Purpose, Values, and History

Our Purpose

To create an equitable and vibrant community for all Southern Arizonans.

Our Values

  • Collaborative, Innovative, and Effective Leadership

  • Integrity

  • Stewardship and Service

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Fun

Our History

In 1980, the Greater Tucson Area Foundation was established by a small group of community leaders. Their goal was clear: to create a place to serve people interested in committing long-term resources to address local needs, now and in the future.

Four decades and a name change later, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona continues to connect donors who want to make a difference with the causes they care about.  Hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses have established funds at the Community Foundation, creating a group of funds that have granted more than $200 million since 1980.

Today, we continue to improve the quality of life in the region and are recognized as among the nation’s largest community foundations. With the support of community-minded people like you, we address a broad spectrum of issues and apply our collective funds to initiate life-changing philanthropic efforts.

Since its inception, the Community Foundation has been governed by a Board of Directors comprised of civic-minded business and community leaders. Board chairpersons include (in order of service) James Burns (1980 – 1983), George H. Amos Jr. (1983-1986), Sidney B. Brinkerhoff (1986 – 1989), Gordon W. Waterfall (1990 -1994), Bettina  O’Neil-Lyons (1994 – 1996), Dr. Anna Jolivet (1996 – 1998), Michael Hard (1998 – 2000), Mary Ann Dobras (2000 – 2002), Phil Amos (2002 – 2004), Robert Friesen (2004 -2007), Carmen Marriott (2007 – 2009), Paul Lindsey (2009 – 2011), Nancy Davis (2011 – 2013), R. Michael Sullivan (2013 – 2015), Fred Chaffee (2015 – 2017), Jan Lesher (2017 – 2019), and Claudia Jasso (2019 – Present).