By Carol S. Larson, President and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
For the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, this is a time of great concern. Scientific research is being defunded and scientific knowledge discounted; commitments to halt dangerous climate change and increase the productivity of our oceans are being abandoned; and the fundamental right to quality health care is being undermined. These changes affect us all, and they have a disproportionate impact on the poor and the marginalized. We cannot afford the long-term damage these decisions could cause.
In the face of these realities, we recognize the need to deepen our commitment to our longstanding areas of focus. In the five decades since we began our grantmaking, we have partnered with our grantees to enable the creative pursuit of science and protect and restore Earth’s natural systems. We have worked to ensure that women and girls have the right to quality reproductive health services, and that every child has the opportunity to get a fair start in life. Those victories are in jeopardy.
The Packard Foundation has always worked hard to focus on the big picture. We make significant, long-term investments in our grantees so they can think big and work toward long lasting change. In other words, we are in this for the long haul.
At the same time, we also know how important it is to respond quickly when the situation demands it. Given the current challenges, the Packard Foundation has increased its grants budget for 2017 by up to $22 million. Our program teams have been in touch with grantees and partners to understand where these funds are most needed and may have impact. We have already awarded more than $10 million of those additional funds to grantees working on science, litigation, advocacy, communications, and building organizational capacity.
These are challenging times, to say the least, but the Packard Foundation wants its grantees and other important partners to understand how deeply committed we are to working together to achieve our shared goals.
Please take a moment to visit Packard.org, where you can learn about our ongoing work. We recently published two new reports, which you may be interested in reviewing. Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding is a guide to help ocean advocates make better, faster, and more informed decisions, and The Giving Code report explores how local nonprofits and funders can work together to address critical needs in the Silicon Valley community.
Thank you for your tireless dedication to creating a better world and inspiring hope and progress.