Bay Area Foundations Support Expanded Job-Training Efforts

Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties has announced support from major Bay Area foundations for a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $1 million by June 30 to meet the growing demand for its employment services.

Launched in January, the Jobs for Our Community campaign has raised $325,000 toward the $1 million goal, thanks in part to support from the San Francisco Foundation ($20,000), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($25,000), and the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund ($10,000). In addition, the S.H. Cowell Foundation pledged to match up to $25,000 in individual donations.

In all, the organization hopes to raise $200,000 from area foundations, the organization's president and CEO, Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez, told the San Francisco Business Times. "We're really proud of the foundations that have stepped up to date," she added. "All of those foundations have taken a financial hit. Yet when we went to them and said we need to do something together, not one of them hesitated."

While Goodwill is an instantly recognizable brand, many people don't know about its work-related programs, which are designed to help individuals in vulnerable communities create a better life for themselves and their families. A new pro bono ad campaign created by San Francisco-based BBDO West aims to change that by focusing on people who have transformed their lives through Goodwill's programs.

"Goodwill is going to continue to weather the recession on the strength of our staff, business model, and the investments of financial donors, both individual and institutional," said Alvarez-Rodriguez. "So many people are feeling scared and powerless over the economy as we wait to see what the federal, state, and local government will do."

Sarah Duxbury. "Goodwill Seeks $1M Emergency Fund for Job Training." San Francisco Business Times 03/10/2009. "Bay Area Foundations and Award-Winning Ad Agency Invest in San Francisco Goodwill Jobs for Our Community Campaign." Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties Press Release 03/10/2009.