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Columbia Foundation (1940–projected: 2013)

Total Assets (approx. as of 2012 spend-down decision): $83,965,658  [1]

Total Giving: $85,000,000

Total Giving (FY2013): $4,469,315  [2]

Prominent Grants: Focus areas included arts, human rights, sustainable food and farming. Notable grants were also awarded to several Jewish organizations.

Summary: Columbia Foundation was started in 1940 by Madeleine Haas Russell and William Haas with a mission to further public welfare. The Foundation originally distributed grants to support the continuing college education of Japanese-American youth from the internment camps and to provide birth-control education and supplies to migrant women. It also provided a start-up grant to establish the San Francisco Foundation. Since then, the foundation’s broad philanthropic purpose has given it the flexibility to respond to changing social conditions. Long-standing interests in world peace, human rights, the environment, cross-cultural and international understanding, the quality of urban life, and the arts have evolved to reflect current conditions and opportunities.

In 2013, Madeleine Haas Russell’s children decided the best way for the family to continue its philanthropic tradition was to shut down the Columbia Foundation and divide the remaining funds between three family foundations: Cockayne, Gaia Fund, and Yerba Buena Fund.