The Hewlett Foundation was established by Hewlett-Packard co-founder William Hewlett and his wife Flora in 1966. Since its creation, the foundation has become one of the largest in the nation, with assets totaling $9 billion.
The Hewlett Foundation headquarters are located in Menlo Park, California, in a building that reflects the foundation’s pledge toward social and environmental change. It was certified Gold-level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, becoming the fifth building in the country to ever do so.
The foundation focuses on local issues such as education reform for the state of California as well as global poverty reduction. It also focuses on limiting the consequences of climate change, improving reproductive health in the developing world and advancing the field of philanthropy.
The Hewlett Foundation partners with grantee institutions, such as nonprofit organizations and government entities to reach their five programs’ goals.
The Education Program offers grants in order to increase economic and civic engagement through “deeper learning” education.
“We focus on a couple of really important leadership skills like ‘collaborate productively,’ critical thinking, ‘communicate powerfully’ and ‘complete projects effectively.’ Along with making sure students are keeping up with the content, they are getting these life skills that they’ll need to be successful in college and the workplace,” said Rahil Maharaj, a student of Impact Academy of Arts and Technology in Hayward, California that focuses on deeper learning skills.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Hewlett Foundation donated $113 million to the University of California, Berkeley in 2007 — the largest private donation a university had ever seen at that time.
The funds were used to create 100 new endowed professorships at the college and provide financial help to graduate students.
Three-year general operating grants are presented to organizations that work in research and analysis, communications, community organizing, advocacy or technical assistance to improve conditions for state policymaking in education.
The Environment Program works to conserve the ecological integrity of the North American West and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the impact of global climate change.
The Hewlett Foundation donated over $9 million to the Instituto de Energia e Meio Ambiente of Brazil in grants from 2007 to 2012 to fund projects promoting clean air and sustainable transportation policies in Brazil.
The Global Development and Population Program was created to help people around the globe develop their capabilities as successful members of society.
Grants offered by this program are used to promote responsible governance across the globe, to create sound policy in developing countries, to improve the quality of education and children’s learning overseas, to ensure international and domestic access to family planning and reproductive healthcare and to reduce teen pregnancy.
$3 million was donated by the Hewlett Foundation for building the capacity of African policymakers for reproductive health issues between 2010 and 2013.
The Performing Arts Program is unique to the San Francisco Bay Area, with grants that ensure a wide range of artistic disciplines are offered to people in order to ensure continuity and engagement in the arts.
These grants also provide California students with equal access to an arts education and help the state provide proper infrastructure for effective work. The Hewlett Foundation has donated over $255 million in grants over the last 15 years to reach these goals.
The Effective Philanthropy Group provides grants in order to increase and improve the information available to donors about nonprofit performance and to develop strategic philanthropy.
The Hewlett Foundation is a good example of an organization that is making a difference both on a local level and a global level.
– Kelsey Lay
Sources: Hewlett Foundation 1, Hewlett Foundation 2, Hewlett Foundation 3, Hewlett Foundation 4, Hewlett Foundation 5, Hewlett Foundation 6, Hewlett Foundation 7, The Chronicle of Philanthropy