Special Projects

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Funding is reserved each year to support special projects that do not necessarily align with our primary programs.


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. They are one-time grants to help support catalytic projects.


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

Boston Review
for general operating support
National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy
for New Day at Federal Hall National Memorial
Avow Foundation for Abortion Access
for executive transition support
Little Forks Conservancy
for general operating support

Our Team

Larry Kramer
Larry Kramer 
Sherry Huang
Sherry Huang 
Program Fellow
Vidya Krishnamurthy
Vidya Krishnamurthy 
Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor to the President
Kristy Bernard Tsadick 
Deputy General Counsel
Marlene Zapata
Marlene Zapata 
Program Associate

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 PEAK Grantmaking 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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