Hewlett Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation supports education through its deeper learning and open educational resources initiatives. It funds organizations that conduct quantitative research, advocate, and inform policy in its specific areas of interest.

IP TAKE: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation runs two education initiatives: deeper learning, which seeks to align educational practices in the U.S. with the challenges of the changing global workplace, and open educational resources, which aims to create high-quality, standards-aligned educational materials that are free and available to people everywhere.

PROFILE: Based in Menlo Park, California, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation was established in 1966 by William Hewlett, an engineer and cofounder of the Hewlett Packard technology company, and his wife, Flora. A separate entity from the Hewlett Packard Company Foundation, this foundation “advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world.” Its funding initiatives are education, environment, global development and population, performing arts and effective philanthropy. It also runs two signature programs, the Cyber Initiative, which conducts research and informs policy on the challenges that internet imposes upon society, and the Madison Initiative, which promotes bipartisan problem solving in the U.S. Congress. 

Education funding at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is organized around two strategies: deeper learning and open educational resources. The deeper learning program aims to help U.S. schools to “deliver and measure” six competencies that will help students excel in the global marketplace. These skills are the mastery of interrelated content, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, effective communication, self-directed learning and the development of an academic mindset. The foundation supports organizations that conduct research, inform policy, and align curricula and assessments to these skills. To this end, the foundation has collaborated with the American Institutes for Research and the Center for Evaluation and Equity Studies at RTI International to measure the long-term effects of deeper learning skills on students’ academic achievement.

Hewlett’s open educational resources (OER) initiative invests in the creation and maintenance of high-quality, standards-aligned educational materials that are and will remain free and openly available for use by people everywhere. One past grantee is the Open Education Consortium, a group of over 300 institutions from around the world that is committed to advancing OER and advocates for the advancement of OER infrastructure.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation makes approximately 80 education grants each year. Grants range in amount from $25,000 to over $1 million. Funded organizations may be further explored at the foundation’s searchable grants database.

The foundation’s education initiative does not accept unsolicited proposals. It occasionally posts post requests for proposals on its education webpage.


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