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Sustainable Surf

Protecting oceans and creating partnerships through surf culture

The mission of Sustainable Surf is to be a catalyst that transforms surf culture into a powerful force to protect the ocean playground. The founders were convinced a nonprofit organization is ideally suited for this important role in protecting the oceans and combating climate change. Sustainable Surf employs modern systems change techniques to build partnerships with individuals and organizations seeking to combine philanthropy and environmentalism. Sustainable Surf won the Agent of Change award in 2014 from Surfer Magazine for making a positive difference within the surf community.

Our Commitment: Sustainable Environmental Systems

Fondation Erol discovered a kinship with the emerging nonprofit organization Sustainable Surf. We share a love of the ocean’s playground and conviction that systems change is necessary to protect vital ocean health. Sustainable Surf’s efforts align with our sustainable environmental systems focus area. Our executive committee was inspired the unique potential of this organization to inspire a strong, global surf community to become more aware of the need for sustainability and ocean preservation. We believed a capacity-building grant would enhance Sustainable Surf’s ability to reach the next stage in organizational development.

Grant Potential

As the startup organization has grown, the need for the co-founders, Kevin Whilden and Michael Stewart, to expand their staff has grown with it. New program coordinators would help the organization respond to opportunities more effectively to expand its influence. This grant will help the organization connect and grow its donor base, increase networking and communication, measure its effectiveness and enhance systems change through its Ecoboard and Deep Blue Life events.


  • Protect our oceans and enhance capacity for systems change within the surf community
  • Activate new tools for outreach and giving campaigns


  • Expand and grow donor base and staff
  • Measure program effectiveness
  • Broaden the organization’s message throughout the global surf community

Grants awarded


  • Build the capacity of a leadership team focused on generating new donor relationships, philanthropic gifts and key strategic partnerships to solidify and expand on the early success of programs and outreach efforts