Born and raised in Queens, Brian and Florence (Flo) Mahony built a successful personnel group with locations throughout Manhattan. In retirement, they split their time between New York, Connecticut, and Florida, but their commitment to New York City is unwavering.
Since 1997, they have been enthusiastic supporters of groups that make life better for all New Yorkers. Making roughly 100 grants a year, they support public media, recreation centers, theater and ballet, workforce development, animal welfare, and other causes through their donor-advised fund in The Trust.
“We feel an obligation to give back to the city and communities that have helped us and provided us with opportunity. We like to support smaller and midsized groups where our contributions are meaningful,” said Brian Mahony.
During the COVID pandemic, Brian and Flo wanted to help those who were impacted the most. They understood that New York’s frontline workers needed even more than the nightly enthusiastic choruses of banging pots and pans. Workers needed training, career-advancement opportunities, and mental-health support.
“We’ve come to appreciate the thoughtfulness of The Trust’s grantmaking staff, and their ability to use money strategically to make big things happen,” said Flo Mahony.
After conversations with Trust staff, Brian and Flo created a field-of-interest fund that helps emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nurses, and other frontline workers. The Trust combined the Mahonys’ generosity with other funds, responding to proposals from effective nonprofits.
Recently, the Mahony Emergency Worker Training Fund supported LaGuardia Community College’s efforts to prepare Queens residents for jobs as emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Another grant to the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of NYC provides mental health care to emergency medical service workers.
“When you are helping sick people, be it COVID or a stroke, these professions can be wearing on the individual. Training for higher-level certifications can also be very expensive,” said Irfan Hasan, The New York Community Trust deputy vice president for grants. “The Mahonys are allowing us to help more great programs that support these brave workers.”
The Mahonys are fueling their fund primarily through IRA distributions, allowing them to exclude these distributions from the income they would otherwise claim.