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

From the President

  • 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.

  • Sandy’s Challenge for Grant Makers: Fix Water, Food, and Transit Systems

    Those who lived for a week or more without electricity, water, or transportation in the aftermath of Sandy instantly understood the fragility of our physical systems. But now it's up to foundations and nonprofits to make the link for voters, policy makers, businesses, and others about the part we all need to play in rebuilding better. A meaningful recovery requires us to push a vision of next-generation infrastructure that improves the nation's transit systems, makes buildings more energy-efficient, better manages water systems, and improves our food system.

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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