The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation began in 1966 with the broad purpose of promoting the wellbeing of humanity. Many of our programs—from arts and education to women’s health and the environment—have been in place for decades. Our grantmaking also addresses other current and timely problems, such as challenges posed in U.S. democracy, cybersecurity, and wealth inequality. To understand what we fund and why, learn more about our programs and initiatives.

  • Our Education Program makes grants to help educators, schools, and communities turn schools into places that empower and equip every student for a lifetime of learning, and to expand access to open educational resources.
  • Our Environment Program makes grants to protect people and places threatened by a warming planet by conserving the North American West, expanding clean energy, and addressing climate change globally.
  • Our Gender Equity and Governance Program seeks to foster inclusive societies by expanding women’s reproductive and economic choices, increasing governments’ responsiveness to the people they serveand improving policymaking through the effective use of evidence. 
  • Our Performing Arts Program makes grants to support meaningful artistic experiences for communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Our U.S. Democracy Program makes grants to strengthen America’s electoral and governing institutions and, in doing so, build public trust in our democracy.
  • Our Effective Philanthropy Program seeks to strengthen the capacity of Hewlett Foundation grantees and philanthropy in general, to achieve their goals and benefit the common good.
  • Our Cyber Initiative seeks to cultivate a field that develops thoughtful, multidisciplinary solutions to complex cyber challenges and catalyzes better policy outcomes for the benefit of societies.
  • Our Economy and Society Initiative seeks to replace neoliberalism with a new “common sense” about how the economy works and the aims it should serve to improve the lives of people.

The foundation started in the San Francisco Bay Area and maintains a deep commitment to the region by making grants that seeks to improve the lives of diverse communities. In addition, funding is reserved each year to support special projects that do not necessarily align with our primary programs. In 2020, the foundation announced a $150 million grantmaking commitment to racial justice.

Past Programs

Over the decades, the foundation has worked on pressing issues that diverged from our core focus. Our past programs — children and youth, conflict resolution, family and community development, and U.S.-Latin American relations — have made significant contributions toward their fields, but no longer make grants today.