Founded On Values

Walter A. Haas, Jr. and Evelyn Danzig Haas started this foundation in 1953, inspired by their vision of a society in which all people can live, work and raise their families with dignity.

Walter and Evelyn’s vision is at the heart of the Haas, Jr. Fund’s commitment to tackle some of society’s most pressing and complex issues. Our founders’ values—fairness, equality, and opportunity—continue to inspire us to build community, demonstrate compassion and empathy, and confront injustice.

Find Out More About Our Founders Read Our Mission Statement

I always seemed to have a consciousness about people who really struggled with great challenges and adversity, while trying to live positive, productive and healthy lives. Evie and I wanted our Fund to help those in need and to try to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s most gratifying when the Fund, quietly, can help people help themselves.

Walter A. Haas, Jr.

Family Leadership

Under the family’s leadership, the Fund leverages its partnerships and grantmaking to make a positive difference across five priorities:

Philanthropy runs deep in the Haas, Jr. family.

Walter A. Haas, Jr.’s great-great-uncle, Levi Strauss, immigrated to San Francisco from Bavaria in 1853. He started a dry-goods house that grew into a prosperous business, eventually becoming Levi Strauss & Co. Strauss was a donor to organizations serving children and the poor, as well as to U.C. Berkeley. He was credited in a 1902 obituary for his “numberless unostentatious acts of charity in which neither race nor creed were recognized.”

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A Tradition of Changemaking

Building on a long family history of philanthropy and community leadership, the Haas, Jr. Fund partners with other organizations to find common ground, to dream, and to take action to improve people’s lives. In our local community, throughout our state and across the nation, the Fund strives to advance rights and opportunities so that all people can have a chance to live the American dream.

Crissy Field
Crissy Field

Once a military airfield, Crissy Field was created through unprecedented community input and volunteer efforts, and continues to serve as a place for connection and inspiration for all.

San Francisco Unified School District
San Francisco
Unified School District

Despite being one of the highest-performing urban districts in California, too many students are still being left behind. District leaders and teachers are helping to improve life chances for all kids.

Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund
Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund

Since 1986 the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund has channeled the Bay Area’s compassion into emergency assistance for individuals and families who are facing hard times.

New Americans Campaign
New Americans Campaign

There are eight million eligible green card-holders who live, work and pay taxes in this country, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. NAC is working to help reduce the barriers to citizenship for aspiring Americans.

Freedom to Marry
Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry works with a diverse group of organizations toward winning marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples nationwide, as a step toward full equality for gays and lesbians.

Flexible Leadership Awards
Flexible Leadership Awards

The FLAs provide long-terms leadership support to grantees who are working on some of society’s most pressing social issues, while dealing with the day-to-day challenges of leading their organizations.