USA – £151.9m
Never stifle a generous impulse,” was one of William Hewlett’s favourite sayings and he kept his word. Hewlett, one half of the duo that set up computer manufacturing giant Hewlett Packard, has proved just as generous as his HP co-founder David Packard.
In fact, it was the personal generosity of Hewlett, who passed away in 2001, that has made the Hewlett Foundation one of the nation’s largest, with assets of more than £5bn.
Hewlett set up the foundation with his wife Flora and their eldest son Walter in 1967.
The foundation’s ambitious goals include helping to reduce global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change and supporting education and performing arts in their home county California.
Just like the Gates Foundation, it combines giving grants for immediate help with a programme of robust analysis, measuring the impact of its programmes and adjusting its work accordingly.
Fitting for a foundation that originates from the wealth of a computer pioneer, last month the Hewlett Foundation announced $45m (£26.6m) in grants to MIT, Stanford and Berkeley to establish major new academic centres for cyber security policy research.
The research will focus on laying the foundations for smart, sustainable public policy to deal with the growing cyber threats faced by governments, businesses, and individuals. The foundation has now committed some $65m (£41.4m) over the next five years to strengthening the nascent field of cyber security, the largest such commitment to date by a private donor.
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