Kelly Nowlin

Kelly Nowlin

NCFP Chair | Trustee, Surdna Foundation | NCFP Fellow (2018–2021)

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 is serving in her 11th year 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 chairs the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program, which is responsible for outreach to, and engagement of, nearly 500 Andrus family members and seeks to advance social justice philanthropy in the field of family philanthropy.

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 eight cousins, developed program areas, governance policies, bylaws, mission, strategic vision, and committees of the board of this $4MM fund. Kelly served as Vice Chair, then Co-Chair for four of her seven-year term.

Currently, Kelly serves as the Founder and Principal of KDN Philanthropy Consulting developing strategies for family foundations and nonprofits related to grantmaking, governance and family engagement. She 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. Kelly currently serves on the boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) and was named to the 2020 and 2021 Class of Fellows for NCFP. She was elected Board Chair at NCFP beginning in January 2022.

Kelly is married with two grown children and lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Contributions

From NCFP

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, Kelly Nowlin, Doug Bitonti Stewart

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

2018 Trustee Education Institute: The Signature Seminar for Family Foundation Board Members

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Virginia M. Esposito, Andrew Schulz, David Grant, Hanh Le, Holli Rivera, Alice Buhl, Leticia Peguero, Lindsey Griffith, Mary Phillips, Nat Chioke Williams

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the key legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of NCFP’s senior staff and highly respected philanthropy experts, this three day, intensive seminar typically covers: What does it mean to be a steward of both the public’s trust… Read More

Family Philanthropy Stories- Capture the Legacy of Your Giving with NCFP and the History Project

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Virginia M. Esposito, Michelle Knapik, Niles Lichtenstein, Kelly Nowlin

Why, in 2017, are we still relying on grandma’s photo albums and poorly scanned Facebook uploads to preserve our family histories? Legacy preservation is deeply important whether you are preparing for succession or seeking to keep donor intent alive. So, how can you bring your family’s history up to date in the New Year? In this webinar, NCFP teams up… Read More

Diverse and Dispersed: Managing a Far-Flung Family

Posted on May 12, 2016 by Berit Ashla, Kelly Nowlin, Lisa Parker

In our increasingly mobile society, family philanthropies once defined by their proximity now encounter a new obstacle: geography. How does geography affect a philanthropy’s mission? How do you keep the family and the philanthropy together? And how do families take advantage of diverse perspectives on key issues within the family?… Read More