Our philanthropic approach flows directly from the ethos and values of our founders.
We are committed to acting honestly and with integrity, in accordance with the law and the highest standards of practice, and to treating all those with whom we deal fairly and respectfully. Undertaking to act ethically, however, is only part of what we must do to fulfill the aims of our founders, which include their desire that we use the foundation’s resources effectively for the betterment of society.
Philanthropy is a distinctive enterprise, with unique challenges and opportunities. The Hewletts approached it with a humanistic philosophy based on faith in the capacity of people to do good and belief in the importance of healthy institutions as a means for doing so. Accordingly, we pursue our charitable goals through adherence to the following additional commitments and guiding principles:
- We seek to bring about meaningful, socially beneficial change in the fields in which we work.
- We pursue change by tackling defined problems in a pragmatic, nonpartisan manner.
- We focus on outcomes in order to maximize the effectiveness of our support.
- We are committed to openness, transparency, and learning.
- We are committed to working, both internally and externally, in a collaborative fashion based on mutual respect. Grantees, co-funders, and other colleagues in our work are our partners in problem-solving.
- We seek to promote the values and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce, our culture, and our grantmaking.
- We approach our role in philanthropy and our responsibilities to society with humility and respect for others.
- Our operations depend on a lean staff, which is given considerable autonomy; a commitment to simple, flexible procedures; and a cooperative working relationship between the board, staff, and the president, who is the leader of the foundation. Read more about our board’s guiding principles here.