The Kendeda Fund: Southeast Grants

OVERVIEW: In Southeast funding, this funder focuses on equity issues in Atlanta and environmental sustainability in the Southeast region. Unsolicited inquiries are not welcome.

FUNDING AREAS: Education opportunity, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability.

IP TAKE: Here’s a funder looking to spend big dollars over the next few years. Unfortunately, it is closed to grantseeker requests and unsolicited introductions from previously unsupported groups.

PROFILE: The Kendeda Fund is a private grantmaking foundation based in Atlanta, Georgia. This foundation dates back to 1993 and philanthropist Diana Blank's vision to support social equity and the natural environment.

This funder's grantmaking aims to increase equity and resilience. It explores ways people can build a more equitable world and use resources more wisely. Kendeda supports communities across the U.S. and around the world, but also has funding programs specific to Atlanta and the Southeast region.

Kendeda has two place-based grantmaking programs, one in Atlanta and one in Montana. Broadly, both programs focus on equity, livability, and connection to the natural environment. The Atlanta Equity program supports equitable access to high-quality education and economic opportunity for marginalized communities of color in the city. These grants have gone to redefinED Atlanta and the Center for Civic Innovation in the past.

Kendeda's Southeastern Sustainability program promotes health, wellbeing, and equitable economic justice for people in the Southeast region. Kendeda is interested in transforming ecological design and in topics like climate change and water resources. Grants in this category have gone to the Georgia Institute of Technology and Grants to Green.

Aside from the place-based grantmaking, Kendeda’s People, Place, and Planet program is all about redefining prosperity to make communities better places to live. Girls’ Rights seeks to empower girls around the world to realize their potential and make the world a better place. The foundation is also building out a couple of new programs. One focuses on gun violence prevention, and the other on connecting veterans with the outdoors to promote healing and well-being.

Since its establishment, Kendeda has given out over $500 million. Between $40 million and $50 million is awarded annually. The foundation is committed to accomplishing as much as possible during the lifetime of its founder and plans to spend down its assets by 2024.

Unfortunately for grantseekers, this foundation doesn’t accept or respond to unsolicited grant inquires or letter of intent. Grants are made by invitation only.

Kendeda's phone is 404-602-9182, but it requests calls for media inquiries only. No email or mailing address is provided. The foundation has a small staff and describes itself as small, scrappy, and experimental. There are eight staff members, led by Dena Kimball. Tené Traylor is the fund advisor for Atlanta and a good contact to know in the Southeast. Also, Dennis Creech is the fund advisor for sustainability in the Southeast.

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