The Kendeda Fund is dedicated to exploring how human beings can build a more just and equitable world, one in which they use resources wisely and relate to one another more mindfully.
They are small, scrappy and experimental. They work hard to help their grantees fill critical gaps that are often ignored or overlooked. And they strive to change the frames that commonly distort important community issues.
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 their natural environment. Guided by her vision, they 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 they 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. Their 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. Their 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 their place-based grantmaking—focused in Atlanta and Montana—prioritizes issues of equity, livability and improved connections to the natural environment. They 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 nearly $700 million since its inception, and currently makes $50 to $60 million in grants annually. They also believe it is important to accomplish as much as possible within the lifetime of their founder, whether through near term philanthropic investments or long term projects that require more time to bear fruit. To that end, they are committed to spending down the majority of their assets by the year 2024.