The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective. Its newest program focuses on strengthening U.S. democracy. In addition, the foundation makes grants for special projects and initiatives that address timely and pressing problems, such as challenges related to cybersecurity, wealth inequality, and racial justice.
The Hewlett Foundation began collecting information about the demographic makeup of grantees in 2018 as part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The foundation collects demographic data about the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of its U.S. grantees—including staff, leadership, and board — to better understand the outcomes of its grantee selection processes. In particular, the foundation seeks to identify deficiencies, gaps, or implicit biases in its own grantmaking processes; the data are not collected to evaluate or “grade” any individual grantee. The data gathered and visualized in this tool generate analysis, discussion, and ongoing learning within and among programs and initiatives working in different contexts toward different goals. The foundation makes the data public as part of its ongoing commitment to openness, transparency and learning.
In 2020, the foundation announced a new commitment to addressing systemic racism in its culture, operations, and grantmaking, and these data became one part of a deeper reflection and learning process. Read more about what the foundation is learning from the data and specific actions it is taking to support inclusion and improve its practices.