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The Surdna Foundation’s Board of Directors launched the Andrus Family Fund (AFF) in January 2000 in an effort to engage the more than 400 extended family members between the ages of 25 and 45 in public service and organized philanthropy. While AFF is legally a fund of Surdna, it manages its own grant making program and processes.

Much of AFF’s earlier grant making was guided by the Transitions Framework and the belief that social change efforts will have a better chance for success when the emotional and psychological effects of the change process are recognized and addressed. AFF’s Board and staff adopted this framework and applied it broadly to social change in two program areas: (1) youth’s passage from foster care to independence; and (2) community reconciliation.

After an extensive review, AFF learned that while this framework was helpful to its grantees in managing their own internal organizational transitions, it limited AFF’s overall ability to impact change. The past 15 years also taught the Fund the value of working closely with grantee partners and allowed it to support a myriad of organizations both large and small.

Building on the lessons learned and best practices of its previous work, in 2014 AFF announced a new strategic direction. One that will allow AFF to make a greater impact in the lives of America’s most vulnerable youth, while still continuing a “grant plus” approach that provides its grantees with connections to people and resources that can build their capacity while advancing their work.

Mission:The Andrus Family Fund seeks to foster just and sustainable change in the United States. We do this by supporting organizations that advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.

Vision:We envision a just society in which vulnerable youth have more than one opportunity for a good life.

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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.