Snapshots of Philanthropy is a special year-long series that aims to better demonstrate the scope and impact of our members’ work. These short “snapshot” stories showcase the positive impact organized philanthropy has in northern California, and will be used to educate external audiences about why our members fund who they fund, and what changes are happening as a result of these investments. Learn more about the series and read other stories online.
This week’s Snapshot features the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund in San Francisco. On January 19, 2011, the Fund announced plans to cease operations on December 31, 2012 after more than 60 years of operation. Founder Richard Goldman, who passed away in November 2010, had long planned to have the fund disbanded following his death. The remaining assets will be divided among the foundations of his three children. Read a recent NCG blog post to learn more.
Latest Snapshot: Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
Lands End, a national park at the edge of San Francisco that is part of the Golden Gate National Parks system, attracts more than one million visitors each year. Its trails and rocky coastline offer breathtaking 30-mile views stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands and Point Reyes to the Farallon Islands and Pacific Ocean. The area attracts many local visitors as well as out-of-town tourists because of its close proximity to a large residential neighborhood and easy access by public transportation.
Unfortunately, by the late 1990s, the Lands End area had fallen into disrepair as a result of years of wear and tear, vandalism, landslides and overgrown vegetation, making it a dangerous and less attractive recreation destination.
At the same time, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, a private family foundation with a long history of supporting restoration projects in the Golden Gate National Parks System, was exploring new opportunities for improving local parks for the people of San Francisco.
The Goldman Fund reached out to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for help in identifying places where restoration efforts could make a real impact. Lands End caught their attention. The project was attractive because the area was used by a diverse group of San Francisco residents, and the Parks Conservancy knew they could mobilize strong volunteer support from the community for the effort. In addition, the Goldman Fund knew that the Parks Conservancy had a strong track record of leveraging private philanthropic funds to increase federal funding for improving these parks.
The two groups formed a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and launched an effort in 2004 to restore and revitalize the trails, forests and native habitats at Lands End. Since then, the Goldman Fund has donated $8.6 million to this collaborative undertaking. The area has been transformed with paved parking areas, a new scenic overlook with benches and safety walls, expanded trails, improved visitor amenities, and restored views of the ocean by trimming back trees and other growth.
The restoration efforts have also attracted robust community support through a volunteer program run by the Parks Conservancy and NPS called the Lands End Stewardship Program which has close to 900 community members working to take care of the park. Along the way, other organizations such as the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the California Coastal Conservancy have offered support to the project as well.
In 2010, the project was honored with an award from San Francisco Beautiful for improving the quality of life in San Francisco.
There is more work to underway to continue to enhance this special place, but the project has made huge steps towards restoring Lands End to a beautiful, safe recreation area for all to enjoy.
Read Snapshot 1: S.H. Cowell Foundation online.
Read Snapshot 2: Horizons Foundation online.
Read Snapshot 3: The James Irvine Foundation online.
Read Snapshot 4: The Christensen Fund online.
Read Snapshot 5: Sierra Health Foundation online.
Read Snapshot 6: Akonadi Foundation online.
Learn more about NCG’s Snapshots of Philanthropy series online.