Larry Kramer, President of the Hewlett Foundation, Ponders on Today's Philanthropy

Larry Kramer, president of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, penned a letter in which he reflects on philanthropy after, what he calls, “a year as tumultuous and unsettling as 2017.” Kramer points out the spirit of a funder’s work, the responsibility to steward tactfully a foundation’s resources, and the adaptations and responses required to navigate changes in the political landscape in the US and abroad.

In an extract from his letter, Adapting our Philanthropy in Trying Times, Kramer discusses committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion:

These values are not something we started thinking about only last year, nor something around which our plans were significantly disrupted by the election. It nevertheless seems right to close with them because of other things that happened last year, things that have already spilled over to this one: things like the reemergence of white nationalism into public consciousness, the long overdue attention to sexual harassment, and now the rumors of racist slurs in the White House.

Questions about race and gender, and identity generally, have become matters for everyone to grapple with, but especially organizations like ours, whose very purpose is the betterment of society. Now more than ever, we need to examine ourselves and our practices, and to show how welcoming and embracing our differences can make us stronger and better.

Read the full letter.

Image courtesy: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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