Flora Family Foundation: Grants for Dance

OVERVIEW: The Flora Family Foundation is a multi-generational family philanthropic enterprise endowed with the wealth of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company) and his late wife Flora. Its giving is wide-ranging, and includes support of arts and culture, education, the advancement of women, the environment, and global security throughout the U.S. and around the world.

IP TAKE: The Flora Family Foundation makes substantial investments in arts and culture throughout the U.S. Though not a stated restriction, its recent grants to dance organizations have primarily focused on San Francisco. This foundation does not accept unsolicited requests, so even if you are in the Bay Area, the first order of business is to find a way to connect with the family and the foundation’s board and staff.

PROFILE: The Flora Family Foundation was established in 1998 by the family of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company) and his late wife, Flora. Note: this foundation is a wholly separate entity from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Hewlett-Packard Company, and the Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation.

The Flora Family Foundation was created upon “the belief that each individual has an obligation to go beyond the narrow confines of his or her personal interests and be mindful of the broader concerns of humanity.” It does not accept unsolicited proposals or inquiries, and its general direction of giving is sculpted by Hewlett’s children, grandchildren and their spouses—and therefore the giving is in sync with their interests. A portion of the Hewlett family also makes up the foundation’s board (along with two non-family members), serving one or two year terms, then rotating out.

Formally, the foundation has no geographic restrictions on its giving. But taking in the totality of its recent granting reveals that it does favor particular geographic regions, which most often coincide with where its board members and/or family members reside. San Francisco and the Bay Area is unquestionably the foundation’s favorite location, and has been the epicenter of almost all recent dance-related grants.

The ways in which the foundation is willing to earmark its grants to your dance project or program are varied. The Flora Family Foundation will fund start-up expenses, program initiatives, capital improvements, media productions, and general operations. Of this general operating support, the foundation is keenly aware of its value, stating, “This form of support is particularly valuable to nonprofit organizations.”

You can see recent dance and dance-inclusive grants from the foundation by clicking here.

    The Flora Family Foundation not only prides itself on its “flexibility and responsiveness to needs and opportunities as they arise across the entire public benefit sector”—it describes this as the foundation’s “hallmark.” When you’re able to create an opportunity to connect with a family and/or board member, pitching your dance project in the context of this hallmark is a good place to start.

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