Pamela H. David
Executive Director's Message
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Thank you for taking the time to read the Walter & Elise Haas Fund's 2010 Annual Report. As our board president, Jennifer C. Haas, notes in her accompanying letter, the Fund took several steps in 2010 to support the organizational and financial stability of our grantees. We maintained a grants budget similar to that of 2009, and reinstated multiyear grantmaking. In addition, we continued to provide flexibility to our grantees as events unfolded, allowing them to revise programs, budgets, and grant objectives as necessary to maintain effectiveness in this difficult economic environment. The Fund's Safety Net Initiative also continued, putting over $1 million of grants to work providing basic food and housing needs to hard hit individuals and families on both sides of the San Francisco Bay.
In prior periods of economic tightening, it was the norm to hear the refrain "we have to do more with less" coming from both grantees and funders. We recognize, however, that year-after-year belt tightening has a limit, and that reduced budgets ultimately impact the quantity of programming, if not the quality. As the budget crisis has continued, our trustees and staff have watched those who work for our grantee organizations make enormous sacrifices in salaries, benefits, and opportunities for professional development. We've also watched as nonprofit leaders have had to make difficult and painful decisions to pare down their work, lay off staff, or, at the extreme, close their doors.
Thus, one of our main goals in 2010 was to be a steady and reliable partner - with our grantees and with our colleagues in local government and at other philanthropic institutions. We believe that the data contained in our 2010 Annual Report confirms we met that goal. We remain committed to continuing to strive for that goal in 2011 and beyond. We understand that the real work to build and sustain our communities gets done by our grantees; we have the privilege and honor of supporting them with both financial and intellectual resources. We remain grateful for the opportunity to serve.
All the best,
Pamela H. David