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October 2013 | Grants Results

Merging to Maintain the Mission

A girl learns yoga moves in a free Groundwork class in Brooklyn.

Recent Trust-Supported Mergers and Alliances

  • $120,000 to merge and transition Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company into New York Live Arts
  • A $70,000 grant helped Groundwork merge into Good Shepherd Services
  • $75,000 to merge the American Music Center with Meet the Composer to form New Music USA
  • $70,000 to merge Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre
  • $60,000 for a strategic alliance between Urban Arts Partnership and Manhattan New Music Project
  • A $50,000 grant to SeaChange Capital Partner’s New York Mergers, Acquisitions, and Collaborations Fund, has helped Harlem Dowling merge into Children’s Village; and Safe Space merge into Episcopal Social Services
Competition for funding among the City’s 40,000 nonprofits is fierce. Many struggle to stay open because of funding cuts, debt, changes in leadership, or lingering effects of the recession. Mergers and alliances are often the best path to preserve programs run by beleaguered nonprofits. Unfortunately, even exploring a merger costs money. That’s where The Trust comes in.

In recent years, the Trust has helped dozens of arts, social service, and education groups merge or share resources. While such projects aren’t as glamorous as constructing buildings, they are efficient ways to save—and even expand—vital services.

Consider one example that’s drawing attention: Good Shepherd Services and its merger with Groundwork.
Founded and directed by the dynamic Richard Buery, Groundwork helped Brooklynites in East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant through after-school, college-prep, leadership-development prep, and other programs. When Buery moved on to lead the Children’s Aid Society, Groundwork fell on hard times. To make sure these struggling communities continued to be served, in 2012 The Trust made a grant of $70,000 to Good Shepherd Services, a venerable group serving youth and families citywide, to take over Groundwork’s programming.

The results are remarkable. While maintaining most Groundwork offerings, Good Shepherd has added:

273 young people to after-school programs

A Close-to-Home facility for girls who would otherwise be sent upstate to juvenile detention centers

A community center offering free programs for young people at Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy

A journal-writing program focusing on anger management, communication, and literacy skills for 40 young adults in Bed-Stuy who’ve already been in legal trouble

A mentoring program for 16 teens on probation
Case management for 48 young people who’ve been arrested or accused of crimes

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