Social Justice at the Surdna Foundation

Social Justice at the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation's commitment to address social justice issues explicitly has required difficult and ongoing conversations, a broad understanding of long-term systemic change, and acknowledgement that the work will never be "done," a report from the foundation finds. Based on interviews with former and current Surdna board members, staff, grantees, and partners, the report, Social Justice at the Surdna Foundation (16 pages, PDF), found that the foundation's stated commitment to social justice helped attract staff and board members from diverse backgrounds and experiences. As part of its commitment, the foundation began, in 2013, to leverage program- and mission-related investments in support of low-income communities, people of color, and socially responsible business practices, while in 2017 it announced that it would allocate $100 million — approximately 10 percent of its corpus — to impact investments. "We know making this commitment in our work comes with the responsibility to share what we are learning, both the successes and the mistakes," the report notes, "and to do the best we can to enrich the broader field of philanthropy with our experience."