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Alan and Susan Patricof

"I have lots of interests, both in the business arena and in the charitable arena. I even enjoy putting the two worlds together when it makes sense.

As a venture capitalist I've helped small businesses both here and abroad incubate, hatch, and thrive. Obviously, our government's support of a business environment that encourages investments is of interest to me, which is why I served President Clinton as chairman of the White House Conference on Small Business. My business interests have ranged from helping now-giant companies AOL and Apple grow from their infancy, to being a founder of New York Magazine.

In the charitable arena, I've tried to apply my knowledge of small business development to support microenterprise efforts, both here in the U.S. and abroad. I serve on the boards of TechnoServe, Trickle Up Program, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the Global Advisory Board of Endeavor.

My wife, Susan, is similarly focused, chairing the Northside Center for Child Development, and serving on the boards of the International Rescue Committee, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and Global Foundation for Humanity.

Obviously, our board memberships, government work, and financial success come with obligations, and Susan and I share the belief that supporting charitable enterprises that help the poor is something we're very happy and able to do. And here's where The New York Community Trust fits in.

We've had a fund at The Trust for more than 25 years. It's a donor-advised fund, the kind of fund where we recommend the grants. We hear about a good program; we want to support it; we ask The Trust to fund it. Easy as pie.

But what we value most about The Trust is its investigative function. We may hear of a charity that sounds pretty good, but it's The Trust that investigates the grantee and asks for financial and managerial details far in excess of what I have the time for. Even for a modest $1,000 grant."

A grant from the Patricof Family Foundation Fund supports the Northside Center for Child Development, which fosters the healthy development of children and families through comprehensive, high-quality mental health and educational services, coupled with research.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.