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Update to the Legislative Tri-Caucus on Diversity Grantmaking

December, 2011

Throughout its history, the Hewlett Foundation has been committed to supporting diverse and disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area and around the world. The following is a letter that Foundation President Paul Brest shared with the California Legislative Tri-Caucus to provide an update on the Foundation’s grantmaking to support diverse and disadvantaged communities.

Dear Members of the Legislative Tri-Caucus:

In the interest of keeping you apprised of the Hewlett Foundation’s long-standing commitment to serve diverse communities in California and around the world, I’m writing to share some information about that work in 2010 and to provide you with a few stories about how our grantmaking is changing lives for these communities in California.

As an international foundation, our grantmaking is not limited to California. Each year, the Hewlett Foundation makes significant investments to improve the lives of such communities worldwide. All told, in 2010, more than $150 million went to more than 240 organizations that serve diverse and disadvantaged communities in the United States and abroad.

The Foundation has always been committed to improving the lives of people in California, where William Hewlett grew his business and achieved great success. In 2010, we made more than sixty grants to more than fifty-five California organizations that serve diverse and disadvantaged communities, for a total of more than $12 million.

In recent years, we have built upon our commitment to California communities with additional grantmaking. Since 2009, the Hewlett Foundation has partnered with the James Irvine and the David and Lucile Packard foundations in a three-year initiative called the Community Leadership Project. This initiative is designed to strengthen the organizations we already fund as well as to build leadership in other organizations that serve these communities. By 2010, that partnership had made more than seventy grants for general operating support and technical assistance through local community foundations and other organizations to small grassroots organizations in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. Eighty-four organizations received technical assistance training, and 131 leaders from grassroots organizations participated in leadership development programs. The Hewlett Foundation contributed more than $3 million for those grants.

But numbers can’t convey the real-world impact that grants to such organizations have, so following this letter I’ve included three short articles to tell the stories of three such grantees more fully. In the first, you’ll learn how Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco uses the arts to reach homeless youth others seemingly can’t. The second paints a picture of the Career Ladders Project, where employees use a range of programs to bring minority students into the mainstream of college education to help ensure that they succeed. And the third discusses how the Coalition for Clean Air gives a voice to low-income and minority communities—often the ones most affected by pollution—and teaches them to be effective advocates for a cleaner environment.

I hope this information gives you a more thorough sense of the work that the Hewlett Foundation and its many partners are doing to improve the lives of diverse and disadvantaged communities across the state and around the world.

Sincerely,

Paul Brest

Paul Brest

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