$577 million in grants,
65 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.

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2018

2017

July

2017

Welcoming Raquiba LaBrie

Raquiba LaBrie, a former senior leader with the Open Society Foundations, starts work as program director for the Haas, Jr. Fund’s Education Equity program. Raised in East Oakland, Raquiba comes to the Fund with extensive experience managing grantmaking programs focused on racial justice, immigrant and LGBT rights, education, workforce development and other issues. In her new position, Raquiba directs the Fund’s efforts to close achievement gaps so all students can reach their full potential.

July

2017

Welcoming John Govea

The Haas, Jr. Fund announces the hiring of a new staff leader for its Immigrant Rights program. Descended from Mexican immigrants, John Govea started his career as an attorney representing farmworkers in rural California. Most recently, he managed national programs on childhood obesity and health equity for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At the Haas, Jr. Fund, John is leading its efforts to create equal opportunities for immigrants in California and across the nation. “To join the Fund’s ream at a challenging time for immigrant communities across the country is both a great honor and a profound responsibility,” Govea says.

January

2017

A new leadership team

Jennie Watson and Cathy Cha at Crissy Field Photo by Tue Nam Ton ©

The Fund’s Directors announce that Jennie Lehua Watson, formerly vice president of special initiatives and communications, will serve as interim president of the Fund for two years. Cathy Cha, formerly program director for immigrant rights, is named vice president of programs and will become president of the Fund in January 2019. With a combined 30 years as key leaders with the Fund, Watson and Cha have played integral roles in its work to advance rights and create opportunities for all people.

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2016

December 31

2016

Ira Hirschfield steps down as President

Photo by Charlotte Fiorito ©

After 28 years leading the Fund, President and Director Ira S. Hirschfield steps down at the end of 2016. From the transformation of Crissy Field to the national campaign for marriage equality, Hirschfield played a key leadership role in major initiatives reflecting the Fund’s commitment to advancing rights and creating opportunities for all people.  

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2015

June 26

2015

Love wins, once and for all

Photo by Charlotte Fiorito

The Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality—the result of hard work by movement organizations and millions of people who changed hearts and minds. The Fund has invested $39 million in this historic work since 2001.

2010

February 3

2010

‘There will never be another’

Evelyn D. Haas passes away on Feb. 3rd. Her friend, F. Warren Hellman, says, “There will never be another Evie Haas. She possessed such diverse talents that gave her the courage to accomplish new and sometimes daunting challenges with grace and dignity. San Francisco has lost one of its finest citizens.”

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2008

2007

August

2007

Gifts to a city

Haas

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews the Haas family about their approach to philanthropy and their commitment to transforming lives in the Bay Area.

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2004

2004

Promoting the need for immigration reform

"The Time is Now" sigh at San Francisco May Day Photo by Theo Rigby ©

The Fund invests in direct services for immigrants, litigation, organizing and advocacy at the state and national levels.

2003

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

1998

1995

September 20

1995

Losing our visionary co-founder

Walter A. Haas, Jr., passes away on Sept. 20th. Fund President Ira Hirschfield remarks in his eulogy, “This is a man who never forgot, not even for a day, how blessed he was, and how difficult life is for so many.”

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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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1972

1972

Grantmaking grows with experience

Walter A. Haas, Jr.and Boys Club (flag) with Frank Jordan

The Fund expands its grantmaking to support the elderly, youth, immigrants, equal opportunity, corporate social responsibility, and community initiatives such as hospitals.

 

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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