June 11, 2013
The Surdna Foundation today announced George Soule as its first-ever director of communications. Bringing more than 20 years of communications and foundation experience, Soule joins the Foundation on June 11 to lead the organization's internal and external communication efforts.
Soule will help Surdna find ways to use strategic communication to support and leverage its partnerships with grantees, funders and leaders in the public and private sectors to foster sustainable communities. He will strive to improve how Surdna shares its learning to enable good ideas to spread and models to get replicated. Last, he will help the Foundation and its grantees promptly respond to current events that offer opportunities to engage people to think differently about how best to transform our communities.
"The Surdna Foundation recognizes the powerful role strategic communication can play in creating a bigger impact on the issues we're working to advance," said Surdna President Phillip Henderson in announcing the newly created position. "George will help amplify the voices of our grantees - whether through storytelling or leveraging the latest digital tools - and double down on the Foundation's commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration across its programs and the fields in which we work."
As manager of strategic communications at Carnegie Corporation of New York, Soule developed and implemented successful communication strategies for the foundation's international security, education reform, and immigrant integration programs. Soule previously served for 10 years as an associate director for the Rockefeller Foundation. In addition to his foundation work, Soule was a vice president at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from Duke University and a Master of Arts in international political economies from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
"George's passion for using communication to improve philanthropic impact is inspiring. It shows through his deep commitment to social change, his track record of leadership on ground-breaking advocacy campaigns and his conviction that greater transparency leads to better grantmaking," said Sharon Alpert, Surdna's senior director of programs and strategy. "We will put his talents to good use as we seek to increasingly share stories from the field and what we are learning about what is working and what isn't working."
Soule is Surdna's latest hire and part of the Foundation's on-going effort to strengthen its capacity to deliver on its mission and accelerate and deepen its work through the program strategies announced in December. The new director of communications joins four new program officers who joined the Foundation in February . Growing the team enables the Foundation to increase its ability to listen to the best thinkers and practitioners in the field, serve as good partners to grantees, and make sure our grantmaking is effective and responsive.
The search was conducted by Gumbs + Partners, a New York City-based executive search firm serving the nonprofit community nationally and internationally.
It wasn’t so long ago that trustees of endowed foundations could spend 5 per cent of the value of their portfolio each year on their mission, confident that the residue would maintain its value in relation to inflation, allowing them to go on doing good indefinitely. Those days, it seems, are over, and some calculations suggest that pproaching 3.2 per cent might be a more sustainable spending level for foundations wanting to exist in perpetuity. But are perpetuity and spending out the only options? This article suggests a third way.
Read the full article by Richard Jenkins, published in Alliance Magaine (with commentary from foundation executives, including our own Phillip Henderson).
Smart Growth America’s Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development reveals that every community in the country can improve its budget by using smart development strategies.
Building Better Budgets collects local studies from across the United States, comparing the costs and benefits of different development strategies. Nearly every study included in the survey found a smart growth approach would benefit public finances. The new report uses these local findings to inform national conclusions—and they are striking.
Smart growth development costs at least one third less for upfront infrastructure construction. Across the studies, upfront costs for roads, sewers, water lines, and other infrastructure cost an average of 38 percent less in the smart growth scenario. Some of the studies concluded that this number is as high as 50 percent.
Smart growth development saves taxpayers at least 10 percent on ongoing delivery of services. The ongoing cost of police, ambulance, and fire services was an average of 10 percent less in the smart growth scenarios, thanks in large part to better street connections and in some cases the actual number of vehicles, facilities, and personnel required to serve the neighborhood.
Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development. On an average per-acre basis, smart growth development patterns produced 10 times more tax revenue than conventional suburban development.
Taken as a whole, these findings represent an enormous opportunity for communities. Every municipality could cut costs and even raise revenue by making different choices about where and how to build.
Surdna seeks an Assistant Controller, with an emphasis on investment analysis, that reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer and coordinates with the Human Resources and Administrative Manager. The position will add value and additional control over financial, investment, and administrative operations.
Click here for details.
Pratt Center for Community Development's new report, "Brooklyn Navy Yard: an analysis of its economic impact and opportunities for replication," is the most-in-depth look to date at the successful industrial park and the culmination of a multi-year effort.
Pratt Center conducted a thorough investigation of the Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY), a 300-acre city-owned industrial park and one of the fastest growing green manufacturing centers in the country. The report demonstrates that New York City’s strategy of retaining ownership of the Navy Yard, placing it under mission-driven, nonprofit management and investing a total of $250 million in capital funds since 1996 has paid off: the Navy Yard generates $2 billion in economic output and sustains 10,000 jobs and $390 million in earnings each year.
Though large scale production has declined across the United States and in New York City, the report reveals the emergence of a new generation of small, specialized companies. The Navy Yard’s 330 tenants are increasingly linked to the city’s high-profile industries like architecture and design and film and media, as well as the city’s burgeoning cleantech sector.
The report provides analysis that can help other cities strengthen their manufacturing sectors by replicating all or part of the Navy Yard model; Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit were analyzed. The report also offers recommendations for tools that federal, state and city governments can implement to help private and nonprofit developers acquire and renovate older industrial buildings and make them attractive to today’s modern urban manufacturer.
Download the report... (15MB, 130 pages)
The Surdna Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of four new Program Officers. To more effectively deliver on our mission to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States, the Foundation recently decided to expand our program staff. All four new staff members will be joining the Foundation in February 2013.
"With the addition of these four talented professionals, Surdna is poised to accelerate and deepen our work on the range of new program strategies we announced in December. We are incredibly excited about the burst of energy and ideas this cohort of new staff members will bring to the Foundation," said Phillip Henderson, President.
Surdna's programs -- Sustainable Environments, Strong Local Economies, and Thriving Cultures -- will be better equipped to be effective investors, partners, and connectors in all of our areas of work with this added capacity.
The search was conducted by Gumbs + Partners, a New York City-based executive search firm serving the nonprofit community nationally and internationally.
About the Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation - one of the nation's oldest family foundations - was established in 1917 by John E. Andrus, and is governed today by fourth and fifth generation Andrus family members. Surdna seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States - communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. With assets of approximately $850 million, Surdna awards about $35 million in grants annually to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the United States.
The Surdna Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Leticia Peguero as the new Executive Director for the Andrus Family Fund (AFF) and the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program (AFPP), effective February 18, 2013.
Ms. Peguero comes to AFF and AFPP with over 18 years of experience in social justice programming and philanthropy work. She most recently served as Regional Vice President of the Posse Foundation, where she managed the organization's sites in Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans and Houston.
Ms. Peguero replaces Steve "Kelly" Kelban, founding Executive Director of AFF and AFPP, who retired in October.
"The growth of the AFF and AFPP programs since their founding in 2000 has been amazing. We are so pleased to have Leticia joining us to help us continue to develop new opportunities for members of the Andrus family to participate in philanthropic work that creates positive change in the United States," said Phillip Henderson, President of the Surdna Foundation.
Prior to joining the Posse Foundation, Ms. Peguero was the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships, where alongside the Local Funding Partnerships team she oversaw a $6.5 million portfolio that leveraged the power of partnerships by combining resources with local grantmakers to fund creative, pragmatic and community driven projects. Ms. Peguero's extensive experience working in nonprofits includes her role as Manager of Community Relations for the YWCA of the City of New York and Associate Director of Adult Education at Planned Parenthood of New York City where she was responsible for designing, implementing and managing a program to train healthcare professionals in New York City and the Caribbean on how to integrate HIV prevention services into reproductive care in a culturally appropriate and relevant manner.
Ms. Peguero said, "It's quite an honor to have the opportunity to work with the Andrus family. I'm so impressed with what's been done through AFF and AFPP over the past 13 years, and I am excited to join the organization, build on this important work and help to move it forward."
Ms. Peguero is a graduate of the National Urban Fellows, one of the country's top leadership development programs. Ms. Peguero also works in her community, especially focusing her efforts on providing capacity and strategic advice to small organizations run by people of color in New York City. She is a Board member of the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault and co-chairs their fundraising committee. Ms. Peguero holds a B.A. from Fordham University and graduated with honors from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College with a Masters in Public Administration.
Andrus Family Fund's Mission Statement
The Andrus Family Fund, guided by the Transitions Framework and principles of racial equity, seeks to foster just and sustainable change in the United States. Specifically, we aspire to advance efforts leading to community reconciliation and improving outcomes for youth who are leaving the foster care system.
About the Andrus Family Fund and the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program
The Andrus Family's most prominent endeavor is the Surdna Foundation, established by family patriarch, John Emory Andrus, in 1917. Currently, the foundation has assets of more than $800 million and is among the dozen largest family foundations in the country. Surdna's work is focused on fostering the development of just and sustainable communities across the United States.
Thirteen years ago the Board of Directors of the Surdna Foundation launched the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program (AFPP) to engage the more than 400 extended family members in philanthropy and public service. AFPP is an array of programs that promote and develop meaningful opportunities for younger members of the Andrus family to engage in public service, volunteerism, education, and training in philanthropy and non-profit work.
As part of AFPP, the Andrus Family Fund (AFF) was established to give fifth-generation family members ages 25-45 an opportunity to learn about and participate in organized philanthropy. While AFF is legally a fund of the Surdna Foundation, AFF defines and manages its own grant making program and process. Through AFF, a new generation of Andrus family philanthropists is identifying and implementing its own philanthropic vision.
For more information about the Andrus Family Fund, please visit: www.affund.org
Residents of NE Portland are taking an "eco-district" approach to community rebuilding that centers on creating environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy. The most recent project is Let Us Build Cully Park! Working with 15 community based organizations, Verde, a Surdna grantee supported by all three program areas, established the Let Us Build Cully Park! Coalition. This compelling video shows how this low-income community is building assets of all kinds through a model that we hope can be replicated in communities throughout the country.
Nonprofit Finance Fund's (NFF) annual State of the Sector nonprofit survey asks about nonprofits organizations' financial & management challenges and opportunities in 2012 and 2013. The annonymous survey takes only 10-15 minutes to fill out, and the results will be used to generate widespread awareness of nonprofits' experiences as they work hard to serve their communities.
Now in its fifth year, NFF's nation-wide survey provides robust data studied in detail by dozens of funders and featured prominently in leading publications(see previous results here). By filling out the survey, you help inform foundations, the media, government and other nonprofits about the state of the sector and showcase the smart decisions nonprofits are making to cope and adapt in difficult times.
The survey is now live. To participate, click the icon below:
December 30, 2012
Surdna announces the death of John E. Andrus III, grandson of Surdna's founder, at the age of 103. Mr. Andrus joined Surdna's board in 1969, serving as Chair for many years, and reached emeritus status in 1991. He also served as a director of the John E. Andrus Memorial and the Julia Dyckman Andrus Memorial as well as many other nonproift and civic organizations.
In addition to his business and philanthropic interests, Mr. Andrus was a devoted family man, many of whom were by his side at the time of his passing. He will be remembered by family, and current and former Surdna staff, as a great and kind man who lived life to the fullest.