To contribute to the
quality of life in San
Francisco and the
greater Bay Area...

Grant Programs: General Guidelines

Relationship to the Fund’s Priorities and Mission

We seek to work with organizations whose missions and/or projects are clearly aligned with the Fund’s grantmaking priorities. The Fund’s overall priorities are drawn directly from the lives of Walter and Elise Haas (see About the Fund: Legacy):

  • The importance of individuals taking responsibility for society as a whole;
  • The value of active community involvement and leadership; and
  • The critical role of a healthy and stable nonprofit infrastructure—the organizations that provide the resources, support, and vehicles for engagement.

Our mission highlights the importance of being connected to, and responsible for, one’s community yet we recognize the profound disconnect experienced by individuals, families, and even whole communities. Involvement in one’s community provides the basis for identifying and working towards shared goals, and is a requirement for a just and democratic society. However, significant barriers and inequities must be remedied.

Two Interrelated and Mutually Supportive Goals

The Fund’s intent is to support program designs that, while addressing specific issues and arenas, also build mutually responsible and productive relationships. We believe that as individuals, families, and communities build these meaningful relationships, they will be better equipped to meet the challenges of everyday life, and as a result, our individual and collective quality of life will be enhanced.

Perspective on Grantmaking

The Fund’s Grantmaking reflects a strong set of values. We are particulary interested in:

  • Fresh approaches to addressing the Fund’s defined program areas;
  • Programs that cut across the Fund’s defined program areas;
  • Organizations that demonstrate excellent leadership, including an actively engaged, contributing board of directors;
  • Projects and organizations with multiple sources of support and clear plans for sustaining their work;
  • Organizations that can demonstrate a depth of community involvement in their services and activities;
  • Organizations that work well with other organizations and institutions; and
  • Organizations and programs that consistently gather feedback from constituents, evaluate their work, and incorporate findings in order to strengthen their programs.

The following sections describe the Fund’s four main program areas and identify the key themes and strategies within each.

The parameters for a fifth program area, Other Grantmaking Interests—including Legacy and Mission-related Special Grantmaking—also are outlined, though applications in this area are currently accepted only when invited by the Fund (with one exception–see Other Grantmaking Interests guidelines).

» The Arts
» Economic Security
» Jewish Life
» Education
» Other Grantmaking Interests

LEAP …imagination in learning

LEAP …imagination in learning places artists and architects in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland public schools to teach art and design.


Featured photos by Anne Hamersky