The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has awarded $75,832,468 in new grants to a total of 157 organizations in the Foundation’s core program areas. These grantees are working on a range of important issues, including providing greater access to high-quality educational content on the Internet, preserving North America’s largest forest ecosystem, and creating a lively environment for the performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some highlighted new grants include:
Education – Expanding the Field of Open Educational Resources
The Foundation’s Education Program announced $14,844,600 in new grants, including several to support educational institutions in the United States and Europe that publish high-quality educational materials on the Internet and make them available for free. A $775,000 grant to Yale University’s Center for Media Initiatives will support the development of the Open Educational Resources Video Lecture Project, which aims to publish the content of a broad range of Yale’s undergraduate courses online, complete with audio and video feeds, lecture transcripts, and other course materials. Grants to the Open University of the Netherlands ($200,000) and the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities ($200,000), a consortium of European universities active in the field of distance education, will enable these institutions to expand their offerings to include free, online courses available in a variety of languages. The Education Program also awarded a $550,000 grant to Pacific News Service for support of its project, New America Media, a national collaboration of ethnic news organizations. The grant will help educate ethnic media journalists in California about education policy issues.
Environment – Protecting the Canadian Boreal Forest
The Environment Program announced $20,005,000 in grants, including a $6,500,000 grant to the Pew Charitable Trusts to support the Canadian Boreal Initiative. The Initiative is a multi-foundation effort to help preserve the Boreal Forest of Canada, a 2.3 million square mile region that contains the most wild and pristine natural habitat left in North America and is home to various species of bears, wolves, caribou, and birds. Since its creation five years ago, the Initiative has been working with conservation groups, First Nations, industry, and others on research, policy, and conservation activities in the region. It has already protected 50 million acres of the Boreal Forest. This grant will assist with the Initiative’s work to protect forested areas of Canada’s western provinces from development. Along with the Hewlett Foundation, the Pew Trusts and the Lenfest Foundation are also major contributors to this effort. The Environment Program also awarded a $750,000 grant to the Grand Canyon Trust, which will support its efforts to protect vast landscapes and wildlife habitats in the Southwest. The Trust will work with state agencies and electric utilities to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Global Development – Promoting Government Transparency and Accountability Worldwide
The Global Development Program announced $12,680,500 in grants to organizations working to promote policy reform in the areas of international trade and development assistance. A $176,000 grant to EU Transparency will support Farmsubsidy.org, a network of activists, NGOs, journalists, and think tanks tracking data on farm subsidies in the European Union. The group is collecting detailed information about payments and recipients of farm subsidies in every EU member state in order to fuel a vigorous public debate about the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. A $1,800,000 grant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will provide support for the International Budget Project. The Project assists organizations in developing countries that are engaged in budget analysis and expenditure tracking with the goal of making governments more transparent and responsive to their citizens.
Performing Arts – Supporting Theater and Opera Companies in Northern California
With more than 30 opera companies and over 400 theater organizations, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the nation’s leading centers for theater, musical theater, and opera. The Foundation’s Performing Arts Program is a supporter of many of those organizations and announced $2,905,930 in new grants. The Program made grants to a host of theatrical groups, including Bay Area Theatresports ($40,000), the Bay Area’s premier improvisational performing company, ShadowLight Productions ($50,000), a producer of live performances showcasing the unique medium of shadow theater, and the American Conservatory Theater ($480,000) in San Francisco, which is one of the largest regional theaters in the country. The Performing Arts Program also awarded grants to the Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa ($50,000), Lamplighters Opera West Foundation ($165,000), one of the Bay Area’s oldest performing organizations and the region’s leading producer of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and to Pocket Opera ($120,000), which offers low-cost, high-quality concert performances of operas translated into English.
Philanthropy – Supporting Research on the Philanthropic and Nonprofit Sectors
The Philanthropy Program announced $3,090,438 in grants, including a $600,000 grant that will help create a new Center for Research on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. The Center will identify and financially support doctoral students who conduct research on issues relevant to the nonprofit and philanthropic field. The goal of the Center is to increase knowledge about this sector and develop a pipeline of young scholars whose research will inform philanthropy. The Center will be housed in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and will also facilitate a year-long seminar on civil society research.
Population – Addressing Teen Pregnancy in the Bay Area
The Population Program announced $12,365,000 in grants to promote family planning and good reproductive health in the United States and around the world. In the San Francisco Bay Area the Foundation has approved grants to health clinics in Daly City and San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood that provide a range of services that contribute to teen pregnancy prevention. The Daly City Youth Health Center, a project of the Jefferson Union High School District, received a $400,000 grant to support its comprehensive approach to teen pregnancy prevention including family planning, mental health services, and support groups for teen mothers and fathers. The Center’s approach also includes school-based sex education, mentoring, and service learning opportunities. A $260,000 grant supports the Bayview Hunters Point Healing Arts Center, a full-service adolescent health and youth development center which is focused on teen pregnancy and other related challenges among some of the Bay Area’s most disadvantaged youth.
Regional Grants Program – Improving Education, the Arts, and Transportation in Disadvantaged Communities
The Regional Grants Program awarded a total of $3,135,000 in grants to help serve the needs of disadvantaged residents in the Bay Area. The Regional Program often collaborates with the Foundation’s other grantmaking programs to support youth education in the arts, the environment, and reproductive health. The Program awarded a $500,000 grant to the Bay Area Video Coalition, a state-of-the art facility in San Francisco that provides training in digital video and audio media arts to low-income individuals, including many youth at-risk of dropping out of high school. A $240,000 grant to the Peninsula Community Foundation will help local schools and nonprofits in San Mateo County introduce disadvantaged youth to the outdoors and the sciences through field trips in natural settings. The Regional Grants Program is also helping low-income communities access public transportation resources with a $400,000 grant to the Transportation and Land Use Coalition. The Coalition will provide assistance to community groups to support projects that redraw bus routes so that residents have better access to local health clinics and community colleges, as well as create routes for children to walk or bike to school, and improve pedestrian safety.
About the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1966 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, population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of all the Hewlett Foundation’s grants can be found at http://www.hewlett.org/grants.