50 Years of Lasting Change

On April 28th, 1964 – 50 years ago today – the David and Lucile Packard Foundation held its first-ever Board meeting as an incorporated organization. Grantmaking in those early years, and throughout the next five decades, sought to promote progress in areas that reflected the deep commitments of Dave and Lucile, the Packard family, and the Foundation board: conserving and restoring earth’s natural systems, enabling creative science, promoting the reproductive health and rights of women and young people, ensuring a good start for children in their earliest years, and supporting vibrant local communities.

Today, we are proud to release two digital interactive products which in different ways, highlight work we have supported throughout our 50 years.  First, and most important, you can scroll through a new digital timeline, where we have compiled some of the key accomplishments and efforts we have been proud to be a part of with our grantees and funding partners.  We are also releasing a re-designed Glance at the Foundation, a compilation of data that we put together annually to provide additional information regarding our grantmaking. We have included special 50-year data in this year’s report, and you will see that the Foundation has awarded over $7.2 billion in grants since 1964.

When I look at the timeline, it deepens my appreciation not only for the visionary foresight of David and Lucile Packard but also for their commitment to taking the long view.  That perspective is evident not only in our support for major institutions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, but also in our many long-term and large-scale efforts with others toward ambitious goals such as establishing sustainable fishing practices and strong coastal management, slowing climate change, ensuring universal access to family planning, and making health insurance and quality early childhood education available to all children.

Due to David and Lucile Packard’s generosity, this Foundation has been blessed with significant resources, as well as with strong guiding values and a commitment to the long view.  But these would accomplish little without the leadership and vision of grantee organizations and funding partners. There are many more stories to tell and events to highlight from the past, and we shine a spotlight now on these with a deep sense of gratitude to all who have been a part of them.