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.

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