Nonprofit Leaders Offer Thoughts on Brest's Successor at Hewlett Foundation

Leaders of nine progressive nonprofits have sent a letter to the trustees of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation offering their thoughts on the foundation's search for a successor to Paul Brest, who plans to step down later this year after more than a decade as president, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

In the letter, officials from organizations such as Friends of the Earth, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the National Council of La Raza said they hoped the foundation would choose a leader who shares Brest's commitment to long-term grants that do not have too many strings attached and who will work to alleviate racial inequality.

The signers of the letter also commended Hewlett for supporting advocacy and policy work and urged it to boost its commitment to communities of color and other marginalized groups. While Brest has championed a results-oriented approach to grantmaking during his tenure, the letter cautioned that "strategic philanthropy too often favors a linear, excessively technocratic view of social change" and lobbied for a successor to Brest "who can implement a diversified approach more suited to the dynamic and uncertain environments it hopes to influence."

Caroline Preston. "Nonprofits Offer Their Vision for New Hewlett President." Chronicle of Philanthropy 01/02/2012.