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12/3/15 - The New York Community Trust gives $5.1 million to 42 nonprofits across the City and nationally


Amy Wolf (212) 686-0010 x234,
David Marcus (212) 686-0010 x224,

New York (December 3, 2015) – The New York Community Trust, the City’s community foundation, is spending $5.1 million on dozens of projects to make life better for all New Yorkers. This includes programs to develop a bionic eye using flat-screen technology; improve the State’s career and technical education system; help daughters of domestic violence victims break the cycle of abuse; and support Staten Island’s efforts to quash a heroin epidemic.

Several of these new grants illustrate an important strand of The Trust’s grantmaking: creating opportunities for children and young adults to prepare for careers.  “We’ve found that programs that reach young people at certain critical junctures have the greatest success,” says Pat Jenny, The Trust’s vice president of grants.  For example, very young children in foster care need a boost to keep from falling behind in school. “Our grant to Jewish Child Care Association of New York provides help for foster children at an important time,” Jenny says. “And research shows that only a fraction of high schoolers admitted to college end up graduating. So we’re supporting Graduate NYC! as it works to make sure students get in, enroll and succeed.”

These are a few highlights from the 42 grants approved at the Trust’s December the last board meeting of the year. In all, The Trust made $37 million in competitive grants in 2015 for the arts, environment, education, job training, and other areas.

“Our donors have trusted us to get results on the problems they care about,” says Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust. “Their generosity helps nonprofits working to fix problems that aren’t easy to fix.”


  • Adaptive Design Association, $140,000 to strengthen an agency that makes equipment to help children with disabilities learn, socialize, and play more independently.
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, $124,000 to study new treatments for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that develops most often during adolescence.
  • Civic Consulting NYC, $150,000 to roll out a plan to help NYC Health + Hospitals (formerly the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation) improve patient satisfaction and attract and retain newly insured patients at public hospitals across the City.
  • Clubhouse International, $66,000 to help clubhouses—communities where the mentally ill can get psychiatric, social, and housing support—adapt to managed care.
  • Colorado State University, $350,000 for a two-year project of a consortium of leprosy researchers from five institutions to develop a screening program that can identify people exposed to leprosy years before they show symptoms.
  • Columbia University, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, $74,000 to continue research on the role of various genetic factors in glucose metabolism, accumulation of fat, and other factors in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Community Health Action of Staten Island, $80,000 to expand substance use disorder services on Staten Island, where a growing heroin epidemic has led to the City’s highest rate of opioid overdose deaths.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, $75,000 to develop a bionic artificial eye that uses mini flat-screen display technology so it looks more like a real eye as it appears to follow movement and light.
  • New York Integrated Network for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, $30,000 to develop the city’s first managed care organization specifically designed for this population.
  • New York Stem Cell Foundation, $74,000 to use a new technique to modify genes associated with Parkinson’s to find ways to reverse or stop mutations caused by Dopamine. (Alexander and Ann Henry left a bequest for medical research in cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. Last year, that bequest funded the New York Stem Cell Foundation’s research that led to the discovery that Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, played a critical role in the development of Parkinson’s.)
  • Rutgers University Foundation, Public Health Research Institute, $138,000 to study drug-resistant bacterial infections and develop screening protocols for patients at high risk for infection at Weill Cornell Medical Center.


  • College and Community Fellowship, $120,000 for college scholarships for women released from prison.
  • Graduate NYC!, $70,000 to improve efforts to help City students get into—and graduate from—college. It will recommend changes to high school college-prep programs and create an interactive citywide map of college access and completion programs.
  • Mentoring in Medicine, $144,000 for an intensive program that prepares black and Latino college students for medical school with MCAT prep courses, seminars, and help with test fees.


  • Advocates for Children of New York, $100,000 to press for career and technical education that meets the needs of students with disabilities and those learning English; and New York City Partnership Foundation, $100,000 improve the State funding formula and policies for the career and technical education system.
  • City University of New York, $265,000 for dozens of new internships for City University students. Funding will also support the new CUNY Tech Consortium, which will work with tech companies to improve information technology and computer science courses and connect graduates with jobs.  
  • Sakhi for South Asian Women, $50,000 for a leadership program for daughters of South Asian victims of domestic violence. The program will help them advocate for themselves and break the cycle of isolation and abuse.
  • Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, $90,000 to help teens living in public housing in East Harlem finish high school and prepare for jobs. The program offers training in customer service, culinary arts, child care, and home health care.
  • Year Up, $130,000 to increase the number of young women enrolled in technology training courses. The program will provide child care as well as single-sex classes on information technology, coding, and digital marketing.


  • The Actors Fund, $93,000 to expand social services to aging performers living in the Manhattan Plaza affordable housing complex in Midtown.
  • FDNY Foundation, $165,000 for a three-year grant to offer a weekend bereavement camp to 30 children whose firefighter parents have died, including those who passed away due to 9/11-related illness.
  • Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, $100,000 to create a system to track data on education, health, housing, economic security, and community safety in New York City neighborhoods.
  • Inwood House, $99,000 for a parenting program for pregnant and teen mothers in foster care. Workshops cover sexual and mental health, finances, and job and life skills. The program is developing courses on post-partum depression, trauma and crisis, and co-parenting.
  • Jewish Child Care Association of New York, $93,000 to prepare young children in foster care for school by providing tutoring in reading, writing, and help with self-discipline. The agency also will teach caregivers how to promote these skills at home. 


  • Bernard M. Baruch College of CUNY, $465,000 to train the next generation of New York City nonprofit leaders. This fellowship program offers leadership development, management training, and networking opportunities for mid-level managers from nonprofits The Trust has funded.
  • Center for New York City Neighborhoods, $70,000 to continue public education and outreach on loan-modification scams, deed theft, and foreclosure “rescue” fraud.
  • Common Cause Education Fund, $90,000 to examine laws, regulations, and policies that control the disposition of City public assets, such as parks, waterfronts, and libraries, and to help the public have a say in decisions made about these properties.
  • Community Voices Heard, $90,000 to help public housing residents influence policies and programs at the New York City Housing Authority. The grant will fund a youth coordinator to get young residents involved, and encourage all residents to participate in budgeting and planning.
  • Cooper Square Community Development Committee and Businessmen’s Association, $60,000 to coordinate Stand for Tenant Safety, a citywide coalition that protects tenants from disruptive construction practices. This tactic is used to drive out rent-regulated residents so landlords can replace them with market-rate tenants.
  • EIS Housing Resource Center, $40,000 to help seniors with hoarding disorders who risk eviction. The center will provide support groups, home visits, and discounted heavy cleaning services.
  • Neighborhoods First Fund for Community Based Planning, $50,000 to support local planning in neighborhoods slated for rezoning, housing development, and other capital investments. Grantees of the fund will be encouraged to recommend improvements to schools, public transit, parks, and other amenities, as well as strategies for preserving affordable housing.


  • Ecology Center, $100,000 to support campaigns to reduce or phase out toxic chemicals in consumer products through research and product testing. For example, it will test shower curtains, mats, and vinyl molding as part of an effort to eliminate the use of toxic phthalates in those products.
  • Environmental Advocates of New York, $75,000 to ensure that New York State is on track to achieve its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, even as it fundamentally restructures its power sector.
  • New York Restoration Project, $90,000 to help improve and increase the use of gardens, parks, and other open space in the Bronx. The group will coordinate fitness and family programs, and volunteer tree plantings and cleanups. It also will encourage more investment in local parks.


  • Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, $101,500 for a joint grantmaking program to promote adolescents’ after-school learning through digital media and technology. Young people in Hive-funded programs create and use apps to track exercise, compose and record original music, research civic and political issues, and reduce pollution in their communities.  Read press release>>
  • International Documentary Association, $250,000 for the Pare Lorentz documentary film awards, which help filmmakers in early stages of production take on subjects such as the environment, social justice, and poverty.
  • Third Street Music School Settlement, $171,000 to provide four-year college scholarships for six promising music students at the nation’s oldest community music school, founded in 1894 in what is now known as the East Village.  (This grant was made from the Charlotte Daniels Harris Memorial Fund, which supports college scholarships for young musicians with financial need.)


  • Brooklyn Historical Society, $150,000 to record and make accessible oral histories documenting the 1991 race riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and the lessons learned by residents, community leaders, and activists.


The following grants are made from the Oakey L. and Ethel Witherspoon Alexander Fund, set up in The Trust to help the people of Appalachia.

  • Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, $70,000 to provide legal assistance to victims of black lung disease fighting for benefits, and build the capacity of medical clinics across the region to assist afflicted miners and their families with legal issues. The Center also will educate workers about their rights to breathe cleaner air, while supporting grassroots lobbying efforts for state and federal legislation to better protect workers. 
  • Kentucky Coalition, $230,000 to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, clean energy economy in Appalachia. The coalition will advocate for more federal funding to reclaim polluted abandoned coal mines, create good-paying jobs, and promote economic development.
  • University of Kentucky, $70,000 to provide scholarships to students studying nursing, public health, physical and occupational therapy, health information technology, and health quality improvement in the region.


Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and its suburbs—and who are committed to improving them. The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City a vital and secure place to live, learn, work, and play, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust ended 2014 with assets of nearly $2.6 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $165 million. The Trust welcomes new donors. Information at

Please contact Amy Wolf at if you are member of the media and would like more details on any of the grants. 


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