San Francisco Foundations

By Arleda

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    "Personal Philanthropy"

    San Francisco's wealthy families pursuing personal philanthropy and instilling their children with the importance and expectation of philanthropy. Period overlaps with the establishment of the first family foundations and leads to the founding of the San Francisco Foundation.
  • Ladies Protective and Relief Society

    Established to assist dependent women and children who through unfortunate circumstances need suitable shelter and protection. Still in operation as a private operating foundation providing nursing and elder care.
  • Mary A. Crocker Trust
    The Mary A. Crocker Trust was established in 1889 by the four children of Mary Crocker, making it the oldest family foundation west of the Mississippi. Five family members now serve as Trustees. The Trust distributes 5% of its asset value, or approximately $500,000 a year, to charitable organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The average grant size ranges from $10,000 to $25,000.
  • Levi Strauss endowed 28 scholarships to UC Berkeley (half of them going to women).


  • "Twelve Kindly Millionaires"

    Proposing the development of a community foundation: Merrill, Crocker, Fleishhacker, Shoup, Miller. For San Francisco's general and public welfare.
  • The Rosenberg Foundation

    The first foundation west of the Mississippi with paid staff.
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    Founding of Family Foundations

  • Irvine Foundation

  • Elbridge Stuart Foundation

  • Columbia Foundation

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    Consultation of those in Need

    2nd stage of proposals to SF Foundations beginning in the late 1940s -- "in which the idea was to consult those who most needed houses and education and jobs in developing new services, rather than to decide for them what they needed."
  • San Francisco Foundation

    Established with a grant from the Columbia Foundation.
  • Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund

  • Levi Strauss Foundation

  • Walter and Elise Haas Fund

  • Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

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    Professionalization of Philanthropy

    Foundation boards concerned with developing orderly procedures and introduction of new awareness.
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    Diversivication of Leadership

    "If a proposal, and the organization making it, is based on the principle that poor folk, minorities, or the handicapped have abilities to be respected and encouraged, then it follows that...the staff director of the organization should be a member of the group served, both as a recognition and as opportunity."
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    Self Determination

    "" indigenous group determines on its own that something needs to be done and puts together its own, usually fluid, organization to do it."
  • Vanguard Foundation

    Established in 1972, the Vanguard Public Foundation was among the first of the social justice foundations established by the young scions of wealthy families, inheritors of corporate fortunes who were devoted to supporting a progressive, very liberal social and political agenda. One of the first of the "rich kid foundations," Vanguard was heralded as an inspiring model of a new generation's remaking of philanthropy.
  • Koret Foundation

  • Vangard Closes

  • Goldman Split

    The fund shut its doors and the existing foundations of John and Douglass Goldman and their sister, Susan Gelman, will recieve whatever assets are in the fund's pot.
  • Columbia Closes

    The foundation's $72 million in assets will be distributed to three successor family foundations fun by Madeleine Haas Russel's children.