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More CA Organizations Promise to Make Charitable Dollars Work Harder

September 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - Californians can feel more confident their donated dollars are going to those who need it the most. Eight more charitable foundations from the Golden State are taking a pledge to direct more of their dollars to under-served communities, with a focus on finding solutions to social problems. The groups join nearly 100 nationwide who have signed "Philanthropy's Promise" to direct at least half of their grants to causes that benefit the poor, the elderly, and other groups.

Sandra Hernandez, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, says it's a strategy her organization has used for years.

"Institutional racism, looking at how you lift up newcomers, supporting advocacy on a variety of different levels, and working in the policy arena with local elected officials - we've been doing this for 65 years."

Hernandez says that, in this economy, it's even more important than ever that charitable dollars be directed to those who need it the most.

"Particularly at this time in our country's history, where there are very difficult economic times, it is an important time to have this conversation about what is it that philanthropy should be trying to do."

To date, 96 foundations have signed on to the Promise, representing nearly $3 billion in annual giving.

The other California groups that recently joined Philanthropy's Promise include: The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; East Bay Community Foundation; Fund for Santa Barbara; John M. Lloyd Foundation; San Diego Foundation for Change; United Way of the Bay Area, and Women's Foundation of California.

The Philanthropy's Promise website is

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA