Shadow Shadow

Meet the Founders

The Heller Family Foundation, founded in 2008 by Steve and Michele Heller, is deeply grounded in the understanding of the interconnectedness of all; the individual, society, and the environment. A commitment to promoting public education, thriving local economies, small scale sustainable agriculture, connected communities and healthy natural environment informs all our activities. Our foundation is partially funded by directing a percentage of all our income to philanthropy, and we strive to create and implement models that can be replicated, including innovations in generating funding for philanthropy.

Valuing innovation and honoring tradition
We see the challenges of our times as opportunities for growth and evolution. The writings of such thinkers as Fritjof Capra, Frances Moore Lappé, Michael Pollan, Antonia Demas, Alice Waters, Barbara Kingsolver, David Korten, Bill McKibben, Michael Ableman, Wendell Barry, Michael Stone and Zenobia Barlow have inspired us, as has the blending of innovations grounded in tradition. We believe that approaches that work well on the local level can contribute to viable and sustainable global solutions.

Our story
In 2005 we decided to focus our philanthropic efforts on community-based programs centered on health and sustainability. Since then we have helped launch and support several interrelated programs that focus on education, nutrition, fitness, community and sustainability. With no employees on our payroll, we have fewer administrative costs and are therefore in a position to dedicate more funds to support these projects. In addition, we have developed a model for generating funding for philanthropy from the under-utilized capital assets of multiple personal residences. In this model, 10% of all income is dedicated to non-profit support. To learn more, please visit

Our approach to giving
The Heller Family Foundation is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit foundation. Please contact us if you are interested in helping to support the programs listed here. While we do not fund programs in other areas, we are happy to share our knowledge and experiences to help your efforts. We also love to learn about other successful efforts to establish local initiatives that enhance and promote healthy individuals, communities, and the environment. Please share your success stories with us, and we encourage contributing to any of our programs that resonate with your values.

Programs for Change

Cultivating Change

The L.I.F.E. Garden Program teaches K-12 students how to grow and eat organic, healthy food...

Nourishing Change

Evening Meals at School serve up organic, affordable communal dinners for the whole community...

Demonstrating Change

S&S Homestead Farm demonstrates principles of sustainability and takes a leadership role in educating youth...

Inspiring Change

The Vita Parcours Lopez Island Fitness and Ecology Trail offers a scenic fitness experience for all abilities and ages...

Promoting Change

Local initiatives support cultural diversity, a connected community, and healthy, well-informed individuals...

Healthy Change

Collaborating with a local effort to bring clean water to a village in Ethiopia with the Water for Anasi project...