By Sarah Wright
Readers Vote the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as the Best Education Sponsor
Once upon a time, HP Computers were called Hewlett Packard Computers - as in Hewlett Foundation founder William Hewlett, who is quoted on the foundation's website saying that one should 'never stifle a generous impulse.' The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a grant giving organization, funded by an endowment from the William and Flora, his wife. Currently, the foundation's assets total more than $7 billion.
The foundation has made several high-profile educational grants, including giving seed money to the Creative Commons Foundation and other efforts to foster open education resources. In addition to its education funding program, the Hewlett Foundation funds projects in performing arts, global development and environmental conservation, to name just a few areas. In 2010, the foundation gave a total of more than $500,000,000 to its various projects and nonprofit beneficiaries. Though William Hewlett died in 2001, the foundation that carries his name continues to do good works with his financial legacy.
Honoring the Runners-Up
Though our readers voted for their favorite, this is a category in which every nominee is truly deserving of admiration and recognition. All three nominees have made incredible strides in promoting the cause of education.
The Gates Foundation
Founded in 1994 with the financial backing of a tech industry magnate, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest private foundations on the planet. The foundation's efforts in preventing the spread of disease in Africa has been well publicized, but its contributions to education should not be overlooked. Just within the United States, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working to make it possible for every child to have a fair shot at getting an excellent education. By working with nonprofit and government partners and granting scholarships directly to worthy students, the Gates Foundation is helping to ensure that educational quality and access remains a top priority.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Star Wars creator George Lucas is a hero to pop culture geeks everywhere. And thanks to the work that his foundation does, he should be seen as a hero to bookish nerds as well. The George Lucas Educational Foundation's primary activity is to fund and run Edutopia.org, a website that provides free online resources for teachers. Based on a set of 'core strategies' that include social and emotional learning, teacher development and technology integration, Edutopia supports education by assisting educators.
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