We aim to improve the health and well-being of women and girls through the creative use of philanthropic capital. To achieve this, we:

1.  Leverage 100 percent of our assets (financial and human capital) in service of our mission

2.  Measure and demonstrate social and financial returns on our grantmaking and investments

3.  Influence a sector-wide shift in philanthropy toward 100 percent mission-aligned assets

Our Story

Dr. Ruth Shaber created the Tara Health Foundation in 2014 after more than two decades working on the frontlines of women’s health care. After founding the Women’s Health Research Institute at Kaiser Permanente, she committed to building a foundation that would apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to philanthropy. Tara Health is dedicated to  identifying and supporting innovative solutions that improve the health and well-being of women and girls.

Dr. Shaber decided to name the foundation after the goddess Tara in order to invoke the strength and compassion of a powerful female deity. Tara, a Hindu goddess later adopted in Buddhism, embodies both fierceness and maternal protection for all beings. She represents creation, wisdom, oneness and strength to overcome obstacles.

Prior to founding Tara Health, Dr. Shaber read Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Jed Emerson and Antony Bugg-Levine. The book inspired her to deploy the full potential of the foundation’s philanthropic capital, committing 100 percent of its assets to its core mission of supporting women and girls.

Tara Health is now taking this commitment to the next level, by engaging peers to join in piloting and demonstrating the use of creative philanthropic capital to drive social and financial returns.


  • Ruth Shaber, M.D., Founder & President
  • Emiko Higashi, Board Treasurer
  • Rivka Gordon, Board Secretary
  • Lisa Hammann, Chief Operating Officer
  • Elise Belusa, Strategy Officer
  • Lisa Molinaro, Investment Officer 
  • Ellen George, Operations Manager


Our office is located in San Francisco’s historic Hobart Building at:

582 Market Street, Suite 1204
San Francisco, CA 94104


Please note that Tara Health Foundation accepts funding requests by invitation only.