The Environment Program funds organizations working in areas that align with our program strategies and initiatives. The Environment Program accepts letters of inquiry for its western conservation, climate and energy, and serving Bay Area communities grantmaking at any time. The program’s grants are awarded solely for charitable purposes. There are no deadlines.

Our approach

  • The vast majority of the grants we make are to organizations that work on policy development because we think policy change provides the greatest opportunity to reach our goals.
  • We pursue our strategies with focus on engaging the people and organizations most needed to achieve our goals. An important aspect of this approach is building a broad base of support among those not traditionally involved in environmental protection.
  • We are outcome focused and whenever possible use quantitative metrics to track progress toward goals.
  • Our western conservation grantmaking embraces the region west of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada, and includes Alaska, but not Hawaii.
  • Our energy and climate grantmaking is global.
  • Our grants for clean transportation mainly support work in China, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.
  • We fund the vast majority of our Climate and Energy strategy works though large grants to organizations like the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Energy Foundation, which in turn make smaller grants to a variety of organizations.
  • When there is a high degree of alignment between our goals and those of a grantee, we often will provide general operating support rather than project support.
  • In some cases, we provide support to develop the organizational health and efficiency of our grantees.

Climate and energy

Our climate and energy grantmaking is global, although the clean transportation focus is mainly on China, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. Most of our investments are made through organizations like the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Energy Foundation that regrant funds, although in some instances we make direct grants to organizations.

While our grants may be used to support public education, nonpartisan research and analysis, and permissible policy-related activities, the Hewlett Foundation does not earmark its funds for IRS-defined lobbying activities, which is prohibited by federal law.

Western conservation

The western conservation grantmaking focuses on three areas: land, water and energy. Please read more about our strategy before submitting a letter of inquiry. We make grants to organizations that support efforts that protect and improve the ecological integrity of Western United States and Canada (except for Hawaii).

We do not make grants to fund:

  • Environmental education and production of educational materials
  • Marine conservation
  • Capital projects
  • Habitat restoration

Serving Bay Area

The Environment Program makes grants through the foundation’s Serving Bay Area Communities focus, funding efforts to improve outdoor recreational opportunities, urban parks, access to transit in the region, and minimize environmental threats to local disadvantaged communities.

Submitting a letter of inquiry

After reviewing the information above, if you feel that your organization or project meets our grantmaking guidelines, please use the online letter of inquiry. Before applying, please review the Environment Program’s recently awarded grants for examples of the program’s current funding focus. Do not submit full proposals until invited to do so; uninvited proposals will not be read.

We will reply to your online submission within 30 days. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we unfortunately cannot respond to phone calls or emails requesting the status of a submitted Letter of Inquiry.

Please note that the Foundation’s grantmaking is extremely limited in relation to the large number of worthwhile requests it receives.

If you have general questions about Hewlett Foundation grantmaking or other programs’ grantmaking, read our general grantmaking FAQ.