Philanthropic Advising | The New York Community Trust
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Your Trusted Community Partner

For nearly 100 years, The New York Community Trust has brought the art of professional grantmaking to those who want to make their charitable giving more effective.

Individuals, families, foundations, and corporations use The Trust to amplify their giving to make a healthier, more fair, and thriving region for everyone. They turn to The Trust because our deep bench of local experts and commitment to meeting donors needs enables us to efficiently identify groups that align with donors’ values and objectives.

Philanthropic advising clients have included national and family foundations, public charities like the Heisman Trophy Trust, and government entities including the New York State Attorney General.

Customized Philanthropic Planning and Personal Service

New Yorkers want advising tailored to their charitable interests, values, and goals. That’s why every charitable plan we create is different.

Some clients use The Trust in lieu of hiring full-time staff. For some, we provide local expertise outside the focus of their current giving. For others, we create flexible long-term philanthropic plans designed to adapt to tomorrow’s challenges. No matter how you use The Trust, our flexible model provides a powerful and cost-effective way to make an impact.

The Power of Collective Giving

The Trust manages a diverse array of more than 2,100 charitable funds. When you create a fund with us, your contribution is amplified by The Trust’s other grantmaking. Whether you care about helping the arts, the environment, education, or social justice, your investment is in good company.

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Please contact Kerry McCarthy at (212) 686-2578 or kem@nyct-cfi.org for information about fees or other matters.

Using The Trust is an effective way to deepen your charitable giving and expand your expertise without hiring staff.

We have decades of experience managing grantmaking programs for a variety of family and private foundations, We can:

  • Run a full service grantmaking program. Our staff can identify and select nonprofits; vet them and conduct site visits; administer the grants and associated paperwork; monitor and evaluate the impact of the work; and create summary reports for your foundation.
  • Introduce you to nonprofit executives, arrange site visits, and facilitate meetings of your grantees in our offices.
  • Facilitate planning retreats, helping family members, donors, and/or advisors reach consensus on a grant strategy.
  • Deliver write-ups of suggested grant recommendations to vetted agencies. We can provide you and your board with grant recommendations. You’ll receive information on the nonprofits that fulfill your charitable interest including their mission, program description and rationale for funding, financial health, and contact information.

Do you want to make a difference in a strategic and thoughtful way? At The Trust, you can learn about promising nonprofits working on the causes you care about and nonprofits off the beaten path. Then, together we can turn your concern into impact.

Let us create a custom philanthropic plan with you. The Trust’s program experts can help you define your charitable goals and craft a strategy to meet them. We can:

  • Provide you with write-ups of suggested grant recommendations. You’ll receive information on the nonprofits that fulfill your charitable interest including their mission, program description and rationale for funding, financial health, and contact information.
  • Support your grantmaking. We can introduce you to nonprofit executives, arrange site visits, and facilitate meetings of your grantees in our offices.
  • Conduct charitable planning sessions. Working with you, we’ll bring together family members and other advisors to craft short- and long-term grantmaking strategies for your fund or foundation. This can also involve analyzing your past giving to make recommendations for future allocations.

Many corporations want to give charitably in a way that elevates their brand and echoes their core values. With The New York Community Trust, value-aligned companies have a partner that can help them develop a giving strategy; bolster their presence in local communities; and make grants that have an impact. A partnership with The Trust is a way to outsource professional grantmaking that is flexible, efficient, and cost-effective.

Let us create a custom philanthropic plan together. That may include some of the following:

  • Run a co-branded full-service grantmaking program. For the company that wants to fund several organizations working toward a common goal, we can identify and select nonprofits; vet them and conduct site visits; administer the grants and associated paperwork; monitor and evaluate the impact of the work; and create summary reports for your company.
  • Support your grantmaking. For clients already engaged in giving, The Trust can deepen your impact by introducing you to nonprofit executives, arranging site visits, and facilitating meetings with your grantees in our offices.
  • Recommend organizations. For the company that has already set its charitable objectives, The Trust can produce a series of vetted grantee recommendations. This includes a summary of the agency including its mission, purpose, program description and rationale for funding, financial health, and contact information.
  • Facilitate retreats. For companies new to philanthropic giving, Trust staff can host an charitable strategy planning session at your offices or ours. Together, we will identify brand-aligned priorities and goals.

Government

Using The Trust is an effective way to expand your expertise without hiring staff.

We have decades of experience conceiving grantmaking programs for a variety of municipal and state government entities. We can:

Design a grantmaking program that ensures you set and reach measurable philanthropic goals. Our programs can help governments identify nonprofits through targeted requests for proposals and develop appropriate due diligence and vetting processes. Our staff also can design ways to monitor and evaluate the impact of the grants.

Island Harvest Food Bank donation drive
On Long Island
A New York Life Foundation grant to Island Harvest Food Bank will help families in Nassau County.
New York Life Foundation’s Love Takes Action Awards

The New York Community Trust administered the New York Life Foundation’s Love Takes Action Awards to mark the organization’s 175th anniversary in 2020. The awards program made general operating support grants to nonprofits in honor of 35 selfless individuals throughout the country who went above and beyond in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant program engaged New York Life employees and agents, uncovered stories of resilience in the face of adversity, and identified nonprofits making a difference. Pleased with the results, New York Life will run the program again in 2021.

“I have greatly enjoyed working with the team at The Trust. In addition to helping us shape the program (and then reshape after the pandemic hit), they worked with us to develop the application, manage a team of reviewers, and helped inform the grant decisions.” – Marlyn Torres, Senior Program Officer at the New York Life Foundation

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Case Study: A Legacy of Literacy

When the New York State Attorney General’s office needed an organization to manage a portion of the estate of the late philanthropist Brooke Astor, it turned to The Trust. Using $35 million, we created a seven-year fund in 2013 targeted at improving children’s reading skills and assembled a committee of experts to help us create a strategy and evaluate grantees. So far, the Astor-funded projects have worked in 290 schools, most of which served predominantly students from very low-income families, and engaged 65,000 students and 5,700 teachers. An independent evaluator found the projects increased the number of students reading on grade level by 16 percent and improved the reading of nearly all participating students. Importantly, it significantly improved the skills of teachers and afterschool educators, who will help students for years to come.

“With the support of the Astor Fund, our Early Reading Matters program reached over 100 schools in New York City,” said Mathew Moura, vice president for early reading at Teaching Matters. “And it provided the foundation for our early reading work to deepen in the city, and expand nationally. Early Reading Matters coaches supported more than 1,500 early childhood educators, reaching more than 35,000 students. Because of The Trust’s flexibility, understanding, and support of our work through the pandemic, we were able to continue our support of schools, refine the structure and content, extend our reach to a wider set of New York City schools, and begin to work in pre-k.”

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Case Study: The Heisman Trophy Trust

Since 1935, the Heisman Trophy has become nationally recognized as the most prestigious honor in college football. When the nonprofit behind the award wanted to build on its philanthropic legacy, it chose the team at The New York Community Trust. In 2017, the Heisman Trophy Trust approached us to identify effective nonprofits helping New York kids succeed in academics and sports. Over three years, we’ve helped Heisman distribute more than $4 million to dozens of local organizations.

“The expertise of New York Community Trust’s team within this specific space has been exemplary. The Trust has completely streamlined and professionalized the Heisman Trust’s entire grantmaking program, from the application itself to the vetting of each organization as well as the follow up reviews after donations have been made.” – Tim Henning, Associate Director at Heisman Trophy Trust