EpisodesInterviewsNonprofit Communications

Don Chen of the Surdna Foundation Kicks off Season Six of Let’s Hear It

By January 9, 2024 No Comments

How many of us in the nonprofit world can track our interest in climate to nightmares we had about natural disasters at age ten? Anyone? Oh, right, just Don Chen, President of the Surdna Foundation, former director of the Cities and States program at the Ford Foundation, former CEO (and founder!) of Smart Growth America, and this week’s guest on Let’s Hear It.

Don is a fabulous guest to start our new year and sixth season – he is uncommonly thoughtful, optimistic, and soulful, and his ideas on how to run a foundation will have you filling notebooks. Eric and Don put their heads together to discuss how to combine trust-based and strategic philanthropy without having to find a magic wand, what Don learned from being a CEO at age 30, and lots more.

By the way, we are so happy to welcome Don – and you! – to our sixth season of Let’s Hear It. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for five wonderful years of listening, learning, and building connections in this vast and exciting field. We hope you enjoy this new season, and if you do, please continue to like, follow, and spread the word.

Bonus – Let’s Hear It alumnus and Director of Narrative Change at Liberation Ventures Trevor Smith wrote a fantastic article about how building narrative infrastructure is only possible if institutions understand how to change perceptions of issues. It’s worth a read and a re-read. Have a look here.