Non-profit

Pisces Foundation

Website:

piscesfoundation.org

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Tax ID:

20-7415160

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $22,964,033
Expenses: $12,288,294
Assets: $51,578,902

Executive Director:

David Beckman

Pisces Foundation is the private foundation of environmentalist activist and Gap, Inc. heir Robert J. Fischer and his wife Randi. It is a funder of a number of prominent environmentalist organizations.

Background

The Pisces Foundation is a liberal environmental group that provides grants to other environmental nonprofits. The organization was founded by billionaire Gap, Inc. chairman Robert J. Fischer[1] and his wife Randi, and longtime environmental activist David Beckman.

The foundation launched in 2013 and has awarded more than 330 grants to more than 153 organizations around the world. [2]

The organization was established in San Francisco, with an office in Washington, D.C. Beckman is on a three-person board of directors with the Fishers. [3]

Advocacy

The foundation focuses on three areas: Water resources, climate and energy, and environmental education. [4]

The organization considers preservation for freshwater a neglected matter, as plenty of philanthropists focus on oceans. Beckman wrote in a New York Times op-ed in 2014 about drinking water contamination in Charleston, West Virginia and Toledo, Ohio that prompted “do not drink” alerts as a wakeup call for drinking water protection. He called for more EPA clean water funding, for providing water utilities with more authority to address threats, for beefing up pollution requirements, and for updating state and federal regulations and laws. [5]

On climate action, the Pisces Foundation joined a coalition of 28 other environmental groups that offered to spend a collective $4 billion over the next five years to combat climate change. The organizations made the announcement at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on September 14, 2018. [6]

Regarding environmental education, the Pisces Foundation works with schools, states, and communities expose more children to nature, stating that many school-aged children’s ability to enjoy nature is “highly dependent on one’s zip code, upbringing, race, and financial resources.” [7]

One goal of the organization is to “change the narrative from time spent outdoors as a nice-to-have to the benefits of the outdoors as a human right, an absolute necessity, and a national priority – with equity at the forefront,” wrote Jason Morris, senior program officer for environmental education at Pisces Foundation and chairman of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. [8]

People

Principal funding for the foundation comes from Gap, Inc. chairman Bob Fischer and his wife Randi Fischer. Forbes estimates Bob Fisher’s wealth to be $1.3 billion. [9]

The Fishers are one of the handful of wealthy families behind the political rise of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), according to a Los Angeles Times investigation. The Fisher family invested $305,000 in Newsom over the years. [10]

David Beckman is the executive director of the Pisces Foundation. Beckman had worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for 17 years as a senior attorney and as the director of the organization’s first national Water Program. He graduated from Harvard Law School. [11]

Bob Fisher was a longtime member of the NRDC board of directors and reportedly a mentor to Beckman. The two decided in 2012 to build a new foundation; Bob and Randi Fisher, the heirs to the Gap clothing store chain co-founded by Doris and Donald Fisher, put the money behind foundation. [12]

The Foundation hired former Obama administration Environmental Protection Agency water policymaker Nancy Stronger, as well as Jennifer Kurz, an alumna of both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Climate Action Network. [13]

References

  1. “Robert Fisher.” Forbes. July 29, 2019. Accessed July 29, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/profile/robert-fisher/#3f3bee2dea6e. ^
  2. Partners. Accessed July 20, 2019. https://piscesfoundation.org/partners/ ^
  3. Williams, Tate. “Inside the Pisces Foundation: A New Environmental Grantmaker Emerges.” November 30, 2015. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/11/30/inside-the-pisces-foundation-a-new-environmental-grantmaker.html ^
  4. Williams, Tate. “Inside the Pisces Foundation: A New Environmental Grantmaker Emerges.” November 30, 2015. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/11/30/inside-the-pisces-foundation-a-new-environmental-grantmaker.html ^
  5. Beckman, David S. “The Threats to Our Drinking Water.” The New York Times. August 6, 2014. Accessed July 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/opinion/the-threats-to-our-drinking-water.html ^
  6. News Editor. “Foundations Pledge $4 Billion Climate ‘Down Payment.’” September 26, 2018. https://ens-newswire.com/2018/09/26/foundations-pledge-4-billion-climate-down-payment/ ^
  7. Morris, Jason. “The Story of Us: A Shared Narrative to Expand Our Movement.” Pisces Foundation. June 11, 2019.  https://piscesfoundation.org/the-story-of-us-shared-narrative/ ^
  8. Morris, Jason. “The Story of Us: A Shared Narrative to Expand Our Movement.” Pisces Foundation. June 11, 2019.  https://piscesfoundation.org/the-story-of-us-shared-narrative/ ^
  9. Robert Fisher. Forbes. Accessed July 20, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/profile/robert-fisher/?list=billionaires#7dcdd775ea6e ^
  10. Mehta, Seema; Menezes, Ryan and Moore Malloy. “How Eight Elite San Francisco Families Funded Gavin Newsom’s Political Ascent.” Los Angeles Times. September 7, 2018. https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-san-francisco-money/ ^
  11. David S. Beckman. Contributor. Huffington Post. Accessed July 20, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/author/david-s-beckman ^
  12. Williams, Tate. “Inside the Pisces Foundation: A New Environmental Grantmaker Emerges.” November 30, 2015. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/11/30/inside-the-pisces-foundation-a-new-environmental-grantmaker.html ^
  13. Williams, Tate. “Inside the Pisces Foundation: A New Environmental Grantmaker Emerges.” November 30, 2015. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/11/30/inside-the-pisces-foundation-a-new-environmental-grantmaker.html ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2007

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Jun Form PF $22,964,033 $12,288,294 $51,578,902 $615,124 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Jun Form PF $406,061 $9,357,812 $40,276,285 $79,755 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Jun Form PF $45,774,206 $9,644,842 $49,674,385 $526,104 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Jun Form PF $19,565,749 $9,150,526 $13,153,648 $128,183 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Jun Form PF $19,870 $7,941,694 $2,613,512 $2,100 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Pisces Foundation

    268 Bush Street, #3433
    San Francisco, CA 94104