April 2015 | Grants Newsletter
3 Questions | Robert Edgar
For more than 30 years, our vice president for donor relations has helped people support the places, causes, and nonprofits they care about. Before that, he was a teacher at a boarding school and a director of development for a performing arts center.
You spend your days meeting charitable New Yorkers. What surprises you?
I’m still amazed at the breadth of interests: from bringing food to homebound elderly, to building urban farms, to teaching culinary techniques to low-income high school students. The passion for giving is invigorating.
And what surprises donors about The New York Community Trust?
The Trust recently started the Annual Fund. Why should someone give to it?
That we exist to help them support the causes they love. Also, they’re pleased by how much we accomplish through the generosity of generations of donors. As someone said upon seeing our wall filled with donor biographical sketches, “So that’s who runs The Trust!” From our narrowest funds (injured ballet dancers) to broader fields (women and girls) to the broadest of all (for the good of New York City), we’re committed to carrying out donors’ interests.
Many donor-advisors become interested in our competitive grants program, where the staff chooses from proposals of excellent nonprofits. The Annual Fund is an easy way for donors to pair their gifts with dollars from our permanent funds, given by donors years ago, or even decades ago. Just a few months after the launch of the Annual Fund, donors can already see their contributions at work through several new grants.
With our $100,000 grant, the Environmental Defense Fund
helps the City reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will make buildings more energy efficient through a program that aims to save consumers money and avoid construction of a costly substation. Right: A Manhattan apartment building releases toxic and climate altering emissions. This grant was made in part by The Trust’s Annual Fund.
A STABLE HOME:
Thanks to University Settlement Society of New York
’s Project Home, Cassandra and her daughter Gabby (right)
still have their apartment. As Cassandra juggled a job and college, she fell behind on rent at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The Society not only helped pay her back rent, but also helped her find a better job. Trust grants since 2012 to the Society have helped hundreds of families avoid housing court and homeless shelters. The most recent grant was made in part from our new Annual Fund.