Phil Henderson, Surdna Foundation's President, reflects on the mission, goals, and programs of the social justice family foundation.

From the President

  • New loan fund provides short-term capital to NYC small businesses owned by people of color, women and immigrants

    Small businesses—especially those owned by people of color, women and immigrants—all too often lack the financial track record and the flexible capital needed to win contracts for infrastructure investments and other urban development efforts. Local businesses can and do win public and private contracts, but we want to increase the numbers and diversity of businesses that are able to participate in these bids. This requires that the right conditions be in place, including policies that support business growth, loan products with flexible underwriting standards, and business development and marketing assistance. 

  • Is Nonprofit Board Service Worth It? Reflections From A One-Time Skeptic

    Early in my career, I have to admit, I was a bit of skeptic about boards, thinking they were really just window dressing. Wasn’t a board member’s job simply lending his or her name to the organization’s letterhead, attending quarterly meetings, and offering the occasional nugget of wisdom? In other words: Don’t board members just show up and smile? It would be difficult to convince a skeptic otherwise, for we’ve all heard the not-so-apocryphal-sounding stories of big corporate boards that were asleep at the wheel while their CEOs did nefarious deeds.

  • Reflecting, Learning, Moving Forward: Surdna’s November 2013 Board Meeting

    Years ago, the Surdna Foundation board decided that its November meeting should be different. They believe that grantmakers like Surdna are afforded the great opportunity of taking a long-term view of their work. We were established to exist in perpetuity and have a responsibility to use this unique status to help foster just and sustainable communities in the United States.

Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation

Phillip W. HendersonA national leader among family foundation executives, Phil Henderson has focused Surdna on collaboration both internally across programs, and externally among funders within the foundation's issue areas. He has committed the foundation to using social justice as a compass to guide the systemic change Surdna aims for in its mission.

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Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.