From a research team in pursuit of better fuel efficiency to a performing arts program that uses dance to teach youth about nonviolence, a total of 235 organizations were awarded $137.1 million in grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation this fall.
Organizations receiving grants ranged across the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world in the Foundation’s seven primary areas of interest: the environment, education, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, population and regional grants.
Among the highlights of the three-times-a-year announcements are:
Environment – Promoting Clean Energy Choices throughout the West
The Foundation’s Environment Program announced $22,069,800 in grants to fifty-five organizations, including $720,000 to Western Resource Advocates.
Western Resource Advocates is a leading energy policy and advocacy organization in the Rocky Mountain West. It will use the grant in part to demonstrate the benefits of a clean energy portfolio for economic development in rural communities at a time when the utility industry is pushing for the construction of new coal power plants. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will receive $200,000 to continue work to improve fuel efficiency by demonstrating that small vehicles can be designed to be as safe as larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles.
Education – Bringing Free Educational Materials to the World
The Education Program made $17,538,000 in grants to forty-five organizations. The new round of grants continues the program’s pioneering work in the Open Educational Resources movement, which brings free high-quality educational materials to the Internet, where users can reorganize, augment and republish course materials to suit their own needs. These grants included $2.25 million to Carnegie Mellon University for its Open Learning Initiative, which designs Internet-based courseware based on recent cognitive science, and $1.7 million to Rice University’s Connexions program, a previous Foundation grantee that now is turning its efforts to bringing digital textbooks to high-enrollment community college courses.
Among other highlights of the Education Program is a grant of $2.75 million to the Hayward Unified School District to fund the district’s plans to help students in need of greater mastery of English to succeed in an academic environment.
Global Development – Encouraging Effectiveness in U.S. Foreign Aid
The Global Development Program made $18,057,521 in grants to twenty-nine organizations. A grant of $2.1 million to Oxfam America, the U.S. affiliate of the antipoverty organization Oxfam International, will be used to launch a new initiative to improve the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid. The program also made a grant of Bread for the World to support advocacy for improvements to U.S. agricultural and foreign assistance policies that affect poor people in developing countries.
Performing Arts – Nurturing Cultural Diversity in the Bay Area
The Performing Arts Program, with its focus on performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, made $32,454,250 in grants to forty-seven organizations. The grants will be used for everything from general operating support to capital campaigns to research into arts education.
A cluster of grants support culturally diverse arts organizations, such as The Alliance for California Traditional Arts, which will receive $350,000 to nurture folk arts by passing on the cultural knowledge and skills from one generation of practitioners to the next. Other grants in support of cultural diversity were made to Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a Balinese music and dance troupe; the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; and San Jose Taiko. The grants include a total of $25 million for endowments to four San Francisco institutions: the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera and American Conservatory Theater.
Philanthropy – Advancing the Good Works of Others
The Philanthropy Program, which makes grants to promote effective charitable giving, made $1,862,496 in grants to eight organizations. Among those grants was $75,000 to One Economy, a multinational nonprofit organization that brings broadband access to low-income people, for a new feature on its multilingual Internet portal, The Beehive. The feature will enable low-income users to comment on the effectiveness of organizations that provide service to them. Another recipient was Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which received $500,000 in general operating support. The foundation is the newly formed product of the recent merger of the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley and the Peninsula Community Foundation.
Population – Finding Links between Poverty and Reproductive Health
The Population Program, which funds work on reproductive health regionally and worldwide, made $40,256,500 in grants to thirty-four diverse organizations. Among them is a new partnership between the Hewlett Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council, which will receive $1.8 million to underwrite research on how population growth and reproductive health outcomes affect a country’s poverty and economic health. In Nairobi, Kenya, the African Population and Health Research Center will receive $1.5 million to support the development of African-based research into population issues that will serve as a basis for government policies across the continent.
Regional Grants – Giving Back to the Bay Area
The Regional Grants Program, which works in conjunction with the Foundation’s other programs to support disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area, gave $2,770,000 in grants to fourteen organizations for everything from neighborhood improvement to community theater.
The Destiny Arts Center, which works in some of Oakland’s toughest neighborhoods, will receive $250,000 to teach dance, theater and martial arts as a means to combat violence. And Planned Parenthood Golden Gate received $1.5 million in support of its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.
A full list of the most recent organizations, 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 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 and 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.