Foundation Highlight: Surdna Foundation

Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko are constantly on the lookout for good opportunities offering vigorous funding streams. Regularly, our site will highlight a foundation or federal agency which may fall under the radar, but provides funding that can help you achieve your programming goals.

Over the past few weeks, we highlighted the MAC AIDS Fund, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics for Grades Pre-K–5 grants, the National Forest Foundation, Whole Foods Markets, Dedalus Foundation, the Best Buy Foundation, the Dr. Scholl Foundation and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

This week, we want to talk about the giving efforts of the Surdna Foundation and its 2015 Thriving Cultures Grants. These grants support education and arts opportunities, especially for teens.

Deadline: Rolling. Schools and nonprofits can apply, the funding varies, generally in the $35,000 to $80,000 range (the foundation made $34.6 million in grants last year);

Surdna seeks programs to: provide an unwavering institutional commitment to teens; offer young people increasingly complex and long-term opportunities to create art with accomplished artists; and provide experienced, faculty and guest artists who can introduce diverse cultural and contemporary art-making approaches.

The foundation recently gave $35,000 to the Mattress Factory (, Pittsburgh, PA, for a program to provide teen artists with the opportunity and resources to work with professional artists to create installations and develop conceptual thinking. It gave $170,000 to the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana ( for the New Orleans Youth Organizing Collaborative.

Other Funding

  1. The popular Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program was renamed the Nat’l Arts Teacher Fellowship. It will award about 20 grants of up to $5,500 each. Deadline: Feb. 25 (full proposal). Check the website at:
  2. The Artists Engaging in Social Change supports programs that help artists deepen the cultural understanding or help communities achieve social change. Awards range from $25,000 to $150,000; open to nonprofits and artists. The deadline is Nov. 12 and it can be found here,

Contact: 212/557-0010, Phillip Henderson, president, 212/557-0003 or

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education.

Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government.

Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.

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