Ideas + Practice

We believe that great ideas and strong institutions can promote a better world. Explore data and stories from our grantees, find the why and how behind our thought process, and see what we’re learning. Tell us what you think on Twitter or send us a message.


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A practical guide to outcome-focused philanthropy 

Outcome-focused philanthropy is the Hewlett Foundation’s approach to how we practice strategic philanthropy. It guides how we do our work, from start to finish. We’ve been practicing strategic philanthropy for more than a decade—focusing on what problem or opportunity we’re trying to address, whether we’re achieving our outcomes and why (or why not), and how…

Q&A with Sarah Jones: How commissions shaped my career 

From Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring, commissions have long helped artists achieve their unique vision. And while today’s artists develop, fund and share their work in varied ways, commissions are still critical to fostering artistic expression. That’s why the Hewlett Foundation launched our Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, which will support the creation…

Kent McGuire to join Hewlett Foundation as Education Program director 

MENLO PARK, Calif.—The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that Kent McGuire will be joining the foundation’s Education Program as its new program director. In an email to grantees and foundation staff this morning, our president, Larry Kramer, had the following to say about the appointment: I am truly delighted to announce that Kent McGuire will be ...

Why philanthropy must do more on climate change 

History is replete with examples of societies that vanished when the local climate changed. But the threat we face from climate change today is much greater than that, because it’s not local, it’s global. Human activity is changing the climate of the entire world, and the impact will be felt everywhere and by everyone—particularly those…

Q&A with Stuart Butler: What does it take to turn ideas into government action? 

Stuart Butler, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, is no stranger to working across the political spectrum on complex issues. Previously, he spent 35 years at the Heritage Foundation as director of the Center for Policy Innovation and vice president for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies. He has worked with lawmakers and…

From promise to progress: Takeaways from Hewlett Foundation’s 50th anniversary symposium 

How is the social sector adapting to solve the world’s most pressing problems? That’s the theme of a two-day symposium the Hewlett Foundation hosted at Stanford University recently to mark our 50th anniversary. Over 300 philanthropy professionals and nonprofit leaders from large and small organizations gathered to discuss the history and future of philanthropy, how to work ...
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