The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities throughout the United States. The goal of the Foundation’s Strong Local Economies Program is to support the development of robust and sustainable economies that include a wide range of businesses and access to quality jobs. The Foundation aims to create opportunities for upward economic mobility among communities that have experienced historical economic barriers, including low-income people, communities of color, women, and immigrants. The basis of their work is guided by a strong commitment to social justice and equity.
There are three main categories of work in this program area:
- Business Development and Acceleration
- Equitable Economic Development
- Job Quality and Career Pathways
They generally seek nonprofit organizations that:
- Prioritize and engage low-income individuals, communities of color, women, and immigrants;
- Utilize policy advocacy, organizing, and capacity building as approaches;
- Use both research and demonstration projects/programs to prove the benefits of equitable economic development and quality jobs;
- Leverage the buying power of anchor institutions (universities, hospitals, local/regional government, schools, sports teams, etc.) to drive local economic growth;
- Increase leadership capacity among populations who have been historically excluded from decision-making processes (low income, immigrant, and communities of color);
- Utilize strategic communications to make the case for including equity and sustainability in development decisions;
- Work in urban areas and in a regional context.
Submit an online letters of inquiry as the first step in the review process.