Our Approach

The Kendeda Fund is dedicated to exploring how human beings can build a more just and equitable world, one in which we use resources wisely and relate to one another more mindfully.

We are small, scrappy and experimental. We work hard to help our grantees fill critical gaps that are often ignored or overlooked. And we strive to change the frames that commonly distort important community issues.

Meet Our Team

In everything we do, the Fund focuses on community-driven solutions rather than top-down remedies. Our lean, nimble team requires us to trust the knowledge, expertise and leadership of our partners.

Dena Kimball

Executive Director

Fund Advisor for Girls’ Rights

Barry Berlin

Financial Advisor

David Brotherton

Fund Advisor for Gun Violence Prevention and Communications

Dennis Creech

Fund Advisor for Sustainability

Christine Hunt

Director of Operations & Special Projects

Diane Ives

Fund Advisor for People, Place, and Planet

Tim Stevens

Fund Advisor for Montana and Veterans

Tené Traylor

Fund Advisor for Atlanta

Our Story

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

– Mother Teresa

The work of The Kendeda Fund began in 1993 under the leadership of Diana Blank, a philanthropist with twin passions for social equity and the healing power of our natural environment. Guided by her vision, we support the dignity of individuals and the sustainability of communities through investments in transformative leaders and ideas.

For more than two decades, Kendeda—named for Diana’s three children—has been making grants to empower communities across the U.S. and around the globe to confront challenges through solutions that increase equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and resilience. In all we do, the Fund helps build and sustain social and community capital by supporting underrepresented voices as well as leaders who have the vision to see problems differently and the courage to challenge conventional thinking.

The Kendeda Fund has established a core set of programs and invested deeply in them over time. Our People, Place, and Planet program encourages communities to redefine prosperity, making them more vibrant places to live,

more resourceful in hard times, and more capable of retaining the wealth they generate. Our Girls’ Rights program empowers girls worldwide by helping create a world in which all girls have the capabilities, choices, and power to fully realize their human potential. And our place-based grantmaking—focused in Atlanta and Montana—prioritizes issues of equity, livability and improved connections to the natural environment. We are also building out two new programs, one to help prevent gun violence and another to help returning veterans leverage the power of nature and the outdoors to heal and thrive.

The Kendeda Fund has invested more than $500 million since its inception, and currently makes $40 to $50 million in grants annually. We also believe it is important to accomplish as much as possible within the lifetime of our founder, whether through near term philanthropic investments or long term projects that require more time to bear fruit. To that end, we are committed to spending down the majority of our assets by the year 2024.

OUR BELIEFs

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Sustainability

We respect the profound connections between the environment, the economy and the need for equity in our world. We promote innovative solutions to social and ecological challenges, and we build capacity to advocate for the changes needed to ensure community wellbeing.

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Partnership

We seek out individuals and institutions to expand our network and broaden our reach. Our organization is lean by design, so we rely on trusted partners to maximize our impact. We trust them to do their best work, and we provide support to ensure success.

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Leadership

We support emerging leaders with vision, high potential, and a demonstrable passion for the work. We also think experienced leaders deserve the latitude to experiment and the support of partners who will stick around for the long haul.

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Learning

We have opinions about what it takes to be effective, but we don’t pretend to have all the answers. We strive to continually explore and experiment, test and refine, improve and share lessons learned along the way.

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Dignity

We are a social justice organization that values the fundamental human rights of all people. Our programs are designed to foster inclusion, compassion, safety and equality for all.

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Community

Because many of the best solutions to society’s most pressing problems can be found at the local level, we support community-led efforts to drive transformational change that can be adapted, scaled and replicated.

For Grantseekers

The Kendeda Fund does not accept or respond to unsolicited grant proposals, inquiries, or letters of intent. Grant applications are by invitation only.

Thank you.