MENLO PARK, Calif. – From studying the use of computer games in science education to monitoring air pollution worldwide, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced $72,051,375 million in new grants to 177 organizations.

Organizations receiving grants ranged across the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world in the Foundation’s six primary areas of grantmaking: education, population, global development, the environment, performing arts, and philanthropy. Among the highlights of the grants awarded are:

Global Development – Funds for African Research

The Global Development Program, which is dedicated to reducing extreme poverty in the developing world, made $19,711,525 in grants to 34 organizations.

One way for developing nations to reduce poverty is to conduct the research their governments need in order to adopt sound policies. The Foundation’s $2.5 million grant to the African Center for Economic Transformation will help African policymakers develop stronger policies that can spur economic growth and reduce poverty. The grant will enable the Center to hire staff, develop research partnerships with African think tanks, and enlist policy experts locally and in the African diaspora community to advise African governments. 

Another sure path from poverty is literacy. The Hewlett Foundation, working in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has embarked upon an effort to improve the quality of education in the developing world. As part of that effort, the Hewlett Foundation made a $500,000 grant to the San Francisco-based organization Room to Read, which will oversee the development of a pilot program to increase primary-school reading skills in India. The grant will support the use of a reading kit designed to improve teachers’ reading instruction. Initially, the kits will be tested in 180 schools in three states in India, with plans to eventually expand the program nationwide.

Education – New Teaching Techniques for Community Colleges

The Education Program, which makes grants to improve education across California and around the world, awarded $7,180,250 in grants to 22 organizations.

Among those grants is $1.75 million to the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District for a two-year project to help fifteen California community colleges develop new techniques to improve student learning.

Continuing its leadership in support of open educational resources, the Foundation made a $400,000 grant to the National Academy of Sciences for a research plan to explore the largely untapped potential of computer gaming in science education. Open educational resources is a growing international movement that employs the creative use of copyright laws and computer technology to make high-quality educational materials available to all for free on the Internet.

Performing Arts – Arts Education for all K-12 California Students

The Performing Arts Program, the largest funder of performing arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, made $6,052,600 in grants to 42 organizations.

The Program’s growing interest in ensuring that all California public school students receive education in the arts prompted a $175,000 grant to the California State PTA to plan an initiative to mobilize parents statewide on arts education.

And in support of the nation’s longest-running, free, outdoor performing arts festival, the Performing Arts Program made a $225,000 grant to the Stern Grove Festival Association. The Festival, now in its seventieth year, features more than 400 artists across a range of disciplines. The Stern Grove performances are attended by more than 100,000 people each season.

Philanthropy – Tools for Better Giving   

The Philanthropy Program, which awards grants to promote effective charitable giving, made $3,360,000 in grants to 11 organizations.

Among them, the Foundation made a $900,000 grant to the Greater Kansas City
Community Foundation, the creator of DonorEdge, an online tool to inform philanthropic giving. DonorEdge provides detailed information about more than 3,200 nonprofits and has been adopted by nine other community foundations, with more in the works.

Also as a part of its grantmaking to improve the practice of philanthropy, the Foundation gave $200,000 to Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Among its activities, the organization sponsors forums and underwrites publications that teach grantmakers how to improve their relationships with grantees.

Environment – Protection for the Lands of the Greater Southwest

The Environment Program, which in part makes grants to protect open spaces throughout the North American West and to reduce carbon emissions internationally, announced $19,333,000 in grants to 38 organizations.

The Foundation made a $750,000 grant to the Grand Canyon Trust of Flagstaff, Arizona, which works to protect and restore the land, air, and water of the Colorado Plateau-an area encompassing much of northern Arizona and New Mexico and southern Utah and Colorado. This grant will allow the Trust to continue its efforts to protect the integrity of large, undeveloped landscapes and wildlife habitats; clean the air; and support renewable energy development, among other goals.

And as part of the Foundation’s continuing commitment to improve air quality, it made an $800,000 grant to the Health Effects Institute in Boston, a principal source of information on the health impacts of air pollution worldwide. The grant will support the Institute’s advocacy efforts in Latin America and Asia and expand training programs for health researchers in key developing countries.

Population – Broadened Support for Reproductive Health

The Population Program, which makes grants to improve family planning and reproductive health in the United States and around the world, gave $10,448,500 in grants to 31 organizations.

The Foundation made grants to two organizations working to help improve reproductive health for Latinas. The first is a grant of $700,000 to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in New York City. The institute plans to open a policy office in Washington, D.C. and hire a full-time organizer to work with Latinas in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.

The Foundation also made a $200,000 grant to the Latino Issues Forum of San Francisco to recruit and train new reproductive rights advocates from three constituencies: male Latino leaders; Latino advocates in education, health, technology and the environment; and Latino community leaders in Fresno and Los Angeles.

A full list of Hewlett Foundation grants, along with links to their Web sites, is available on the grants page of the Hewlett Foundation Web site.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.