Dear Friends,

As one of the most diverse states in the nation, California’s future depends significantly on the success of the communities of color that together comprise a majority of its population. The current economic hardships make it even more urgent to strengthen the nonprofit organizations that serve these communities.

To that end, the Packard, Irvine, and Hewlett foundations plan to commit $8 million over the coming three years for a new project to strengthen grassroots organizations that are led by or serve people and communities of color.

Called the Community Leadership Project, it will target small and midsized organizations in three geographic regions: the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. The regions were selected after listening to what leaders in these communities had to say about their needs and studying the state’s changing demographics, among other considerations.

Each of our three foundations has its own long tradition of making grants to help underserved communities, both here in California and, in some cases, throughout the nation and the world. We hope you’ll take the time to read some of the stories at the Community Leadership Project Web site to learn more about our past work in these areas.  The link is at the end of this letter.

And while this new Project is designed to last three years, we view it as part of a continuing and open-ended commitment on all of our parts to listen to these communities and to work to assure that all of California’s citizens prosper through effective grantmaking.

For more details about the Project, please visit the Project Web site at The site also will be the place to learn of additional announcements as they are made in the coming months.


Carol S. Larson, president and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

James E. Canales, president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation

Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


See also, “Three Bay Area Foundations Join to Strengthen Grassroots Nonprofits Serving People of Color”