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The David and Lucile Packard Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-06-06

At A Glance

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

343 Second St.

Los Altos, CA United States 94022-3632

Telephone: (650) 948-7658


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $7,084,903,284

Total giving: $291,696,462






Incorporated in 1964 in CA - Founded by the late David and Lucile Packard, co-founders of Hewlett-Packard (HP). HP is a global corporation developing and manufacturing information technology such as data storage, networking hardware and a variety of other technological products. The Packards formalized their passion for philanthropy in 1964 when they established the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. They believed America to be the home of a unique type of organization—foundations—that constitute a great American tradition and complement government efforts to focus on society’s needs. Today, their children and grandchildren continue to help guide the Foundation’s work.

Purpose and Activities

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a family foundation. The foundation works on the issues its founders cared about most: improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems. The foundation invests in effective organizations and leaders, collaborates with them to identify strategic solutions, and supports them over time to reach its common goals.

Program Area(s)

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

Children, Families, and Communities (CFC)

The program works to ensure opportunities for all children to reach their potential by addressing two interrelated and fundamental needs that must be met for children to thrive: health and education. The focus areas are: 1) Early Learning. This program seeks to improve the quality of early learning and developmental experiences, in both formal and informal settings, for all children in California from birth through age five; 2) Children's Health Insurance. This program works to ensure that all children receive appropriate health care by creating nationwide systems that provide access to health insurance for all children; and 3) After-School and Summer Enrichment. This program aims to strengthen California’s public commitment to school-based, after-school programs and to ensure that after-school and summer learning opportunities are fully integrated in to the education system .

Conservation and Science

The program invests in action and ideas that conserve and restore ecosystems while enhancing human well-being. It supports public policy reforms, changes in private sector practices, and scientific activities to develop essential knowledge and tools for addressing current and future priorities. Focus areas include: 1) Climate: Reducing emissions that contribute to environment-damaging climate change; 2) Oceans: Working toward healthy oceans that support a diversity and abundance of marine life which can withstand pressures over time, providing people and communities with food, stable livelihoods and economic, social and cultural benefits; 3) Land: Working to protect some of the continent’s iconic natural treasures and remaining wilderness areas; 4) Science: Supporting efforts to gather fresh knowledge about the Earth’s ecosystems and use these findings to generate creative solutions .

Local Grantmaking

The program supports an array of nonprofit organizations in geographic areas that are significant to the Packard family. These include the five California counties that surround the Foundation’s headquarters in Los Altos, California: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito, as well as Pueblo, Colorado, the birthplace of David Packard. The goal in supporting these communities is to help make them stronger and more vibrant places where all families can thrive and reach their potential. To achieve this goal, the Local Grantmaking program focuses its resources on addressing six fundamental issue areas: 1) Arts; 2) Children and Youth; 3) Conservation and Science; 4) Food and Shelter; 5) Population and Reproductive Health; 6) Beyond the Check .

Matching Gifts

All foundation employees are eligible to have their gifts to public charities, schools, colleges and other 501(c)(3) organizations matched by the foundation. The gifts may range from $35 to $10,000 per calendar year.

Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Funds

The program supports grantees to help them build core strengths in areas like strategic and business planning, financial management, board and executive leadership, and communications. It also makes grants to build these capacities among groups of leaders and cohorts of grantees, through initiatives called Partnership Projects —so that nonprofit leaders can share knowledge, learn from their peers, and grow their networks. Partnership Projects are grants focused on groups of leaders and cohorts of grantees. They are developed as a collaboration between Organizational Effectiveness and programs at the foundation, grantees and, when possible, other funders, and are designed to allow grantees to strengthen organizational capacity and learn from and connect with their peers.

Population and Reproductive Health

The program seeks to promote women’s reproductive health and rights and to stabilize population growth. The program supports efforts to expand access to and improve the quality of essential services, including comprehensive sexuality education, voluntary family planning/contraception, and safe abortion. It focuses its efforts in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States. In each region, it makes grants to strengthen service delivery, build leadership and advocacy capacity, and shift social and cultural norms that prevent women and youth from seeking the services they need to make healthy reproductive decisions. The foundation uses the evidence and experience it collects to forge partnerships with global research and advocacy organizations, especially youth-led networks, and to shape the discourse at the regional and global levels. .

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs in the form of loans, guarantees and equity within its program areas when organizations can demonstrate that repayment will be forthcoming. Historically, the foundation has made PRIs to support a range of activities including acquisition of land for environmental conservation purposes, acquisition and/or construction of grantee and nonprofit facilities, and implementation of grantee program- and mission-driven ventures.

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

The fellowships allow the nation’s most promising professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited reporting requirements. Each year, the foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions. An advisory panel of distinguished scientists and engineers carefully reviews the nominations and selects 16 fellows to receive individual grants of $875,000, distributed over five years. Candidates must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered. If your university is on the "Invited Institutions" list and if you meet the eligibility requirements, contact your Office of Sponsored Research or department chair to discuss the selection process at your university. See web site for complete information. Applications from individuals are not accepted.

Fields of Interest

  • Agriculture
  • Aquatic wildlife protection
  • Arts and culture
  • Chemical engineering
  • Child development
  • Community beautification
  • Cultural awareness
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Energy efficiency
  • Environment
  • Family planning
  • Family services
  • Food aid
  • Foundations
  • Geography
  • Health insurance
  • Housing development
  • Marine science
  • Museums
  • Natural resources
  • Performing arts
  • Philanthropy
  • Population studies
  • Reproductive health care
  • Reproductive rights
  • Science
  • Youth development
International Interests
  • Global Programs
  • Oceania
  • Southern Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Females
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students
  • Operating foundations

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $7,084,903,284 (market value)

Expenditures: $352,220,286

Total giving: $291,696,462

Qualifying distributions: $374,182,587

Giving activities include:

$289,898,542 for 1011 grants (high: $66,100,000; low: $5,000)

$1,797,920 employee matching gifts

$3,362,613 for foundation-administered programs

$53,921,538 for 17 loans/program-related investments