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Letter from the President: July 2016

Working for a staffed family foundation, we often have the opportunity to feel pride in the living donors we represent. Last month, our founders Liz Simons and Mark Heising demonstrated their unwavering belief in the value of philanthropy by joining the Giving Pledge. As many of you know, the Giving Pledge invites the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy in an effort to address society’s most pressing problems. In a letter describing their decision to join, Liz and Mark noted, “Our time here is short, but our trajectory is long. We seek philanthropic investments today that we hope will have sustainable impacts long beyond our lifetimes.”

We’ve placed that letter on our new website, which we’re pleased to unveil today. The new website not only describes our programmatic work, but it also enables us to share resources, highlight grants, and post recent news, such as the Giving Pledge letter. I believe that letter speaks to both the values and life experiences behind the creation of the Heising-Simons Foundation, and I invite you to read it in full.

We’re also thrilled to share our growing interest in an important area of work. Board member Caitlin Heising’s deep passion for and knowledge of human rights has led to our increase in Human Rights grantmaking, rooted in our belief in the inherent dignity of all people. In this program, we work toward achieving a more just world where people are equally valued regardless of gender, race, class, or citizenship. I invite you to learn more about this work here, including examples of several Human Rights grants at the bottom of the page. The Human Rights program joins our grantmaking in Climate and Clean Energy, Community, Education, and Science.

Finally, recognizing the need for nonprofit organizations to think about the way they communicate and reach their key audiences, we have recently compiled some communication tools that are available for free for nonprofits, which we hope you will find helpful. You can find those here, in the “What’s New” section of our website.

We hope you enjoy the new website and come back often to learn about the valuable work of our grantees and partners.


Deanna Gomby
President & CEO
Heising-Simons Foundation