Despite their regular appearance in the news and underwriting announcements, foundations remain mysterious to most Americans. According to the Philanthropy Awareness Initiative, fewer than half of civically engaged Americans can name any foundation on their first try, and a mere 15 percent can cite examples of a foundation’s impact on their community. The task is complicated by the fact that America’s foundations play so many roles. In addition to making grants to nonprofit organizations, they conduct research; create new fields of inquiry; and underwrite the creation of institutions. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has played all of these roles in its forty-plus years of existence. This month, our newsletter revisits examples of past work to shine a light on some of the many activities of foundations. In an accompanying interview, Walter Hewlett, chairman of the Hewlett Foundation Board and one of its three founding directors, discusses its evolution and how he sees its role in society.

“Foundations” – A Q&A with Walter Hewlett, Hewlett Foundation Board Chairman

Mr. Hewlett discusses the history and value of the Hewlett Foundation.

The Many Forms of Philanthropy
  • Saving the Great Bear Rainforest
  • Restoration of a Wetlands Ecosystem
  • ClimateWorks Pursues Sound Economics To Reduce Carbon Emissions
  • Giving to Stanford University and The University of California, Berkeley
  • Supporting the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution
  • Hewlett Grantmaking Launches Open Educational Resources
  • Hewlett and Partners Support Think Tanks in the Developing World
  • Innovating in Reproductive Health
Featured Website: Philanthropy Awareness Initiative

PAI works with foundations and philanthropy associations to communicate the roles they play.

Foundation Welcomes New Staff
  • Margot Fahnestock – Population Program Officer
  • Brett Johnson – Associate Director for Public Investments
  • Chloe O’Gara – Global Development Program Officer
  • Margarita Parra – Environment Program Officer
  • Elizabeth Peters – Associate General Counsel
  • Christopher Shearer – Education Program Officer