Historically, our public transit systems have been underfunded, with a majority of public and private funds dedicated to building roads and highways. While the US highway system catalyzed economic growth, this pattern of development also physically fragmented many communities along socio-economic and racial lines, limited people’s access to economic opportunity, and damaged the environment.  The Sustainable Environments Program supports transportation systems and transit solutions that give people affordable and reliable options to get to work, school, and home while minimizing impacts on the environment and maximizing equitable economic opportunities.

What we fund:

We seek funding opportunities that:

  • Strengthen and expand the use of transportation project performance standards that improve transportation options, increase access and mobility, reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions, and advance climate resilient strategies;
  • Strengthen procurement and other policies so that the public funds spent on transportation help create quality jobs and deliver the broadest possible public benefits to nearby communities;
  • Support innovative revenue models to build out sustainable transportation networks and ensure public benefits;
  • Promote regional transportation and land use practices that integrate light rail, transit, and urban-suburban connections.

We give preference to efforts that:

  • Improve conditions and opportunities for communities that rely on public transportation;
  • Integrate transportation system improvements with other infrastructure needs (for example, transportation solutions that provide for stormwater management and/or help with regional food supply distribution and delivery);
  • Build next generation infrastructure capacity and expertise among state and local leaders;
  • Collect and distribute success stories and lessons learned to key leaders.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for a Surdna Foundation grant, please submit a letter of inquiry by clicking here.  Please note: We can only support organizations that meet our guidelines listed under "What we fund."

Note:  The language on this page is an attempt to share our thinking and we recognize that we may not be using the same words and terms as many of you doing the work. We encourage you to use the language and frameworks you have defined for yourself.

Program Related Investments

Surdna's Program Related Investment Fund supports the foundation’s mission by providing investment capital to fund innovations that use market-based approaches to address economic, cultural, and environmental challenges.

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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.