The Andrus Family Fund, a sub-fund of the Surdna Foundation, was established in 2000 to give fifth generation family members between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five an opportunity to learn about and participate in organized philanthropy. While AFF operates under the 501(c)(3) status of the Surdna Foundation, AFF defines and manages its own grantmaking program and process.
AFF’s grantmaking is guided by the belief that social change efforts will have a better chance for success when the emotional and psychological effects of the change process are recognized and addressed. William Bridges, a noted author and organizational consultant, calls this psychological process that a person experiences when he or she comes to terms with a new situation Transition. AFF’s Board and staff have adopted Bridges’ framework which states that transition is fundamentally different from change. Where change is external and situational (e.g., marriage, a new job), transition is the internal process of how one responds to the change.
AFF examines the power of the transition model as it applies broadly to the area of social change and as it applies specifically to its two program areas: (1) youth’s passage from foster care to independence; and (2) community reconciliation, which supports programs that promote healing, and construct a shared vision of community that is founded on justice and that respects difference. AFF focuses its grantmaking around these program areas while also seeking to learn about the relationship between external change and internal transition.
In the area of youth’s passage from foster care to independence, AFF supports programs that contribute to the body of knowledge and experience about what youth need to sustain an independent life after foster care by paying attention to transition. In particular, towards the end of foster care, AFF will explore whether attending to transition more purposefully increases the chances that youth can successfully move out of state care into independent living. AFF’s goal is to partner with organizations that are willing to intentionally and consistently attend to the transitions at work in the lives of youth leaving the foster care system. Within this framework, AFF includes, but does not limit itself to, considering programs that support gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, intersex, and questioning youth, for whom leaving the foster care system may be particularly difficult due to a sense of isolation because of their sexual identity.
In the community reconciliation area, AFF is interested in exploring the connection between the transition model and community reconciliation in the context of:
1) identity-based conflict;
2) police-community conflict; and
3) conservation conflict.
AFF will fund community reconciliation projects within the United States that put William Bridges’ transition framework to the test in addressing these three priority areas. AFF’s grantees incorporate Bridges’ transition process into their projects to help communities successfully navigate through the three phases of transition and support the necessary healing and reconciliation process.
AFF only funds domestic programs; however the fund will consider support for international organizations conducting inquiry that contributes to the body of knowledge and experience about what is necessary to create and sustain successful community reconciliation efforts in the U.S.
For more information on William Bridges’ Transition Framework, applying for funding, and descriptions of AFF grants made during the 2005-2006 fiscal year, please visit the AFF Website at www.affund.org. Applications for AFF funding should not be sent to the Surdna Foundation.