Supporting Just and Sustainable Communities

The Surdna Foundation supports social justice reform, healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures across the United States.

Our History

The Surdna Foundation was founded in 1917 by John Emory Andrus to pursue a range of philanthropic purposes. To this day, family stewardship of the Foundation is guided by Andrus’ commitment to serving those in need.

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Through our investments, we dismantle the barriers that limit opportunities to create more prosperous, enriching, and sustainable communities. Taken together, our investments build capacity, spark innovation, and connect stakeholders while encouraging lesson-sharing between grantees.

Inclusive Economies

We support and invest in the growth of robust, sustainable economies with diverse businesses owned by people of color and the advancement of equitable economic development.

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Sustainable Environments

We support the creation of just and sustainable communities in which low-wealth and communities of color have the power to self-determine the ownership, control and stewardship of land and its infrastructure assets.

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Thriving Cultures

We invest in artists, culture-bearers, designers, and media-makers of color who partner with their communities to radically imagine justice and foster the conditions for just systems and practices to be adopted.

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December 5, 2018

How NFG is Disrupting Funder-Grantee Dynamics

Helen Chin has just led the Surdna Foundation’s Sustainable Environments Program through a strategy refinement process. “Now,” she says, with satisfaction, “We are able to connect more robustly with what’s bubbling from the ground…

November 7, 2018

Thriving Cultures Program Officer

The Surdna Foundation—a national, social justice, family foundation based in New York City—seeks a Program Officer for its Thriving Cultures Program. The Program Officer will be part of a three-person team led by a Program Director. The…

Staff Perspectives
October 11, 2018

Philanthropic Leadership Means Following the Frontlines

When we talk about “building the capacity” of frontline and grassroots leaders who are changing structures, policies, and systems, what does that really mean for funders? Many funders use antiquated and static systems of inquiry to identify and…

October 10, 2018

Surdna Foundation Announces $3 Million in Grants

During the period of July-September 2018, 15 grants totaling $3,035,000 were approved by the Surdna Foundation staff and board to further the Foundation’s mission of fostering just and sustainable communities in the United States – communities…

Staff Spotlight
September 25, 2018

Shuaib Siddiqui, Director, Impact Investing

Shuaib A. Siddiqui is the Surdna Foundation’s director of impact investing. For the past two years he has led the Foundation’s efforts to go beyond its mission-aligned investing strategy to also build up the field of impact investing. “The…

September 17, 2018

Living Cities Blog: Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up [SU(3)] - Part 2

Albuquerque – along with San Francisco and New Orleans – are a part of a Living Cities’ cohort intended to tackle entrepreneurial barriers for people of color. The initiative–named Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up –is designed to connect…