2021 Impact Report: Trust Donors Help Nonprofits Make a Difference - The New York Community Trust
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November 5, 2021   |   By The New York Community Trust
2021 Impact Report: Trust Donors Help Nonprofits Make a Difference

A volunteer with grantee City Harvest rescuing food at the Union Square Greenmarket. Photo by Lori Cannava

This 2021 Impact Report highlights the impact of some of the work we have done this year with the help of our donors, past and present.

Our grantmaking always focuses on a wide range of issues that affect the quality of life for those living in the greater metropolitan area. But this year, not surprisingly, we paid particular attention to the pandemic and its impact on New Yorkers. Our grants have focused on helping people who lost jobs, getting people vaccinated, addressing food insecurity, and confronting a host of other challenges.

The 2021 Impact Report is just a sample of what our partnership can achieve. We thank our grantees for their tireless efforts on behalf of New Yorkers, and our donors who support their work. It is an honor to be part of this collaboration.


EDUCATION: Ensuring Quality Education for All Students

After a decades-long battle, city schoolchildren were assured billions in additional state funding so they can receive a better education. With Trust support, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity sued New York State in 1993, arguing its funding formula did not adequately provide for students in the city’s public schools. The state lost in court, but did not pay up. Several Trust grants to the Alliance for Quality Education helped rally popular and political support. The state has just agreed to increase funding for city public schools by more than $1.2 billion over three years to ensure a quality education for students with disabilities, English-language learners, and low-income students.

Made possible by: the Donors’ Education Collaborative, a funding partnership dedicated to making New York City public schools better for all students.

OLDER ADULTS: Laying the Foundation for Immigrant Senior Housing

Four years ago, there was very little data on the city’s South Asian older adult community, despite it being the city’s fastest growing immigrant group, as well as one of its most vulnerable. Many of these older adults are unable to access social services due to language barriers. In 2017, The Trust made a grant to India Home to assess the needs of South Asian older adults in Queens. The study documented the need for affordable housing, which the organization used to bolster its application for funding. India Home recently received $1.8 million from the city to build senior housing in Jamaica, Queens, that will cater to the cultural and linguistic needs of this community.

Made possible by: the Katharine A. Park Fund for the Elderly, created by bequest to assist older New Yorkers.

HEALTH: Boosting Vaccine Confidence and Inoculation Rates

Although COVID vaccines have been widely available for months, vaccination rates of New Yorkers still vary significantly. This is due in part to misinformation, lack of access, or mistrust in the medical profession and government. During the vaccine rollout, misinformation tripled, with anti-vaccine groups targeting communities that are more likely to be vaccine-hesitant. The Trust made grants to six nonprofits to improve access and deliver targeted and scientifically sound information. In six months, the grantees worked with more than 300 community groups and contributed to higher vaccination rates in 20 of the least-vaccinated neighborhoods in the city. The grantees included the Community Health Care Association of New York State, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Policy, the Fund for Public Health in New York, the New York Academy of Medicine, Public Good Projects, and VOCAL-NY.

Made possible by: generous New Yorkers who contributed to our Emergency Fund.

ARTS & CULTURE: Helping Struggling Artists and Arts Groups

Many small arts groups and those serving communities of color are still struggling to recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic. The Trust made grants to five nonprofits for regranting programs to help arts workers and groups, including: the Black Seed initiative, led by Brooklyn’s Billie Holiday Theatre, which made grants to 100 Black theater groups; New Music USA for regrants to 1,044 musicians and 10 small groups; Indie Theater Fund to provide relief to 1,066 cultural workers; IndieSpace, for grants to more than 500 theater artists, companies, and venues; and Dance/NYC, which made grants to 1,082 dance workers and 125 groups.

Made possible by: the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts, one of several permanent funds created by Ms. Wallace and her husband, DeWitt, the founders of Reader’s Digest.

POVERTY: Improving the City’s Emergency Food Systems

In 2020, one in three New Yorkers visited a food pantry, straining the city’s patchwork of hunger relief programs. With no signs of demand abating, The Trust made a series of grants to improve the city’s emergency food network: to City Harvest to rescue and distribute food, the Food Bank for New York City to deliver supplies to pantries, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty to supply kosher and halal foods, and the Mayor’s Fund for New York City to better coordinate emergency food providers. Over the past two years, donor-advised funds at The Trust gave more than $1.2 million to these nonprofits. This combined grantmaking helped City Harvest during one of its most-challenging times, but it was able to increase its delivery of food by 88 percent—close to 155 million pounds of food—including distribution through 29 new emergency sites in low-income neighborhoods.

Made possible by: the Marjorie S. Isaac Fund for People in Need, created by bequest through a revocable trust.

ENVIRONMENT: Holding the Fossil-Fuel Industry Accountable

The fossil-fuel industry has not taken full financial responsibility for cleaning up the environmental damage it causes, whether from climate-change-related natural disasters or from spills and other accidental releases. To make sure the industry shoulders more of the burden, The Trust gave a grant to the Center for Sustainable Economy to help government agencies create new bonding requirements, including establishing environmental trust funds, which will shift more future clean-up costs to companies. The center’s campaign has successfully led to model programs in Alaska; Portland, Oregon; Multnomah County, Oregon; and Kings County, Washington.

Made possible by: the Henry Phillip Kraft Family Memorial Fund, created by bequest to protect and improve the environment on a national and international scale.

JUSTICE & DEMOCRACY: Getting an Accurate Census Count

Our state is facing major changes to the political landscape with the release of the 2020 census results, which figures prominently in the process of reshaping electoral districts. The Trust created the New York State Census Equity Fund in 2018 to ensure a fair and accurate count of New Yorkers. The fund awarded $3.6 million over three years to 120 organizations. While the state still lost a congressional seat, the 2020 census marked the first time in eight decades the state did not lose two seats, which census authorities had predicted.

Made possible by: the NYS Census Equity Fund, a collaborative fund in The Trust that brings together funders dedicated to bolstering our democracy.

CHILDREN & TEENS: Continuing Paid Youth Employment and Learning

The city’s Summer Youth Employment Program has connected low-income young people to paid work since 1963, but the city suspended the program for the first time in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Trust made grants to The Bell, for its Teens Take Charge campaign, and to ExpandED Schools—both members of a coalition to save the program—to help launch an all-remote version that offered online work-based learning opportunities, and awarded academic credit. The remote program, called Summer Rising, remained a feature of the 2021 Summer Youth Employment Program, which returned in full force—serving 75,000 teens, the largest number of participants to date—with in-person, remote, and hybrid options.

Made possible by: the Marcia Ashman Fund for Children, created by bequest to benefit young people.

LGBTQ: A Welcoming Home for LGBTQ+ Older Adults

With the help of planning grants from The Trust, SAGE worked with developer partners to open the state’s first LGBTQ+-friendly elder housing developments in Brooklyn (in 2019) and the Bronx (this year). These developments and the services provided will help 550 LGBTQ+ older adults, many of whom have faced a lifetime of discrimination and a lack of affirming housing and support. A Trust grant this year is helping SAGE train staff, develop services for residents, and plan for a strong integration into the surrounding communities.

Made possible by: the Sam Wilner Fund, created to benefit gay youth and older adults.

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We are here to help you meet your philanthropic goals. Please let us know if you are thinking about including, or have already included, The Trust in your estate through a planned gift, by naming The Trust in your will, or using retirement plan assets. By making this commitment, you can join our Legacy Society and take comfort in knowing your generosity will have an impact long into the future. Contact Marie D’Costa at md@nyct-cfi.org or (212) 686-2461.

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Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marty Lipp
Communications Director
(212) 889-3963 
mbl@nyct-cfi.org

Amy Wolf
Assistant Director for Digital Media and Marketing
(646) 214-1004
aw@nyct-cfi.org

Get our media kit

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