- Assets: $693,515,303 (2009)
- Grants Received: $1,592,713 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $38,678,619 (2009)
John Emory Andrus, who headed the Arlington Chemical Company, established the Surdna Foundation in 1917. The name Surdna is the family name, "Andrus," spelled backwards.
The Foundation’s grant-making has several program areas:
Environment: Asserting that “the environment is at great risk due to the interrelated threats of global climate change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable levels of resource consumption,” this program aims at "fostering a population of environmentally informed, responsible, activist citizens."
Community Revitalization: This program strives "to enhance the quality of life in urban places, increase their ability to attract and retain a diversity of residents and employers, and insure that urban policies and development promote social equity." Opposed to the phenomenon of “urban sprawl,” Surdna states: “In cities that are losing population, jobs, and wealth, we aim to abate population loss and consequent economic and racial isolation by making communities more attractive to a wide range of residents and businesses."
Effective Citizenry: This program is designed to teach young people the principles and tactics of social activism.
Arts: The Surdna Foundation funds many arts and cultural programs, focusing particularly on black and Hispanic groups. Among these beneficiaries are: Dance Africa, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Global Action Project, Urban Voices, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the Harlem School of the Arts, and Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates.
Additional Surdna Foundation grantees include Alliance for Justice; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Center for Community Change; City College of the City University of New York; Defenders of Wildlife; the Earth Action Network; the Earth Day Network; the Earth Island Institute; the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund; the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; the Environmental Defense Fund; Environmental Media Services; the Environmental Working Group; Friends of the Earth; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network; Human Rights First; the Izaak Walton League of America; the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights; League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; the Movement Strategy Center; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Religious Partnership for the Environment; the National Wildlife Federation; the Natural Resources Defense Council; Planned Parenthood; Public Citizen; the Rainforest Alliance; Rock the Vote; the Sierra Club; TechRocks; the Tides Center; the Trust for Public Land; the Union of Concerned Scientists; Urban Institute; the Wilderness Society; the World Resources Institute; and the World Wildlife Fund.
The Surdna Foundation’s Chairman Emeritus is John E. Andrus III, and its Chairman is John F. Hawkins. One of Surdna's paid consultants is Richard Mark, who is a Director of Environmental Media Services, the communications arm of the public relations firm Fenton Communications.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Surdna Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)