Susan Ford Dorsey, President, Sand Hill Foundation

    "Our responsibility is to teach and inspire young people so that they will become champions and good stewards of the planet."

    1. What is your grantmaking strategy and what kind of projects do you fund?

    The Sand Hill Foundation focuses our giving geographically—primarily serving San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in California. We care about the environment and provide grants for open space preservation, environmental education for youth, and some broader fields such as climate change and water usage. In addition to support for environmental programs, we also focus on supporting families in poverty, helping first-generation-college-bound students, housing, micro-finance, and health care. Our overall strategy is to support leading and emerging nonprofits in our community, which are dedicated to improving lives, especially for young people. We treat our grantees as partners and are committed to helping them grow as organizations so that they can do even better work.

    2. Why do you care about connecting people to nature?

    It is apparent that one generation leaves the world in the hands of the next generation. If we don’t teach young people the value of both the simplest (how food is grown) and the most complex (climate change) parts of nature, we are failing our planet. Our responsibility is to teach and inspire young people so that they will become champions and good stewards of the planet.

    California is a beautiful state and the San Francisco Bay Area has its own unique beauty, which needs to be preserved. By helping young people appreciate the specialness of their home, chances are that they will take care of it.

    3. What do you value most about being in the Blue Sky community?

    We love the dedicated members! We love that Blue Sky is building a movement with a focus on the next generation. Blue Sky is a collaborative of funders who have a long-term view and know that connecting people and nature is the best way to ensure the future of our planet.

    The Sand Hill Foundation believes in the power of collaboration to magnify impact. We love working with partners to learn new ideas, jointly implement strategies and evaluate results. We have such respect for the work of the other Blue Sky funders and hope to work with them in creative ways.

    4. What is your favorite place on Earth?

    Lake Tahoe! I love staring into the deep, deep blue of the lake.

    5. What is your favorite outdoor activity?

    I love running. The trails near my house are my favorite places to run. Running is great for my physical health and mental health, and I never finish a run without feeling profoundly grateful for my life.

    As President of Sand Hill Foundation, Susan Ford Dorsey directs philanthropy for the organization. A leader in philanthropic activities and community service, she is dedicated to preserving our natural environment and improving the lives of local families. Susan serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She also sits on various advisory committees at Stanford University, including the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Haas Center for Public Service, and the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
    Her past board service has included Menlo School, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Children’s Health Council, Common Sense Media, Peninsula Open Space Trust, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Prior to Sand Hill Foundation, Susan was the founder and president of Health Innovations, a healthcare consulting firm specializing in business development, strategic planning, and marketing.

    Welcome aboard Blue Sky. it

    Welcome aboard Blue Sky. it is our responsibility to teach young people about environmental literacy so that they in turn will take care of the planet for future generations. Impressive board service.


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