In accordance with the “Resolution and Declaration of Trust Creating ‘The New York Community Trust’” and the Certificate of Incorporation of Community Funds, Inc., and with §1.507-2(a)(8)(iv)(A)(2)(ii) of Federal Income Tax Regulations, the Distribution Committee of The New York Community Trust and the Board of Directors of Community Funds, Inc., hereby promulgate the following guidelines enumerating specific charitable needs consistent with the charitable purposes of the organizations.
The Trust seeks to strengthen families, develop youth, build community, meet basic human needs, and promote multicultural understanding. To carry out this mission, five areas of activity have been identified by our governing board and are summarized below.
Children, Youth, and Families.
People are having difficulty paying for food, just as the rising cost of food and the drop-off in donations are resulting in empty emergency food pantries. Workers who are laid off also lose their health insurance. Households that have never sought government assistance before now need help to pay for necessities such as food and rent, resolve bankruptcies, fight debt collection agencies, and apply for unemployment insurance. We work in partnership with government and private agencies to develop the strength of families and young people, to help the poor become more self-sufficient, to protect the most vulnerable children, to improve policy and services, and to build the capacity of nonprofit advocacy and service agencies. We plan to spend about 20 to 25 percent of our total budget in this area.
Community Development and the Environment.
Stable neighborhoods, a vital business community, decent shelter, and a healthy environment are basic requirements for a livable city. The Trust focuses on rebuilding and stabilizing New York’s low-income neighborhoods and protecting the environment. We support community agencies working on these issues at the neighborhood level, and government and nonprofit institutions developing strategies for the City as a whole. Our concern for the environment is not only local, but also national and international in scope. To underpin these and all our programs, we support efforts to improve the functioning of nonprofits and government. We estimate that 20 to 25 percent of our grant funds will be spent in this area.
Education, Arts, and the Humanities.
Strong systems of education and justice and vibrant cultural and religious institutions are the hallmarks of a civilized society. As the City’s economy falters, cultural institutions, a key draw for tourist dollars, also suffer. We concentrate on projects that improve New York City’s public education system; promote diversity, equity, and access in the arts; and protect human rights. We also are interested in preserving historic buildings and places throughout the City. We are allocating 35 to 40 percent of our budget in these areas.
Health and People with Special Needs.
America’s health care system is fragmented with gaps in service. The current economic climate will disproportionately affect the health of poor elders, children, and people with special needs. While the City has a vast array of nonprofits that provide help, these agencies themselves will lose millions of dollars in donations and grants from corporations and individuals. The Trust supports projects that strengthen preventive health care, improve access to services, promote the efficient use of health resources, and develop the skills and independence of people with special needs. We are allocating 15 to 20 percent of our budget in this area.
Special Projects and Philanthropy.
New York City is fortunate to have a strong network of organizations that provide nonprofit management assistance. Unfortunately, these organizations themselves are not immune from shrinking public and private dollars. Our role as one of the City’s major sources of support for technical assistance is especially critical in these times. Our active participation in associations of grant-makers and charitable “watchdog” groups, our cooperative projects with other foundations, and our continuing dialogue with federal, state, and local government officials help assure that our resources are used strategically to address unmet needs, and leverage support for emerging issues. We are working to help nonprofits understand and function more effectively in the ever-changing political and fiscal climate. We are allocating up to 5 percent of our budget in this area.