the struggling from the affluent. At that time, work in this field was limited, though a few strong voices were helping to both draw attention and build momentum. From early on, working with our innovative grantees and foundation colleagues in the Asset Funders Network, W&EHF staff and trustees realized that developing economic security for the working poor ultimately required policy change at the state and federal levels.

    That means tax reform—not in a progressive vs. conservative political manner, but in a bipartisan fashion, one that logically addresses failing policies of the current system. The Walter & Elise Haas Fund is proud to be an early and consistent supporter of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility. Our work on tax reform has taught us much and continues to teach us important lessons about collaboration, consensus, and perseverance. Working together we are building the foundation for significant policy shifts that will improve the economic well-being of millions of Americans.

  9. W&EHF Grant Supports New San Francisco Office of Strategic Partnerships

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    Pam David appears in the City of San Francisco’s latest press release announcing Mayor Lee’s appointment of Colin Lacon as Director of Strategic Partnerships.

    With increasing and diverse demands for government services, traditional governmental models are challenged to address the complicated and interrelated issues facing municipalities in the 21st Century, and public-private partnerships allow governments to take advantage of the expertise and human and financial resources of the private and non-profit sectors. Several states and cities have established “Offices of Strategic Partnerships” to coordinate these efforts.

    The Mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships will work closely with the philanthropic and non-profit community as well as City agencies to establish new partnerships to address the City’s highest priorities and to align and coordinate existing public-private partnerships including HOPE SF and the Mayor’s Middle Grades Leadership Initiative and the more than 80 other existing collaborations.

    We are excited to collaborate with the Mayor and our funding partners the Hellman Family Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and the Silver Giving Foundation on this important position. Having our work more aligned and strategic will have even greater impact on our city and the investments being made by the philanthropic community.

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