In 1964 when David and Lucile Packard set up a family foundation to provide philanthropic support for the issues most important to them, they could not have predicted or imagined the world we live in today.
In fact, when David Packard was asked to write down a vision for the Foundation after Lucile passed away, he refused. He believed that no one could foresee what the future would look like and wanted the Foundation to be able to evolve and adapt to the challenges of an ever-changing world.
The need to evolve and adapt is especially acute in today’s world of rapid change and upheaval. Multiple, intertwined crises are having a profound impact, both globally and locally. The intensifying climate crisis, a persistent global pandemic, the ugly legacy of racial injustice, the assault on women’s rights, and rising threats to our U.S. democracy, against a backdrop of growing global instability, constitute a daunting set of challenges that demand new approaches and urgency.
Since the beginning, our Foundation has been committed to investing in people who work to improve our environment; deepen our scientific understanding of the world; make reproductive health and justice a reality; and ensure that women, children, and families can thrive in their communities. Our commitment to these broad issues remains steadfast.
Yet, we are also keenly aware of the dynamic complexity of the systems that drive these issues and require us to reexamine how to make and sustain meaningful progress. This reexamination has animated our Board of Trustees and staff over the last 18 months as we embarked on a strategic planning process to rethink and reimagine our future.
Earlier this year, we shared our new vision and mission and refreshed values. These core elements challenged us to consider how to work differently, with a greater focus on understanding the interdependency of the issues we address and the central role of inequity and injustice in undermining progress.
Our Vision: A just and equitable world where both people and nature flourish.
Our Mission: We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world.
Our experience and partner input underscored that working issue-by-issue is not sufficient to solve for the multifaceted dynamics and underlying root causes threatening people and the planet. Most importantly, the entwined, increasingly urgent challenges of the day underscore that when the institutions, structures, policies, and practices that form the bedrock of societies are unjust and inequitable, we are unable to make and sustain progress. This is starkly clear both globally and here at home. This reality demands different approaches.
Our Foundation Goals
Through our strategic planning process, we identified three overarching, interdependent goals to guide the Foundation’s work: Protect and Restore Our Natural World, Invest in Families and Communities, and Build Just Societies. We believe these three goals capture what is most critical to accomplishing our mission and vision and where the Packard Foundation’s experience, partnerships, and funding can make the greatest contribution. These three goals call out the interconnectedness of our efforts, and together they serve as guiding stars for everything we do.
To Protect and Restore Our Natural World, we will champion bold climate solutions, an ocean that sustains us, and scientific innovation and discovery to secure the health and future of people and planet. Across our globe, the fate of both people and our natural world are inextricably linked, and all solutions must account for both.
We Invest in Families and Communities. We prioritize the importance of children having a healthy start and promoting resilient and vibrant communities where children and families thrive, so they have the power to shape their lives. Communities and families are the building blocks of societies, where systems of care enable resilience in the face of adversity.
Importantly, we aspire to Build Just Societies as essential for supporting families and communities and to protect and restore our natural world. When the institutions, structures, policies, and practices that form societies are inclusive and fair, they create conditions for more sustained progress, whether on climate change, health care, reproductive rights, or racial and gender equity. `
Much of what we fund will remain the same in pursuit of these goals. We will continue our deep commitments to enabling a carbon neutral future, a healthy ocean, scientific innovation and discovery, vibrant families and communities, and securing women’s reproductive health and rights, including abortion care. What will change is how we advance those core issues, with additional new focus areas and approaches. This includes:
- Adding a new initiative on U. S. Democracy, Rights, and Governance. A stronger pro-equity, multi-racial U.S. democracy is essential, both as an accelerant to making progress and a stabilizing force to ensure long lasting solutions. We have long used the levers of democracy to advance our key policy interests, but now commit to strengthening the system itself, with the potential of more fully realizing the promise of our democracy.
- Prioritizing justice and equity throughout our work, acknowledging that injustice and inequity takes many forms in differing contexts and is essential to understand and address. We commit to a specific focus on racial equity in the U.S., which is bolstered by our $100 million Justice and Equity Fund, and on gender equity globally. Internally, we continue to identify the ways and practices to increase the diversity of our staff and Board of Trustees.
- Exploring how and where to work most effectively in partnership with communities. This is inclusive of building on our long experience in our local area and throughout California.
- Expanding our support for leaders and organizations. A civil society with strong leaders and capable organizations is an essential component to well-functioning, equitable and inclusive societies.
Taken together, our updated organizational values, new mission and vision, and our ambitious Foundation goals are the culmination of thoughtful examination by our Foundation’s Board of Trustees and staff. They constitute a framework that we believe will help to clarify our actions and unlock greater collaboration and creativity, so together we can solve the significant challenges ahead of us.
We are thrilled to begin this new chapter and look forward to continuing the dialogue and shared passion for positive change with each of you.