Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from The Surdna Foundation; The McKnight Foundation; Dyson Foundation; The Nord Family Foundation; and The Sobrato Family Foundation.

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP's Friends of the Family network? Go here.

Surdna Foundation Commits $100 Million to Impact Investing

The Surdna Foundation made the first of its centennial year announcements. The Foundation will allocate $100 million of its endowment to impact investing as a way to advance its social justice mission and grow the field. The commitment will focus on a combination of mission-related investments (MRI) and program-related investments (PRI), along with a variety of other impact investing strategies. As one of the oldest and largest family-governed foundations in the U.S., Surdna is not just investing to further its mission, but also to build up the field of impact investing. Read more on this historic announcement here.

The McKnight Foundation’s Impacting Investing Strategy Featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

The McKnight Foundation is pleased to share “Taking Our Rightful Seat at the Institutional Investor Table," which was recently published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Kate Wolford, President of The McKnight Foundation, had this to say, “At McKnight, our experience has taught us that engaging as an investor can be effective in advancing our mission — and doing so is much more manageable than it may first seem. If more foundations were to see themselves as institutional investors, we would bring more of our collective influence to bear as we address the challenges ahead. I urge others to join us as we continue to seek out opportunities to advance public benefit as an institutional investor. It could very well open the door to powerful new networks, new conversations, and new market-driven strategies.”  

Dyson Foundation Mourns the Passing of Longtime President Diana Gurieva

Diana Gurieva

Representatives of the Dyson Foundation are joined by government, nonprofit, and business leaders in mourning the passing of Diana Gurieva, who stewarded the Millbrook-based philanthropic foundation through a 24-year period of dynamic growth and influence that helped shape the fabric of the region. “There are few people who had as much positive influence on the Mid-Hudson Valley as Diana Gurieva,” said Robert R. Dyson, Chairman of the Foundation. “Her incisive intellect, broad perspective and quiet judgement enabled her to create and expand needed services and projects throughout our region. She was a close friend and an important advisor to the Dyson family for decades. She will be missed by all those who shared her love of the Mid-Hudson Valley community.”

Nord Family Foundation Looks to End Homelessness in Lorain County

About 570 people in Lorain County are homeless each year, according to research released by the Corporation for Supported Housing. The Nord Family Foundation and Corporation for Supported Housing partnered to host a panel discussion on how to end homelessness in Lorain County recently. Anthony Richardson, program officer for The Nord Family Foundation, said Lorain County can be successful in eliminating homelessness. “I think Lorain County has the resources to end homelessness, we just have make investments and target them in the right direction,” Richardson said. Read more about this initiative here.

The Sobrato Family Foundation has Two Exciting Announcements

First, Silicon Valley real-estate moguls John and Susan Sobrato donated $100 million to Santa Clara University for a new campus for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The complex will house classrooms, laboratories, and spaces for student projects. The new center will be named the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. Mr. Sobrato graduated from Santa Clara in 1960 and serves on its Board of Trustees.

Second, the Sobrato Family Foundation released its 2016 annual report about its work to create opportunities for everyone in Silicon Valley. “Everywhere you look, stories of innovation and success in Silicon Valley are held up as the modern-day version of the American Dream. But those of us in the Valley know that dream is out of reach for many people. At the Sobrato Family Foundation we believe that with so much energy and creativity in this region, we can make it a place where we all have the opportunity to go as far as our talents and tenacity will take us. This Annual Impact Report demonstrates how we work with community partners to help people thrive in the Valley.”

Special Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle Members

We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Or, for more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at