We established our foundation in 1997, compelled to respond to widening economic disparities and the fact that too many families were being excluded from the economic good times of the region and the nation. The visible increase in wealth starkly contrasted with the poverty that so clearly still persisted throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our first priority, therefore, was supporting nonprofits that help underserved youth and their families have better access to services and opportunities that improve their lives. The difficult economic years that followed made these needs even more pressing and apparent, reinforcing our commitment that each of us shares responsibility to help our community in whatever way we can.
Over time, our philanthropic priorities have grown to include, among other areas, supporting the arts and improving health outcomes for patients and their families, with a particular focus on those struggling with autoimmune disease and autism. With a significant increase in the foundation’s assets between 2011 and 2012, we expanded our activities, opening an office in San Francisco and adding to our professional staff.
We also believe that foundations should leverage positive change beyond the good that comes from making grants. In March 2014, we joined Divest-Invest Philanthropy. Along with others, we have committed to divest the foundation’s assets entirely from fossil fuel enterprises and reinvest in clean energy alternatives, in the name of good stewardship and responsible action in fighting climate change.
This is an exciting new chapter for the foundation, enabling us to better respond to community needs and address the issues about which we care so deeply.
Marcia & John Goldman