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

From the President

  • A Clunky Word That Says It All

    Surdna is a family foundation.  A simple statement, but one that carries deep meaning for us -- meaning that shapes much of what we do.  At our most recent board meeting, we continued our examination of potential changes to the way we invest our endowment, we discussed some important modifications to the role of the board in our grantmaking process, and we breathed new life into a conversation between Surdna and the Andrus Family Fund, a grantmaking fund we created just over 15 years ago.

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy Interview with Phil Henderson: Why 'Fail Fast' Isn't the Right Approach for Philanthropy

    When Phil Henderson joined the Surdna Foundation as its president seven years ago, he led the nearly 100-year-old family foundation through an introspective process of defining its values and then reshaping its programs with a view far into the future.

  • From post-Communist Romania to Domestic Grantmaking. Surdna’s Phillip Henderson interviews with Shelterforce Magazine

    Phillip Henderson was only 38 when he took the helm at the Surdna Foundation seven years ago, becoming Surdna’s second director in what he calls its “modern era.” Henderson came to the family foundation from a career that had been focused on international philanthropy, but he applied many of the lessons he learned fostering civic engagement in post-Communist Europe to Surdna’s domestic grantmaking. Henderson sat down with Shelterforce to talk about aligning program with mission, cross-pollination between programs, and Surdna’s recent launch into the impact investing world.

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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