Mission, Values & History
Create a stronger community by connecting donors to causes they care about now and forever.
To improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona by stewarding donor and community resources to measurably affect change.
Leadership – Our primary responsibility is to enhance donor and public trust by having high ethical standards, honoring our commitments while remaining objective, and fostering transparency in all we do.
Stewardship & Service – We seek to provide the highest level of service and due diligence to our donors and community. We will value the potential and unique qualities in everyone as we endeavor to empower them to achieve their full potential. We will nurture a trusting relationship with our donors by safeguarding their assets and intent in perpetuity while working to ensure sustainability.
Collaboration – We value the transformative power of partnerships based on mutual interests, trust and respect. We believe that by working together we create a more positive and lasting impact on our community.
Innovation – We seek and stimulate new approaches, perspectives and ideas to address what matters most to the people and communities we serve.
Diversity & Inclusion – We will lead by example and use our position in the community to promote greater understanding and use of diversity policies and practices.
In 1980, the Greater Tucson Area Foundation was established by community leaders. Their goal was clear: create a place to serve people interested in committing long-term resources to address local needs, now and in the future.
Over the decades, and a name change later, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has connected donors who want to make a difference to 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 $160 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 chairmen 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) and Jan Lesher (2017 to present).
Read more about significant milestones of our growth of grants and assets, and funds, programs and initiatives.