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

From the President

  • Taking A Chance on Longevity: A Third Option for Endowed Foundations

    It wasn’t so long ago that trustees of endowed foundations could spend 5 per cent of the value of their portfolio each year on their mission, confident that the residue would maintain its value in relation to inflation, allowing them to go on doing good indefinitely. Those days, it seems, are over, and some calculations suggest that pproaching 3.2 per cent might be a more sustainable spending level for foundations wanting to exist in perpetuity. But are perpetuity and spending out the only options? This article suggests a third way.

  • Surdna Revamps Program Guidelines

    Maximizing impact is a primary goal for every foundation.  We all see the importance of making sure each dollar we spend goes as far as possible.   At Surdna, we've taken that to heart by revamping our program guidelines so that they better address today's challenges.  Our goal is to more effectively deliver on our mission to help build more just and sustainable communities across the U.S.  We will take care to cultivate the best organizations and the most creative ideas, and to fund the implementation of practical solutions in service of our mission.

  • The Power of Storytelling

    I remember it like it was yesterday.I was at my first Independent Sector conference, and was a freshly minted foundation president.So I felt privileged to follow the “CEO Track” at the conference.One of the sessions that I thought might be amusing was one on storytelling.So I wandered into that windowless, basement conference room – you know the one—along with the other “CEO Trackers” to hear some stories.What I got instead completely blew me away.It was my first experience of the world of Andy Goodman.With humor, practiced ease, and airtight logic, Andy had me completely mesmerized for that hour, and I emerged from the session a true believer in the power of stories to communicate the messages we care about.

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.