Hewlett Foundation

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The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Hewlett Foundation Logo
FounderWilliam Redington Hewlett and Flora Lamson Hewlett
TypePrivate foundation
Key people
Larry Kramer, president
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)US$471,437,419[1]
Endowment$9.7 billion[2]
Websitewww.hewlett.org Edit this at Wikidata

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, commonly known as the Hewlett Foundation, is a private foundation, established by Hewlett-Packard cofounder William Redington Hewlett and his wife Flora Lamson Hewlett in 1966.[3] The Hewlett Foundation awards grants to a variety of liberal and progressive causes, as well as conservative organizations.[4][5]

With assets of approximately $10 billion, Hewlett is one of the wealthiest grant makers in the United States.[6] The Foundation has grantmaking programs in education, the environment, global development and population, the performing arts, and philanthropy. The Hewlett Foundation is based in Menlo Park, California.


Bill and Flora Hewlett consolidated their philanthropic activity into the William R. Hewlett Foundation, which Bill, aged 53, founded in 1966 in their Palo Alto, California, home.[7] Founding board members were Bill, Flora, and the couple's oldest son, Walter Hewlett. The years 1966-1972 were referred to as "the living room years".[8] Flora Hewlett served as a board member and Bill Hewlett was an active part of the foundation until his death. Bill Hewlett sought to fund established organizations operating in his fields of interest. In its first ten years, the foundation awarded close to $15.3 million to organizations involved in education, population, performing arts, environment, health, and social services.[9]

In 1972, the foundation's board of directors was expanded with the addition of William A. Hewlett and James S. Hewlett. In 1974, the foundation hired its first executive director, John May, who was also the executive of the San Francisco Foundation.[8] Following Flora Hewlett's death in 1977, and in her memory, the foundation's name was changed to "The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation".[10] Shortly after, the foundation appointed former University of California Chancellor Roger W. Heyns as president, with Bill Hewlett becoming the board chair.[11] The board was expanded with the addition of Eleanor Hewlett Gilmon and Mary Hewlett Jaffe, daughters of Bill and Flora. Since 1981, the majority of the foundation's board has been composed of non-family members.[8]

The foundation has received credit for its work in the areas of conflict resolution, education, environmental protection, performing arts, and as a supporter of organizations in the Bay Area.[12]

In 1993, with the appointment of former University of California President David P. Gardner,[13] who succeeded Roger Heyns who retired after 15 years, the foundation's focus widened. The foundation expanded its funding of environmental causes, formerly restricted to California, to all over the Western United States and Canada. The foundation also began focusing on K-12 education reforms. Gardner introduced a new program supporting relations between the US and Latin America. Gardner served for six years.[14]

During Gardner's tenure, the foundation introduced the limitation of terms served as program officers with terms expiring after six years, followed by an extension of three years with board approval. In 2005, this term limit was extended to eight years.[14]

In January 2000, Paul Brest, the former dean of Stanford Law School, was appointed as the new president of the foundation.[15] He served for 12 years. On January 12, 2001, Bill Hewlett, aged 87 years, died from heart failure.[16] During Brest's time as president, the foundation started to focus on awarding grants for efforts curbing global warming and the expansion of the use of open educational resources.[17] During this time, the foundation also relocated to Menlo Park, California.

Larry Kramer, also a former dean of Stanford Law School, has been serving as the foundation's president since 2012.[18] He introduced new initiatives addressing political polarization as well as cybersecurity.[19]

Stephen C. Neal, who had been serving as a board member since 2006, was appointed as and succeeded Walter Hewlett as board chair.[20]

Foundation assets and endowment[edit]

During its first ten years, the foundation awarded grants of approximately $15.3 million.[21]

The foundation's endowment kept growing considerably, with Flora Hewlett's estate bolstering it to more than $300 million in 1981 and the foundation's assets reaching more than $800 million by the 1990s, an increase of more than 30 times.[22]

Between 1993 and 1999, under the leadership of David P. Gardner, the foundation's assets grew to more than $2 billion and grants increased from $35 million in 1993 to $84 million in 1998.[23]

In 2000, the foundation's assets had grown to $3.93 billion. This increased further with the transfer of Bill Hewlett's estate bringing the assets up to $8.52 billion and catapulting the foundation into the fifth place of private foundations in America.[24]

According to the OECD, the Hewlett Foundation provided USD 123.3 million for development in 2019, all in the form of grants.[25]

Programs and grants[edit]

The Hewlett Foundation's office building in Menlo Park
Interior of the Hewlett Foundation's headquarters


In 2001, the foundation gave $400 million to Stanford University for humanities, sciences, and undergraduate education. At the time, the gift was the largest on record to a university.[26] In 2007, the Hewlett Foundation made a $113 million donation to the University of California at Berkeley to create 100 new endowed professorships and provide financial help for graduate students.[27]

In May 2010, the Hewlett Foundation announced its strategy of "Deeper Learning", which is a set of student educational outcomes including acquisition of robust core academic content, higher-order thinking skills, and learning dispositions.

Hewlett and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation helped to develop the field of OpenCourseWare.[28] Hewlett seeded the Creative Commons project with $1 million.[29]


In 2008, the foundation awarded the Climate Works Foundation approximately $460,800,000.[30] Hewlett funded restoration of the Bay Area Salt Ponds[31] and conservation of the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada.[32]

Hewlett's Environment Program makes grants to support conservation in the North American West, reduce global warming and conventional pollution resulting from the use of fossil fuels, and promote environmental protection efforts in California. The Hewlett Foundation opposes coal and natural gas development.[5] However, the Hewlett Foundation is a donor to the Breakthrough Institute,[33]


Hewlett collaborated with the Center for Investigative Reporting to create California Watch, an investigative reporting project focused on California news.[34]

Reproductive health[edit]

The Hewlett Foundation make grants in developing countries and in the United States to provide and advocate for family planning and reproductive health services.[35] The Hewlett Foundation has given major financial support to Planned Parenthood and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.[36][37]

International grants tables[edit]

The following table lists the top sectors to which the Hewlett Foundation has committed funding within its Global Development and Population Program. Data are taken from the International Aid Transparency Initiative activities publication, and is expected to cover 21% of the foundation's overall grantmaking; this does not include international grantmaking in Environment, Education, and other program areas, although those total a significant proportion of grants. The Foundation's Climate Initiative, in particular, is oriented toward international as well as U.S.-focused work.[38] The sector names use the DAC 3 Digit Sector names.[39]

Committed funding (US$ millions)
Sector 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Sum
Population policies/programmes and reproductive health 46.6 48.9 53.4 39.0 28.3 30.3 33.3 34.3 38.2 39.3 28.9 420.5
Government and civil society, general 21.8 5.3 7.0 13.4 13.1 44.3 37.9 33.7 51.7 54.8 26.6 309.5
Education, level unspecified 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 16.3 12.1 11.6 11.0 0.8 0.0 52.0
Emergency Response 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.0 5.0 0.0 10.0
Other 40.6 87.9 53.9 47.3 54.8 0.8 1.1 5.7 9.7 8.9 5.5 316.1
Total 109.0 142.1 114.5 99.7 96.1 91.7 84.4 85.3 115.6 108.7 61.1 1,108.1

The following table lists the all-time top 30 grantees, as recorded in the IATI activities publication.

Organization Amount (US$ millions)
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy 60.2
International Development Research Centre 57.1
Stichting Hivos 28.8
International Planned Parenthood Federation Worldwide Inc. 28.8
Center for Global Development 26.0
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. 21.4
Natural Resource Governance Institute 21.0
Ipas 20.4
Regents of the University of California 17.8
Pratham USA 17.4
Brookings Institution 16.9
MSI-US 16.7
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 16.5
Population Reference Bureau, Inc. 16.4
African Population and Health Research Center Inc 15.1
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Inc. 15.0
Guttmacher Institute Inc. 14.9
Bread for the World Institute, Inc. 13.8
Population Council, Inc. 13.0
United Nations Foundation Inc 13.0
Oxfam-America, Inc. 12.7
German Marshall Fund of the US 11.6
Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad, A.C. 11.5
African Center for Economic Transformation 11.2
Tides Foundation 11.1
Population Action International 10.7
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 9.1
Tides Center 8.6
Center for Reproductive Rights Inc. 8.6
Independent Television Service, Inc. 8.0


Members of the board[edit]

Officers of the board[edit]

  • Larry D. Kramer, President
  • Ana Marshall, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
  • Suresh Bhat, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  • Elizabeth Peters, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Advisor to the Investment Committee[edit]


As of 2018 the Hewlett Foundation had total assets of $9,761,950,634.[41]

Funding details[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ "990-PF" (PDF). Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  3. ^ William and Flora Hewlett and the Hewlett Foundation Archived 2010-07-06 at the Wayback Machine (The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation website)
  4. ^ Callahan, David (2010). Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0470606544.
  5. ^ a b Coggin, Will (11 October 2014). "EPA water rule pits billionaires against rural farmers". The Hill. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  6. ^ Donovan, Doug; Frostenson, Sarah (March 23, 2014). "FoundationAssets Reach Highest Level Since Downturn". Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  7. ^ "William and Flora Hewlett Foundation". Philanthropy News Digest. 2 January 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "William and Flora Hewlett Foundation". grantforward. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  9. ^ Neighborhood Networks Funding Guide. October 1999. p. 29.
  10. ^ Nielsen, Waldemar A. (2002). Golden Donors A New Anatomy of the Great Foundations. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781351516938.
  11. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (14 September 1995). "Roger W. Heyns, 77, Head of Berkeley in the 60's". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Bay Area & NorCal: Funders". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Gardner, David Pierpont, 1933-". Social Networks and Archival Context. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b "The Hewlett Family and Foundation History". William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  15. ^ Ray, Elaine (26 May 1999). "Brest to head Hewlett Foundation; reinforces commitment to Irvine initiative". Stanford University. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  16. ^ Markoff, John (13 January 2001). "William Hewlett Dies at 87; A Pioneer of Silicon Valley". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Paul Brest, President, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Smart Philanthropy in Tough Times". Philanthropy News Digest. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Dean Larry Kramer to leave Stanford Law School to lead Hewlett Foundation". Stanford University. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  19. ^ Kuchler, Hannah (7 March 2018). "Silicon Valley's tech billionaires raising funds to fight cyber crime". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Los Altos Attorney Stephen C. Neal Elected Chair of Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees". Press Release Point. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  21. ^ "The Hewlett Foundation". Left Exposed. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  22. ^ Bank, David (29 January 2002). "Hewlett Foundation's Heft Grows As Role in Grant Making Expands". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Ex-U. chief retiring as foundation president". Desert News. 3 July 1998. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  24. ^ Cheney, Catherine (16 August 2018). "Growing number of big US funders based on the West Coast". Devex. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  25. ^ https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org//sites/aff0a405-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/5d8de3e1-en&_csp_=fcd6b6f78f50e596d3bf597cb6b3e3b5&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=chapter#
  26. ^ Hira, Nadira (May 3, 2001). "Hewlett Foundation gives unprecedented gift". Stanford Daily (49). p. 1. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  27. ^ "Berkeley gets $113 million from Hewlett Foundation for 100 new campus chairs". The Mercury News. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Mellon, Hewlett Foundations grant $11M to launch free MIT course materials on web". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 18 June 2001. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Lawrence Lessig on the History of Creative Commons". 30 July 2008. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2012-06-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (Top 50 International Grants Awarded by Foundations for Climate Change)
  31. ^ "Historic Agreement Reached to Purchase San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds". South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. 29 May 2002. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Conservation Groups Announce $96 Million Fund to Protect Great Bear Rainforest". Foundation Center. 24 January 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Who We Are". The Breakthrough Institute. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  34. ^ Farnsworth, Meghann (29 October 2010). "Center for Investigative Reporting joins Public Insight Network". The Center for Investigative Reporting. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Hewlett Foundation: Grants for Sexual and Reproductive Health". Inside Philanthropy. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  36. ^ Evans, Will (4 August 2008). "Profile: Planned Parenthood". NPR. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  37. ^ "Hewlett Foundation Awards $1 Million to Planned Parenthood for Katrina Evacuees". Philanthropy News Digest. Foundation Center. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  38. ^ "About - The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  39. ^ "DAC 3 Digit Sector". IATI Standard. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  40. ^ "Board members". Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  41. ^ a b "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Hewlett Foundation. 6 November 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2020.

External links[edit]