The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation began in 1966 with the broad purpose of promoting the wellbeing of humanity. We make grants across a number of program areas, many of which we have supported for decades. Our grantmaking also addresses current problems through time-bound initiatives. To understand what we fund and why, learn more about our programs and initiatives.

  • Our Education Program makes grants in the belief that public education builds both individual success and collective good, and to ensure that meaningful educational opportunities equip students to shape the world they live in as leaders in their communities and full participants 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 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 serve, and 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 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.
  • Our Racial Justice Initiative aims to identify and promote philanthropic practices within the foundation and our grantmaking that advance racial and economic justice.

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 — cyber, 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.