David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was established upon the success of the Hewlett-Packard computer company. The foundation focuses its grantmaking on conservation and science, population and reproductive health, and children, families and communities. It focuses a good portion of its grantmaking on the five counties that surround the Los Altos, California, headquarters.

IP TAKE: The Packard Foundation has a "locals only" program that focuses on the greatest needs in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties. Bay Area nonprofits only need to share the spotlight with Pueblo, Colorado, David Packard's birthplace. Health and early education have been big priorities lately.

PROFILE: With more than 40 years of local grantmaking experience, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation is one of the oldest funders in the region. It's also a huge supporter of local non-profit organizations, providing around $14 million each year throughout the Bay Area. You'll probably recognize David Packard's name from the overwhelmingly successful Hewlett-Packard computer empire. Packard's wife, Lucile, who spent much of her life volunteering for children's medical causes, is an integral part of the family philanthropy as well.

Currently, the foundation's local funding is focused on five issue areas—the arts, children and youth, science & conservation, food & shelter, and population & reproductive health. Geographically, the foundation's local giving is bound by the five counties that surround its headquarters in Los Altos. More specifically, the foundation funds organizations that "help make their communities stronger and more vibrant places where all families can thrive and reach their potential." Providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth also plays a major part in Packard's grantmaking decisions.

Grants that are part of Packard's Local Grantmaking in the Bay Area typically range from $10,000 to $150,000. Check out the Local Grantmaking Program Overview to learn more. Browse through the Grants Database to learn abou the types of causes that Packard supports.

According to a foundation's grant disbursement report, more grant money has been going to environmental and conservation groups in recent years. Across the board, Packard has liked to fund programs that take a year or less to complete. Although a couple of grants were awarded to organizations with 60-month-plus programs, most grants have been going to shorter-term projects. Packard also spends about 38% of its total foundation annual grantmaking budget on planning projects, as opposed to staff development, leadership, or organizational assessment.

The foundation's total investment portfolio has totaled more than $6.7 billion, and the general program grant award budget totaled $307 million. These figures are up from the previous years. However, in the past, the foundation's local program has a budget of morel like $14 million. In the Bay Area, the foundation is also one of the most accessible for fundraisers. The local program's Local Grantmaking page is a great resource for putting together a proposal, and interested applicants can submit letters of inquiry directly online. This page is intended for grantseekers for the local grantmaking program, not the Foundation overall.

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