Why We Invest

  • Legacy
  • Family
  • Community


A just, healthy and equitable society.


The Nord Family Foundation envisions value-based work and partnerships that are rooted in our foundation’s values.

Lens - to be applied to all areas of giving

Equity & Access

We work to advance equity for historically marginalized groups with a specific focus on racial equity. Equity is achieved when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live or how they identify.

We come to this work with the intent to address the inherent power imbalances that often exist between funders, nonprofits, and the communities they serve.
We recognize the ways racism and privilege manifest in our communities. In our work, we support the redistribution of power - systemically, organizationally, and interpersonally - in service of healthier and more equitable communities.

In all areas of our work, we strive for equitable access and representation. We seek to apply a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lens to everything we do, from our internal practices to our external work with partners and grantees.


In our role as funder, we focus on two areas of support.

General Support
Funding grantees through general operating support grants.
Specific Projects
Funding specific or specific portions of projects/initiatives.

In addition, we engage in the following roles:

Responder: Mobilizing to address immediate issues and needs

Convener: Gathering nonprofits, community leaders, businesses, or others to build support for acting on an issue and/or to find solutions.

Capacity Builder: Supporting the development of staff, infrastructure, or capabilities of an organization

Approach - applied selectively to the work we do

Taking a Systems View

We seek to address policies, procedures and practices to improve experiences and outcomes for all stakeholders. We actively explore and consider how our investments in communities might interact with systems to identify areas in which they might help create systems change.

Working Upstream and Downstream

Nord Family Foundation values working upstream - to change the conditions that lead to negative health and social outcomes - and downstream, providing support to ameliorate these conditions.

Partnering and Collaborating

We believe the complex social and ecological challenges of today are too extensive to be solved by any one organization and require multi- organizational cross-sector partnerships and collaboration. We view partnerships as close cooperation between two or more parties with specified and joint rights and responsibilities. Collaboration exists when parties pool their common interests, assets and skills to promote broader interest for community benefit. In collaborations, responsibilities may or may not be shared equally.

Leveraging Resources

We believe that systems change occurs through deploying and mobilizing a wide range of resources to support the development of integrated solutions with the potential to scale.

Listening, Testing and Learning

We seek the perspectives of our grantees and partners and to the groups and communities with whom they work. We try new ideas and iterate in response to the real time challenges we see in communities.

Working with Relevance and Responsiveness

We acknowledge the work is ongoing, and we seek to continuously adjust to ensure responsiveness to the most pressing issues.


We Do This By

  • Practicing curiosity
  • Embracing the unknown and unfamiliar and experimenting
  • Evolving our thinking and ideas before we take action
  • Maintaining our commitment to personal and organizational growth
  • Listening to community partners and stakeholders to better understand the issues facing the communities where we give
  • Supporting convening around topics of importance to the community


We Do This By

  • Collaboratively working with organizations and communities
  • Knowing and understanding the most pressing areas of need
  • Valuing and promoting our ties to one another - as a multigenerational family, an organization, and a community - through our work
  • Linking the legacy of Nord Family Foundation to the present and the future


We Do This By

  • Acting in accordance with our values
  • Being clear and direct in our priorities
  • Operating with transparency and honesty
  • Following through on commitments that we have made
  • Maintaining trust through our communications and operations


We Do This By

  • Raising difficult issues and questions
  • Exhibiting openness and transparency in our work and communication
  • Being willing to make mistakes, be wrong, and change our direction and behavior
  • Embracing challenge and discomfort with determination, persistence and resilience
  • Remaining centered in and committed to the Foundation's Vision, Values and Mission
  • Funding organizations and programs that take strategic risks and implement novel approaches to address unmet needs
  • Tackling our communities' most pressing issues of justice, opportunity, and equity