Our Focus

At the Walter & Elise Haas Fund we believe in collaborating with partners whose work provides access and opportunity, building a more equitable community. We invest in our Bay Area neighbors because doing so fosters a more just and vibrant society for current and future generations.

Our Approach

Our grantmaking reflects our values:

  • Family: protecting, caring, and planning for future generations today
  • Shared Responsibility: embracing collective action
  • Belonging: seeking equity and justice to make a “we” possible
  • Possibility: fostering a society in which we all thrive

The Fund has been shifting its profile from a traditional grantmaker to a trust-based one, changing how we work with grantseekers and grantees. Where we can alleviate the burden on the people seeking and living our grants, we do: accepting proposals and reports to other funders and doing the heavy lifting of sourcing due diligence attachments from public sources; fostering right relationship through humility, gratitude, and recognition for past harms. When we ask for insights from grantseekers, we share back how we’ve used that insight, and compensate individuals for their labor.

We have a bias for multi-year, general operating support, with “deliverables” and “impact” defined by grantees, not by us. Rather than impose metrics upon grantees, we seek to learn with and from them.

We ask how we can support our grantees beyond the dollars: building connections with other funders, supporting the growth of the people and systems within grantee organizations, and answering their call to transform the conditions that ignite their work.

Our grantmaking is guided by operational pillars. Read more about them here.


New Work Ahead

On November 1, 2023 we paused the letter of inquiry program. We are using the pause to reflect on past grantmaking and engage with community in the design of grantmaking that integrates our support of the arts, disaster and climate resilience, Jewish life, and racial justice. In 2024, we are looking back at what these programs have accomplished, lifting what they share in common, engaging grantees and community to help us shape the Fund’s grantmaking for social well-being, and deepening our support for culture, community, and connection.

We are working with current grantees of the Fund in these programs to provide continuing support during the Fund’s integration, and cultivate their insights for the work ahead.

Grant Opportunities

The window for application to Arts, Disaster and Climate Resilience, Jewish life, and Racial Justice programs is closed.

  • No new grants will be awarded under these programs in 2024.
  • Click here to subscribe to our announcement list about the program integration, including opportunities to participate in our co-design.

There are two windows for application to Economic Well-being programs in 2024.

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