Kelly Davenport Nowlin is a fifth generation Andrus family member who has been actively engaged in her family’s philanthropy for over 20 years. She served for 12 years on the board of the Surdna Foundation, a family-led social justice foundation started by her great, great grandfather, John Emory Andrus over 100 years ago. Kelly chaired the Thriving Cultures Committee and the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program, which is responsible for outreach to, and engagement of, nearly 500 Andrus family members and worked closely with staff to guide program, investment, and communications strategies. From 2015 to 2017, Kelly led efforts to mark Surdna’s 100th anniversary (2017) which included national grantmaking initiatives, the launch of a collaborative economic development fund, events, and publications that were shared with the field about impact investing, social justice and family philanthropy.
Prior to her years at Surdna, Kelly was a founding board member of the Andrus Family Fund (AFF), a program launched by Surdna in 2000 as a grantmaking fund for fifth generation family members. She, along with 8 cousins, developed program areas, governance policies, bylaws, mission, strategic vision, and committees of this $4MM fund. Kelly served as Vice Chair, then Co-Chair for four of her seven-year term.
In addition to philanthropy, Kelly has nearly 30 years of experience as a media and communications professional having held various marketing management positions at CBS and Entercom Radio, Community Newspaper Company (a Fidelity company), and in the media buying space. She developed and launched two startups and has acknowledged expertise in social media and brand development.
Currently, Kelly is Principal of KDN Philanthropy Consulting, developing strategies for family foundations and nonprofits, and speaks regularly around the country on topics in philanthropy including next generation engagement, social justice and racial equity, power and privilege, impact and evaluation, foundation culture and strategic communications. She is an outspoken leader on the need for philanthropy to be accountable to power dynamics and racial equity, and co-developed the Racial Justice Learning and Action Cohort at the National Center for Family Philanthropy for family foundation trustees to build knowledge, skills and action plans that advance racial justice practices. She regularly collaborates with and mentors next generation family members within the Andrus family and in the field more broadly, building equity-framed curriculums and facilitating opportunities for younger voices to be amplified. Kelly has served on the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and is currently the Board Chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP).
Kelly is married with two adult children and currently lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
2023 Family Philanthropy Leadership Retreat
Posted on April 19, 2023 by Susan Stamerjohn, Michelle Tremillo, Alejandro Foung, Dr. Jason Franklin, Jonathan Brack, Sandra Fluke, Tonya Allen, Diego Zegarra, Sue Banerjee, Catherine Maddox Walton
Five Questions for Kelly Nowlin
Posted on December 21, 2022 by Kelly D. Nowlin
Racial Equity is Fundamental to Effective Family Philanthropy
Posted on January 12, 2022 by Kimberly Myers Hewlett, Kelly D. Nowlin
Racial Justice in Family Philanthropy Symposium
Posted on September 19, 2021 by Vincent Robinson, Doua Thor, Dwayne S. Marsh, Irene Wong, Sandy Herz, John Matthew Sobrato, Nora Leccese, Annie Mahon, Hanna Mahon, Sam Vinal
Are Foundation Trustees Perpetuating Climate Injustice? Here’s How We Can Change That.
Posted on August 24, 2021 by Kelly D. Nowlin, Ernest Tollerson
Non-family Staff Peer Network: Racial Equity Discussions with Board and Staff
Posted on March 11, 2021 by Mary Mountcastle, June L. Wilson, Kelly D. Nowlin
2021 Trustee Education Institute
Posted on March 9, 2021 by Isabel Nogueira, Alyson Wise, Jumi Falusi, Milton Speid, Emily Kaiser, Adrian Ruiz, Lisa Jackson, Priscilla Enriquez, Dorothy Gardner, Regan Pritzker
Calling Family Foundation Board Members to Join a Journey on Racial Justice
Posted on March 2, 2021 by June L. Wilson, Kelly D. Nowlin, Mary Mountcastle, Virginia M. Esposito
Family Foundation CEO Retreat
Posted on February 12, 2021 by Betsy Erickson, Janine Mason, Michael Smith, Tina Runyan, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bari Katz, Rob Reich, Shaady Salehi, Carmen Rojas, Diana Scearce
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