In a family foundation there is no question as to the importance of learning from the donors and carrying out their legacy. David and Lucile Packard left our foundation their estate as well as their ideas, their methods and their values. However they were not willing to tell future trustees what programs to support.

Dave Packard, who lived nine years longer than Lucile, was asked several times in his later years to write down what he wanted the foundation to support after he died. He refused, saying that he had changed his own mind over the years as new information, challenges and issues emerged and he could not foresee what were going to be the most important issues in the future. For the time being, most of the grant programs we support at the foundation are similar to those started when Lucile and David Packard were alive. This is because we share their belief that these are the important areas of concern for our world today. Now, with increased assets, we’re able to expand our ability to work on the issues and be more effective. We know that we can pursue new ideas and use new approaches when the times dictate a change in direction.

Read the full article about the legacy of David and Lucile Packard by Susan Packard Orr and Cole Wilbur at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.