Become a Donor - The New York Community Trust

Make a Difference: Today and Forever

Turn your desire to help into ongoing assistance


Starting a fund with us is simple and easy. Most funds can be started with just a letter of agreement or a single paragraph in a will.

Our experts evaluate nonprofits to make sure grants go to well-managed, accountable nonprofits doing work that has impact.

Because The New York Community Trust is a public charity, donors get the maximum deductions allowed by law.


Thousands of people who want to make a difference give to The New York Community Trust, which is a public charity. You, too, can feel the joy of smart giving.

1. Decide what to give: Create a charitable fund using cash, stock, life insurance, or other assets. We’re also experts in dissolving private foundations into funds at The Trust.

2. Decide when to give: Do you want to start a fund today? Or defer your gifts through a will or planned-giving vehicle? You can do either, or both.

3. Contact our experts: Are you interested in tax and estate planning? Want help drafting language in your will to create a permanent fund for your charitable goals?

Donors and staff walk across the grassy floor of the Javits Center green roof.
Donors and staff tour the Javits Center green roof in the spring of 2019. Photo by Hannah Williams


Is your philanthropic goal to keep finding the best solutions to the day’s most-pressing needs? Our expert program staff can do that for you when you create an unrestricted fund, which results in success stories like those in our “Grants in Action” section.

Do you want your charitable giving targeted at a specific issue you are passionate about? You can create a field-of-interest fund, which goes to the most-effective nonprofits working in that field.

A donor-advised fund allows you or an advisor appointed by you to recommend organizations to receive grants. (Please note that by law, we cannot be bound by these recommendations, but we take them very seriously and approve grants to nonprofits that meet charitable and financial standards.)

Contact the team of experts in our Donor Department to learn more about our giving options, fees, and other aspects of giving to The Trust. We look forward to speaking with you. (212) 686-2564 or

at The New York Community Trust

Our Legacy Society brings together donors who want to make a permanent impact on the causes they care about most. The charitable goals of members of our Legacy Society are as diverse as the people of our city, but they’re linked together by their desire to create a better world for generations to come.

All donors who generously provide for permanent funds at The Trust, whether through wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, or who commit to leave a balance in their existing donor-advised funds to support our work, are invited to join the Legacy Society.

If you have included The New York Community Trust in your will or estate plans, or are considering doing so, we want to honor you in our Legacy Society.

For information about building your legacy, please contact Marie D’Costa at (212) 686-2461 or


Headshot of Charlynn Goins

CHARLYNN GOINS, a native New Yorker, is chairman emerita of The New York Community Trust, served on the board of directors of Fannie Mae, and was chairperson of NYC Health+Hospitals.

“Over the years I have discovered that everyone involved with The Trust—donors, staff, and grantees—share my passion for the city, its people, and for making it a better place today and tomorrow.

It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of this community foundation—both as a board member and a donor. In 2003, I created a donor-advised fund to pursue my lifelong concerns about helping people in underserved communities receive good health care and educational opportunities. In 2015, I also created a permanent fund so that I can continue to address the future needs of the city—whatever they may be—when I am no longer here.

The Trust has been around for a long time, but it continues to be highly relevant because of the professionalism, deep bench of expertise, and dedication of the entire staff.

I have always been impressed by the ability of The Trust to address both immediate crises and long-term challenges. The Trust created a fund in one day to help New Yorkers after the 9/11 attacks, but it also has had what I call the “patient capital” to work for decades on issues such as the unequal distribution of State education dollars to the city’s schools.

I thought I knew a lot about New York City, but even I have been surprised by the extraordinary number of causes about which people care. Through my work with The Trust I have been fortunate to have the double opportunity of learning about new challenges—and then being able to help The Trust address them.

The Trust has transformed my love for New York City into a legacy of good works. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished together.


Melinda Wolfe and Ken Inadomi standing next to each other in front of a painting
KEN INADOMI is executive director of NYPACE – New York Professional Advisors for Community Entrepreneurs.

MELINDA WOLFE has more than 30 years of experience in business and at the top levels of human resources management. They have had a fund in The Trust since 2007.

MELINDA: We weren’t born New Yorkers, but we are New Yorkers. We met here after graduate school and have lived within the same five-block radius for 38 years, so there is something very real about our connection with The Trust because it is in and of our city.

KEN: We’re comforted in knowing that our donor-advised fund supports organizations that advance positive social change right here in New York City. Many of our friends are not aware of donor-advised funds as a philanthropic option, but whenever there’s an interest we encourage them to consider joining The Trust with its focus on programs that improve the quality of life and resilience of our great city.

MELINDA: We come by our philanthropic focus through our family backgrounds, but also because of the ways we are engaged in work and our community. With leadership roles in human resources at companies such as Goldman Sachs, American Express, and Bloomberg, I saw how programs focused on diversity and inclusion increased opportunities for underrepresented groups. I was influenced as well by great models of corporate philanthropy.

KEN: I was influenced by Melinda, she’s my social impact hero! With her encouragement and inspiration, I entered the nonprofit world in 2008 and have never looked back. My attention is focused now on fighting income inequality by helping people of color, women, and veterans become successful entrepreneurs by matching them with volunteer business advisors. Whenever philanthropy is leveraged with volunteer engagement, real and lasting impact is possible.

MELINDA: We also like to use our fund to support nonprofit organizations that are meaningful to our friends, many of whom are actively involved in community efforts. We have learned over time that you don’t need to have significant wealth to cultivate a philanthropic perspective. But, we like to make sure that what we do counts. We believe The Trust has been a great resource for enabling us to make a difference.”

Donor portraits by Ari Mintz