Kelly Nowlin

Kelly Nowlin

Trustee, Surdna Foundation | NCFP Fellow (2018–2020)

Kelly Davenport Nowlin, a fifth generation member of the Andrus family, was elected as a Surdna Foundation trustee in 2010. She chairs the committees of the Andrus Family Program (AFP) and Centennial Working Group. As chair of the AFP, Kelly is responsible for outreach to, and engagement of close to 500 living descendants of Surdna founding patriarch, John E. Andrus. Kelly is guiding the development of activities marking Surdna’s 100th anniversary.

Prior to her board service at Surdna, Kelly was a founding board member of the Andrus Family Fund (AFF), an independent grantmaker launched by Surdna in 2000 as a grantmaking fund for fifth generation family members. She helped develop the fund, including program areas, governance and bylaws, mission and strategic vision, and committees of the board. Kelly served as Vice Chair, then Co-Chair for four years of her seven year term.

Currently, Kelly is Principal of KDN Philanthropy Consulting, and advises family foundations and non-profit organizations on next generation engagement, governance, organizational culture and communications strategies.  Kelly is an honors graduate of Boston College with a BA in Communications and currently lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with her husband and two teenage children.

Contributions

Moving Towards Social Justice Philanthropy: One Family Foundation’s Journey, Challenges, and Lessons

Posted on June 18, 2020 by Kelly Nowlin

NCFP board member and Fellow Kelly Nowlin will be speaking at a webinar hosted by Philanthropy Massachusetts and the Social Innovation Forum. Five generations after being established, the Surdna Foundation has been intentional about honoring founding vision and legacy, while remaining relevant to current needs and issues in society. In 2009, the family trustees took a bold step in naming social justice… Read More

2020 Trustee Education Institute

Posted on December 22, 2019 by Danielle Oristian York, Renee Kaplan, Valerie Rockefeller, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Irene Pritzker, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Kimberly Myers Hewlett, Andras Kosaras, Andrew Schulz, Jean Case

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to important legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of donors, board members, and highly respected philanthropy experts, this virtual seminar covers: Translating values and goals into action Connecting family legacy and the public trust Managing fiduciary responsibilities and legal pitfalls… Read More
From the NCFP Fellows

Courage and Commitment: Our Personal Journeys for Racial Equity

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Mary Mountcastle, June Wilson, Kelly Nowlin

There's a blackboard with "are you ready?" written on it in white writing
As NCFP’s 2020 Class of Fellows, we’ve been sitting down and doing a lot of listening. Not the kind of listening you do at a plenary session or on a webinar. The kind of listening that requires some courage. Courage to be in spaces and conversations that are often uncharted waters and make us entirely uncomfortable. Welcome to three women’s journeys around racial equity in the field of family philanthropy… Read More

Building Bridges: A Conversation with NCFP’s New Fellows on Racial Equity

Posted on December 13, 2018 by Mary Mountcastle, June Wilson, Doug Bitonti Stewart, Kelly Nowlin

Are you breaking or bridging? We all have been affected by structural racism. NCFP’s own 2019 Fellows have dedicated themselves to getting proximate to the people, to the issue, to our families, to the field, and to thinking about how we have been impacted by racial injustice and inequity. From our Imagining the Future cross country focus groups we have heard… Read More

Cultivating A Healthy Family Culture

Posted on August 9, 2018 by Gilbert Miller, Jamie Forbes, Kelly Nowlin

The health of a family is often defined by its culture. Creating connections, positive relationships, and a lifetime of closeness takes ongoing effort and reflection. The Andrus and Forbes families have for many years been thoughtful about traditions, systems, cycles, and family governance. Learn more about their stories in our recent Passages Issue Brief, “Family Culture: Creating a Resilient Family… Read More

Family Culture: Creating a Resilient Family Tree

Posted on June 4, 2018 by Jamie Forbes, Kelly Nowlin

Family connectedness, not money, has the greatest influence on multi-generational family continuity. But when many think about legacy, it’s often in the context of multi-generational financial wealth. Money, though, masks what people are really interested in passing to future generations of their family. Instead of being the primary focus, financial assets should be viewed as an enabler to the bigger… Read More

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