$553 million in grants,
64 years of change­making

Explore our digital timeline to learn more about the Fund’s work and to find out about the heroic accomplishments of the leaders and organizations we have the privilege of supporting.

2012

2011

2010

2010
Walter J. Haas at Presidio Rob Hill Campground with students
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One of the many passions that my parents shared was creating opportunities for people to enjoy great public spaces and to connect with nature... Rob Hill Campground is a tribute to the idea that every single one of us should have the opportunity to camp under the stars, enjoy a s'more cooked over the campfire, and wake up in the woods to the sounds of nature.

Walter J. Haas, chair of the Haas, Jr. Fund at the opening ceremony for Rob Hill Campground
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2009

September

2009

America’s Best Idea

Photo of national park from the Tuan Collection

The Fund supports Ken Burns’ film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, which airs on PBS to large audiences and rave reviews. The Fund also makes the largest grant in PBS history for outreach aimed at communities underrepresented in national parks.

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2008

2007

2007

Promoting Full Equality, State by State

Family in front of home

The Haas, Jr. Fund helps create the State Equality Fund, which supports non-lobbying educational work to promote full equality for gays and lesbians, including safer schools, nondiscrimination protections and civil unions.

2005

2005

Aligning resources for reform

Oakland May Day Rally Photo by Kathy Sloane ©

The Fund joins NEO Philanthropy’s Four Freedoms Fund, a national collaborative of funders working to integrate immigrants into our democracy.

2005

Building strength on the field as well as in the classroom

Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance Photo by OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA ©

The Fund makes a $15 million challenge grant to help construct UC Berkeley’s Student Athlete High Performance Center, a state-of-the art facility that houses both sports training equipment and academic resources for student athletes.

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2004

2004

Introducing The Flexible Leadership Awards

Man presents at a Flexible Leadership Awards Convening

The Fund introduces the Flexible Leadership Awards to help nonprofits and their leaders become even more effective. The program, which launches the following year, provides long-term leadership support to selected Fund grantees.

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2003

2002

2002

Let California Ring

Women prepare for wedding

The Fund makes its first grant to support marriage equality in its home state of California. The grant supports Let California Ring, the largest-ever public education effort on the issue.

2001

2001

Stepping beyond our backyard

Photo by See-ming Lee

The Fund moves beyond local issues and supports state and national causes that reflect Bay Area concerns. The first step: establishing Freedom to Marry to catalyze the national marriage equality movement.

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March

2001

Crissy Field opens

Opening of Crissy field

With years of planning and community support, Crissy Field officially opens with a spectacular celebration in San Francisco. The stunning national park attracts more than a million visitors a year.

1999

1999

Keeping Score with the Symphony

Children at Davies Hall

The Fund helps the San Francisco Symphony expand its national profile and make classical music accessible to more people, including kids. The centerpiece of the effort is Keeping Score, a multimedia project built around a nationally televised PBS series.

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1998

1997

1997

A thriving park for all

View of Golden Gay Bridge from Crissy Field

The Fund grants $18 million for the restoration of Crissy Field ($13.5 million from the Fund and $4.5 from Colleen and Robert Haas). At the time, this is the largest cash gift in the history of the National Park Service.

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1994

1990

1990

A commitment to children, youth and families

Older women

The Fund adopts four priorities for grantmaking: Children, Youth, Families and the Elderly; Strengthening Neighborhoods; Reducing Hunger and Homelessness; and Encouraging Volunteer Service and Philanthropy.

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1960

1960

“It’s in the genes.”

Walter A. Haas, Jr.

The great grand-nephew of Levi Strauss, Walter A. Haas, Jr., helms Levi’s and continues the family tradition of moral leadership, integrating Levi’s sewing factories in the segregated South. Asked about his family’s penchant for giving, he says, “It’s in the genes.”

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1953