The Hewlett Foundation’s National Governing Institutions Strategy makes grants to strengthen our nation’s legislative and executive branches. This means making them more resilient, responsive, effective, and inclusive institutions in the face of our increasingly polarized politics.
In recent decades, ideological opposition to “the era of big government” fostered bipartisan neglect, under-funding, and disinvestment; hollowed out expertise; demoralized career staff; tarnished the luster of their public service; and failed to update and upgrade the technology, processes, and management of the federal government. And the people most affected by the shortcomings in our governing institutions are usually in the marginalized groups that already bear the burdens of disparities in our society. Ultimately, our belief is that making grants to support our partners will instead lead to more nimble, well-managed governing institutions that can make and administer laws and policies that represent the people’s preferences and are responsive to their needs—not perfectly, but at least to a considerable degree.