During the period of January-March 2018, 20 grants totaling $4,225,000 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 guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. Grants are listed below by program area with additional information about the specific line of work within each program. Grant information is also available in our grants database.


Strong Local Economies

Center for Popular Democracy, Brooklyn, NY - $675,000
To support the organizational capacity of Local Progress, the national network of progressive municipal elected officials staffed by the Center for Popular Democracy, in five key areas: campaigns, communications, research, training, and fundraising.  This grant will also support the Fed Up Campaign's work to advocate for higher wages and a more accountable Federal Reserve system. (3 years)
Category: Equitable Economic Development; Joint Program Grant with Sustainable Environments

Hillman Accelerator, Cincinnati, OH - $100,000
To support the Hillman Accelerator, a program designed to assist high-growth, investment ready, minority- and/or women-led tech companies. (1 year)
Category: Business Development and Acceleration

Jobs with Justice Education Fund, Washington, DC - $185,000
To support Jobs with Justice’s research, outreach and long-term strategic planning efforts over the next 12 months around Amazon’s second headquarters site location auction, as well as its logistics network build-out, in partnership with Good Jobs First and Partnership for Working Families. (1 year)
Category: Equitable Economic Development

Opportunity Finance Network, Philadelphia, PA - $150,000
To support Opportunity Finance Network’s: year-long organizational transformation planning process; partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) committed to supporting African-American and Latino-owned businesses and communities; and annual conference. (1 year)
Category: Business Development and Acceleration


Sustainable Environments


Climate Interactive, Washington, DC - $15,000
To support an evaluation of the Just Growth Circle’s equitable development efforts in Atlanta. The Just Growth Circle, a program of the Partnership for Southern Equity, is a community engagement platform for residents of all races, incomes and backgrounds to influence decision-making about housing and retail development, infrastructure and transportation projects that impact them. (1 year)
Category: Urban Water Management

Corbin Hill Food Project, New York, NY - $300,000
To support Corbin Hill Food Project’s organizational transition from a physical food hub to a virtual food hub by building out its staff and operating system. (3 years)
Category: Regional Food Supply

Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI - $75,000
To support Farm Fresh Rhode Island's core programs that promote the growth of an equitable local food system in Rhode Island. (1 year)
Category: Regional Food Supply

Justice Funders, Oakland, CA - $600,000
To support the Justice Funders work to scale its model and network nationally by offering the Harmony Initiative (leadership programming for grantmakers) and Maestro Program (leadership programming for executives and trustees) outside the Bay Area. (3 years)
Category: Integrated Infrastructure

Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, Oakland, CA - $450,000
To support the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project: to provide framing and training that helps align leaders in frontline communities to lead a Just Transition; to build social movement infrastructure to leverage local change nationally; and to carry out programs and activities that shift cultural norms toward a Just Transition. (3 years)
Category: Just Energy: Shifting Power to People

Pittsburgh United, Pittsburgh, PA - $250,000
To continue supporting Pittsburgh United’s green infrastructure education, advocacy and engagement efforts to maximize environmental, social and economic benefits, especially for underrepresented communities. (2 years)
Category: Urban Water Management

President and Fellows of Harvard College, Cambridge, MA - $400,000
To support the Initiative for Responsible Investment’s socially responsible investing by pension fund managers and to help grow its Trustee Leadership Forum, a model for labor-affiliated public and private pension fund trustee engagement. Additionally, the Initiative for Responsible Investments will help develop a focused inquiry into the roles that large institutional investors can play in supporting a Just Transition. (2 years)
Category: Integrated Infrastructure

Project South, Atlanta, GA - $525,000
General operating support for Project South to build civic infrastructure and support movement networks at the intersection of social, economic and environmental issues in the Southeast region of the United States. 
(3 years)
Category: Integrated Infrastructure

Public Advocates, San Francisco, CA - $25,000
To support communications work with Public Advocates’ “Visionaries” documentary series. (1 year)
Category: Other


Thriving Cultures

Allied Media Projects, Detroit, MI - $75,000
To support Allied Media Projects’ 2018 conference and People in Education program. (1 year)
Category: Artists Engaging in Social Change

For Freedoms, Brooklyn, NY - $50,000
To support For Freedoms’ work that places artists’ voices at the center of the discussion about what freedom looks like in the 21st century, particularly leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. (1 year)
Category: Artists Engaging in Social Change

Gehl Institute, New York, NY - $40,000
To support the connection between Gehl Institute and grassroots organizations addressing urban racial and economic justice, to more broadly center these issues in the fields of public-interest design and urban design. (1 year)
Category: Community Engaged Design

Grantmakers in the Arts, Bronx, NY - $35,000
General operating support for Grantmakers in the Arts’ 2018 work to permeate practices of racial equity across its programs, communication platforms, and internal practices. (1 year)
Category: Artists Engaging in Social Change

Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia, PA - $75,000
To support the Leeway Foundation’s comprehensive impact assessment which coincides with its 25th anniversary. Additionally, Leeway has developed a unique grantmaking model that foregrounds equity, inclusion and experimentation. This grant will give Leeway the opportunity to share its model with others in the funding community, and to document how the model has influenced the grantmaking practices of some of its peers. (1 year)
Category: Artists Engaging in Social Change

The Theater Offensive, Boston, MA - $150,000
To support the Theater Offensive’s True Colors: OUT Youth Theater, which trains and activates at-risk LGBTQ and allied youth to become leaders and agents of social change in their communities. (2 years)
Category: Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement


Flexible Grantmaking Fund

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, New York, NY - $50,000
Continued support for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Theory of the Foundation Initiative. (2 years)
Category: Presidential

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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.