Grantmaking to strengthen the field of philanthropy began in 2000, when Paul Brest joined the Foundation as president, and was formalized as a program in 2004. It has always been the smallest of the foundation’s program areas, but it is considered to be “high leverage” because with a few million dollars in grantmaking each year, we potentially influence the effectiveness of many more foundations and many millions more in grantmaking. There are myriad important areas of giving that the Hewlett Foundation does not invest in programmatically—early childhood education, homelessness prevention, mental health and more – and our support for philanthropy infrastructure and effectiveness helps provide better information, tools, and insight to all foundations, regardless of areas of giving, helping the field of philanthropy to be more effective overall. It is a “rising tide lifts all boats” type of strategy.
Grantmaking Trends Memo: Effective Philanthropy 2014