November 13, 2011
The late William R. Hewlett (of Hewlett-Packard fame), his wife Flora, and their eldest son Walter established this Foundation in 1966 to “promote the well-being of humanity.” When William Hewlett died in 2001, he bequeathed the Foundation more than $5 billion, making it one of the America’s largest philanthropic organizations. Now chaired by Walter Hewlett, the Foundation focuses primarily on “solving social and environmental problems.” Its grant-making focuses on three major program areas:
Education: Aimed at “improv[ing] the quality and equality of education in the United States and throughout the developing world,” this program is divided into the categories of: California K-12 Reform; California Community College Reform; Open Educational Resources; and the African Education Initiative to fund “universal education, particularly in some of the most resource-poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa.” Additional funds are earmarked for the education of “underserved” (i.e. minority) students in the United States.
Environment: This program has three principal objectives: “to save the great ecosystems of the North American West”; “to reduce the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel energy systems by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources”; and “to build an infrastructure for environmental concerns among California’s growing but still underrepresented populations in the L.A. basin and the Central Valley.” The program’s grant-making priorities are rooted in the notion that wilderness areas in the American West currently “face unprecedented development pressures,” most notably global warming caused by human industry, which the Foundation deems one of “the chief environmental concerns of our time.”
Performing Arts: This program generally supports established organizations whose annual operating budgets are larger than $100,000, rather than start-up ventures.
The Hewlett Foundation also has program initiatives in the areas of conflict resolution, population control, U.S.-Latin American relations, and global affairs.
Among the many groups that the Hewlett Foundation supports directly are the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the American Civil Liberties Union; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); Amnesty International; National Urban League; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Environmental Working Group; Human Rights Watch; the Urban Institute; the Third Wave Foundation; the National Wildlife Federation; the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund; the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education; the Worldwatch Institute; the World Resources Institute; Resources for the Future; the Sierra Club; The Environmental Defense Fund; the World Wildlife Fund; Human Rights First; the Brookings Institute; Population Connection (formerly known as Zero Population Growth); the Nature Conservancy; Advocates for Youth; the Alan Guttmacher Institute; the International Peace Academy; the Center for Population Options; the Plowshares Institute; Ms. Foundation for Women; the Center for Science in Public Participation; Lighthawk; the American University of Beirut; the Center for Development and Population Activities; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy; the National Environmental Trust; the Alliance of Ethnic and Environmental Organizations; the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; the Economic Policy Institute; the Project on Ethnic Relations; Refugees International; the Center for Health and Social Policy; the Media Resource Group; Search for Common Ground; American Council for Voluntary International Action; Ecotrust; Educators for Social Responsibility; the Environmental Law Institute; the Better World Fund; the Funders Network on Population; Reproductive Health and Rights, Inc.; Population Services International; Gender and Rights; the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution; the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources; the Community Working Group; the Fund for Peace; the American Institute for Social Justice, Inc.; the Centre for Development and Population Activities; the Alliance for Conflict Transformation; Arts of Peace; Brava! for Women in the Arts; Community Partners; the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture; the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Foundation (NARAL); Planned Parenthood; the Aspen Institute; Business for Social Responsibility; the International Center for Research on Women; the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights; the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association; Medical Students for Choice; the Gaia Foundation for Earth Education; the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; the Pacific Council on International Policy; the Institute of World Affairs; the Ploughshares Fund; the Wilderness Society; the National Center for Human Rights Education; the Women’s Link Worldwide; Association for Conflict Resolution; Americans United for Separation; Free At Last; Defenders of Wildlife; La Casa De Las Madres; EcoFlight; the United Negro College Fund; the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; the International Crisis Group; the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.; the Society of Environmental Journalists; the Population Council; the Global Fund for Women; the Reproductive Health Technologies Project; PolicyLink; the National Partnership for Women and Families; the Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future; the Meridian Institute; Harvard University; the City University of New York; Columbia University; the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation; the Clean Air Task Force; the Global Environment and Technology Foundation; the DC Agenda Support Corporation; the Coalition for Clean Air; the Keystone Center; the Institute for Americas Future; the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights; the International Sustainable Systems Research Center; the Center for the Advancement of Women; Environmental-Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education; the Center for Health and Gender Equity; and the Center for Defense Information.