The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation began in 1966 with the broad purpose of promoting the wellbeing of humanity by supporting activities in the arts, education, the environment and population. Today, we continue to work on these core issues. Our grantmaking also addresses other timely problems, such as challenges posed by cybersecurity and U.S. democracy. To understand what we fund and why, learn more about our programs and initiatives.

  • Our Education Program makes grants to help students succeed in work and civic life by building deeper learning skills and expanding 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 Global Development and Population Program makes grants to expand women’s reproductive and economic choices, amplify citizen participation, and improve policymaking through 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 seeks to strengthen America’s policy-making and electoral processes and create the conditions necessary to build greater public confidence in our democratic institutions.
  • 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.

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.