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The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-11-03

At A Glance

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

2121 Sand Hill Rd.

Menlo Park, CA United States 94025-6909

Telephone: (650) 234-4500


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-12-31)

Assets: $9,020,102,000

Total giving: $353,550,000






Incorporated in 1966 in CA - Founded by the late William R. and Flora Hewlett. Mr. Hewlett was an engineer who co-founded the Hewlett-Packard Company, a global corporation developing and manufacturing information technology such as data storage, networking hardware and a variety of other technological products. In June 1977, the foundation elected its first full-time president, Roger W. Heyns. At that time, while redefining its areas of interest, the foundation also made plans to assume a national scope, with a modest proportion of funds allocated for a regional grantmaking program. In its grantmaking decisions as well as its interests and activities, the foundation is wholly independent of the Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation

Purpose and Activities

The foundation makes grants to help people build measurably better lives. It 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 on its website.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:


The program makes grants to improve education by expanding the reach of openly available educational resources, improving California education policies, and supporting “deeper learning”—a combination of the fundamental knowledge and practical basic skills all students will need to succeed. Since 2002, the program has concentrated on improving the conditions for education policy reform in California and fostering the spread of high-quality open educational resources. The foundation is now building on this pioneering work by broadening its focus to include deeper learning, to help schools nationwide prepare a new generation of students to respond to the ever-increasing demands of a rapidly changing world. With these grants, the foundation hopes to improve education for all students, with a particular focus on those from disadvantaged areas. The main goals of the program are to: (1) increase economic opportunity and civic engagement by educating students to succeed in a changing world through deeper learning; (2) improve the conditions for education reform in California; (3) equalize access to knowledge for teachers and students around the globe through Open Educational Resources; and (4) raise educational achievement in disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program pursues these goals by investing in organizations that develop and advocate for innovation in ideas, practices, and tools, as well as those that participate in the public policy debate on these issues. The program also reserves part of its grantmaking budget for organizations that do not neatly fit into one of the above goals. The program does not accept letters of inquiry .

Employee Matching Gifts

The foundation matches gifts from officers, directors, and staff to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations. The maximum staff gift matched per year is $10,000. The gifts are matched on a two-to-one basis.


The program pursues four goals designed to protect the environment for future generations: 1) Conserve the ecological integrity of the western United States and Canada for people and wildlife; 2) Avoid the worst effects of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 3) Ensure clean and efficient supplies of energy, while protecting human health and the environment; and 4) Reduce environmental problems that disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. To review grant guidelines for specific priorities for each goal, visit the foundation's web site page Environment Program Grantseekers.

Global Development and Population

The program seeks to help people around the world develop their capabilities as individuals, citizens, workers, and parents. It makes grants to expand women’s choices about whether to have children, how to raise their family, and how they earn a living. It works to amplify the voices of people calling for government officials to deliver better results, so citizens are more likely to get a quality education, receive adequate health care, obtain needed services, and earn a decent living. It also makes grants to help citizen groups get information about what their governments do, helping them take action to improve the quality of schools, health clinics, and other services in their communities.

International Women's Economic Empowerment

As part of the global development and population program, the ultimate goal for international women's economic empowerment emphasizes greater agency, opportunities, and control over resources for women. To advance this goal, over the next five years the foundation will seek three mutually reinforcing outcomes at both the global and national levels: Outcome 1: Women’s work is included in measures of labor force participation and economic productivity. Outcome 2: The gender-specific implications of economic policies are understood and taken into consideration when creating policy. Outcome 3: Advocacy organizations are better able to inform and influence policies that affect economic opportunities for women. For detailed information visit the foundation's web site to read its strategy paper on women's economic empowerment.

International Women's Reproductive Health

As part of the global development and population program, the strategy of international women's reproductive health will focus on three outcomes: 1) To ensure that no woman has an unwanted pregnancy. The particular focus will be on Francophone West Africa and East Africa, where progress on family planning and reproductive health has been slow or stalled; 2) To ensure that no woman dies from an unsafe abortion; and 3) To make family planning and reproductive health an integral part of broader development goals. For detailed information visit the foundation's web site to read its strategy paper on international women's reproductive health.

Organizational Effectiveness

Grants through this category of the Effective Philanthropy Group provides targeted support to help strengthen existing grantees’ strategies, leadership and organizational systems, better enabling them to do their work and enhance their impact.

Performing Arts

The program makes grants to sustain artistic expression and encourage public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Grantmaking in this area is divided into three parts: 1) Continuity and Engagement. These grants help the Bay Area public to engage in a variety of arts experiences; 2) Arts Education. Funding in this part is designed to give California students equal access to an education rich in the arts; and 3) Infrastructure. Funding in this part provides necessary resources to help organizations and artists to be effective in their work. For determination criteria and online letter of inquiry, visit the foundation's web site page Performing Arts Grantseekers.

Philanthropy Grantmaking

This program makes grants to build a stronger philanthropic sector and support effective philanthropic practice so that all foundations are better equipped to make social and environmental change. There are two main strategies: (1) Knowledge Creation and Dissemination, and (2) Increasing Two-Way Openness in Foundations. The foundation is not accepting unsolicited letters of inquiry for this program area.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made a PRI in the form of a loan to an organization for product development to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions.

Serving Bay Area Communities

William and Flora Hewlett had a deep and abiding commitment to the community in which they lived. Today, their foundation provides support to a range of vital nonprofit organizations that offer services to disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area and Central Valley. Drawing from the expertise of its Education, Performing Arts, Environment, and Population programs, the foundation makes grants directly and through intermediaries to address some of the region's most pressing social problems. At this time, only the Environment Program accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry for its Serving Bay Area Communities grantmaking .

Special Projects

The foundation recognizes that sometimes unanticipated problems and opportunities arise that require flexibility in how it responds. The foundation reserves funding each year to support special projects that do not necessarily align with its primary strategies. The foundation is not accepting unsolicited letters of inquiry for this program area.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Community and economic development
  • Community college education
  • Dance
  • Economic development
  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Environment
  • Family planning
  • Higher education
  • International development
  • International studies
  • Music
  • Natural resources
  • Performing arts
  • Philanthropy
  • Population studies
  • Public policy
  • Theater
  • Urban development
International Interests
  • China
  • India
  • Latin America
  • Southern Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Females
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-12-31

Assets: $9,020,102,000 (market value)

Expenditures: $391,417,000

Total giving: $353,550,000

Qualifying distributions: $353,550,000

Giving activities include:

$353,550,000 for grants

$6,531,335 for foundation-administered programs