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Funders Forum

Surdna Foundation

October 2010

The Surdna Foundation has recently introduced three new programs — Strong Local Economies, Sustainable Environments, and Thriving Cultures — and is focusing its funding particularly on issues at the intersection of those areas, such as community-driven design and the green economy, green manufacturing, and green jobs. The Foundation Center asked Phillip Henderson, Surdna's president:

Surdna Foundation

Question What has Surdna learned from its recent partnerships with policymakers and other grantmakers, and in what ways can grantmakers with similar funding interests collaborate with you?

Answer "We have learned that the best opportunity for policy change right now is at the regional, state, and local levels. While the "big bang" of federal policy change can affect the landscape of entire sections of the economy in one shot, the probability of achieving this level of policy breakthrough remains small. However, there has been a tremendous amount of experimentation and success at other levels of government. By cultivating relationships with key policymakers across the country through network development, sharing of best practices, and other kinds of support, foundations can see a steady accumulation of positive change that amounts to a great deal of overall impact on the issues we care about. This lesson has helped Surdna calibrate its investments in engaging with policymakers and in stimulating policy change.

"Surdna Foundation recognizes that its resources are far too limited to singlehandedly develop sustainable communities across the United States, so we are always looking for partners in our work. We participate in a wide range of funder collaboratives — including the Funder's Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities as well as Living Cities — and have myriad other formal and informal partnerships with other funders, from strong co-funding arrangements on national issues like transportation reform to local partnerships like those we have in Cleveland. These all present terrific opportunities to access pools of intellectual and financial capital being deployed toward critical issues. We look forward to engaging with more grantmaking colleagues in the field who share our values and goals."

Funder's Forum: Donor Profiles

The Kresge Foundation
April 2014

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
March 2014

Rauch Foundation
February 2014

Stavros Niarchos Foundation
January 2014

The Louis Calder Foundation
December 2013

The Bella Vista Foundation
November 2013

The Skillman Foundation
October 2013

Rosenberg Foundation
September 2013

The Pittsburgh Foundation
August 2013

Saint Luke's Foundation
July 2013

The Sobrato Family Foundation
June 2013

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
March 2013

Trustees' Philanthropy Fund, Fidelity Charitable
February 2013

The Duke Endowment
January 2013

The Beazley Foundation
October 2012

The Colcom Foundation
September 2012

The Clark Foundation
August 2012

The Hyde and Watson Foundation
July 2012

Annie E. Casey Foundation
June 2012

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
May 2012

Markle Foundation
March 2012

The Commonwealth Fund
February 2012

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund
January 2012

Posner-Wallace Foundation
December 2011

Public Welfare Foundation
November 2011

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
October 2011

Walter & Elise Haas Fund
September 2011

Alcoa Foundation
August 2011

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
July 2011

The Cleveland Foundation
June 2011

Fannie E. Rippel Foundation
May 2011

The California Wellness Foundation
April 2011

Jerome Foundation
March 2011

Lumina Foundation
for Education

February 2011

Charles Stewart
Mott Foundation

January 2011

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
December 2010

M. J. Murdock
Charitable Trust

December 2010

Surdna Foundation
October 2010

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