The world doesn’t need DendriFund for its dollars, but it might need it as a model for how individuals and business can work together to advance a common goal. DendriFund is a small foundation yet, its ambition and reach far exceeds its size. Over time we have experimented with a variety of partnership models to achieve impact in ways that defy our modest bank account, to "punch above our weight." Acting more like an incubator, we work with wood, water, and grain communities to co-create multi-stakeholder programs and invest seed funding in early-stage initiatives. By leveraging the combined clout of our community partners, Brown-Forman, Brown family members, and DendriFund independent directors we are able to provide advice and support with value that goes well beyond the direct dollars DendriFund is able to give. Once programs are launched, these initiatives stand on their own - unlocking access to a supportive network linked by common objectives and funding streams not available through individual efforts and resources.

The White Oak Initiative (WOI) is a great example of how our approach can create a "ripple effect:" For DendriFund, our "wood" engagement began with a walk in the woods with Kentucky woodland owners to listen and learn about their needs, challenges and the partners which they rely upon. On this walk, we met Jeff Stringer, Chairman of the University of KY’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and visionary behind the WOI. In follow-up over lunch and a very memorable peanut butter sandwich, Jeff asked the DendriFund if we would support a regional meeting the University of Kentucky (UK) was hosting on the "Sustainability of White Oak" where the American Forest Foundation (AFF) was presenting their process for pulling together multi-stakeholder initiatives. With a shared belief that this work could only be accomplished through collaboration and perspectives representing environmental, social, and economic interests - DendriFund's $24 investment in three box lunches,$500 to provide lunch for all at the attendees at UK's meeting, and $10k for a WOI Steering Committee kick-off using the AFF stakeholder model (leveraging an LSR grant) was the spark that rippled into $2.7M secured for this work as of 2019 as well as millions pending and still to be raised as the resulting conservation plans roll out in 2020.

Funds to support the on-going needs of the initiatives we work to incubate are then raised from a wide range of stakeholders including the DendriFund, other distilleries, granting organizations, interested individuals, and more.

To donate, support with connections or other resources, or to join in partnership with the following initiatives, please contact:
- White Oak Initiative: Melissa Moeller, Acting White Oak Initiative Director at (American Forest Foundation is the fiscal agent)
- KY Commercial Rye Cover Crop Initiative: Billy Van Pelt, Director of External Relations-Southeast at American Farmland Trust (AFT), at or at 859-983-8118 (AFT is the fiscal agent)

Even though we do not accept unsolicited grant requests, we are interested in learning more about your organization and starting a conversation about how your organization can find support through our joint action model – contact Barbara Hurt, Executive Director, at