San Francisco’s beloved philanthropist was a problem solver, igniter and a catalyst

 In Community, Fundraising, Philanthropy

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort PointOne of San Francisco’s most beloved philanthropists, Warren Hellman, died this past Sunday from complications due to leukemia at the age of 77.

In The Bay Citizen article, “The Billionaire Who Loved Bluegrass,” Jane Ganahl describes how the Renaissance man, known mostly widely for the annual music festival that he bankrolled in Golden Gate Park, “spent as much energy distributing his wealth as he did acquiring it.”

As an active philanthropist, Warren Hellman also spent a great deal of his time reaching out to friends and business colleagues to make the case for causes he cared about and to ask for their support.

In these challenging times, nonprofit organizations that fight poverty and support arts, culture, youth, education, parks and the environment are dealing with unprecedented changes. Warren Hellman offered his time, funds, connections and influence to help many of these causes. He was problem solver, igniter and a catalyst.

Volunteer board members and other close champions of a particular cause or organization are the ones that help nonprofits make the critical connections they need, with major donors and foundations, to raise sustainable resources for their causes. Those volunteers invest their free time to reach out to friends and business associates, through events, personal meetings, phone calls and letters (or sometimes all four), to raise funds.

It is the ardent support of volunteers that influences friends and business colleagues to become backers. Then, the circle continues to grow.

In lieu of flowers, the Hellman family requests that donations be made to:

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