Special Projects


The majority of the Hewlett Foundation’s philanthropy is aligned with grantmaking strategies in our permanent programs. But sometimes unanticipated opportunities arise that require flexibility. We reserve funding each year to support special projects.

Unlike other aspects of the Hewlett Foundation’s philanthropy, these grants are not concentrated on a specific area with an overarching programmatic strategy or an outcome-focused theory of change. Special projects have included exploring potential initiatives, enabling collaboration with other foundations, and facilitating cross-pollinating work across our programs.


Address special needs not covered by our programs and strategies to better respond to opportunities that advance our philanthropic values, incubate new ideas and strengthen our field.

Our Grantmaking

Kaisahan of San Jose
for general operating support
Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation
for support of school districts' community outreach and the Local Control and Accountability Plans
Leadership Public Schools
for developing a technology tool to enable personalized learning

Our Team

Larry Kramer
Larry Kramer 
Sara Davis
Sara Davis 
Director of Grants Management
Vidya Krishnamurthy
Vidya Krishnamurthy 
Director of Communications
Hauwa Otori 
Program Fellow
Kristy Bernard Tsadick 
Associate General Counsel
Marlene Zapata
Marlene Zapata 
Program Associate, Cyber Initiative

Learn More

Special Projects grantmaking helps foster partnership with other foundations.

In 2015, for example, the foundation made a $3 million grant for general operating support to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, in association with the Bay Area’s Sandler Foundation, to examine how structural changes in the U.S. economy, particularly related to economic inequality, affect economic growth.

We have made collaborative grants to organizations that improve the practice of philanthropy in specific areas of operational expertise, such as the Grant Managers Network and the Communications Network.

The foundation also makes “good citizen” grants to support organizations whose work diffusely serves our core interests, such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and nonprofit public media such as NPR, PBS Newshour, and ProPublica.

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