In 2017, The Trust brought together a group of funders called Early Childhood Partners NYC, which is committed to preparing all New York City children for lifelong success. Their goal is to expand access to effective early childhood services and improve the systems that influence the wellbeing of young children, especially those from low-income families.
Research shows that children from poor families who participate in quality early childhood programs are more likely to complete high school, have stable jobs, and earn higher wages. They’re also less likely to be involved with the criminal justice system or receive public assistance as adults. Lack of access to these services contributes significantly to the achievement gap: It is estimated that up to half of children who fail at school can be linked to gaps in quality care and education for preschoolers.
While New York City has led an impressive expansion of prekindergarten, it has not yet created an integrated system of high-quality services for all children under the age of five. City agencies responsible for early childhood programs historically have operated in isolation, with conflicting regulations and requirements for providers. There are significant gaps in services, and quality is inconsistent, mostly due to inadequate funding and a workforce that needs better and more specialized training.
To address these problems, the Partners work closely with public officials, researchers, practitioners, and other leaders in early childhood and related fields to expand proven and promising approaches, test new ideas, improve systems, conduct research, and advocate for policy change.
The Partners make grants to pool funding through a collaborative fund at The Trust. It is guided by a steering committee that meets quarterly. General members, who contribute at a lower level, are encouraged to participate in networking and learning activities, and align their grantmaking with collaborative projects.
For more information, contact Natasha Lifton at (212) 686-1089.
The Fund for New Citizens was established in 1987 after passage of the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986. The Fund coordinated foundation efforts to help the City’s immigrants understand and benefit from the new law. At the same time, it seeded the New York Immigration Coalition, now a statewide group of almost 200 immigrant-serving nonprofits.
Since inception, the Fund has continued to help the City’s immigrants understand and respond to complex and oft-changing immigration laws and policies. It has made more than $20 million in grants to groups across the five boroughs that reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the City’s immigrant populations. Its grants support advocacy for policies that benefit the City’s immigrants, capacity-building for immigrant-led groups that anchor this advocacy, and affordable immigration legal services. Also, it provides opportunities for foundations to learn about current immigration issues and coordinate funding that reaches immigrant groups more effectively.
To find out more about the Fund for New Citizens, download our report.
In 2001, a group of foundations established the New York City Workforce Funders. Their goal: to make the City’s workforce development system more responsive to the needs of workers and employers. The funders, now numbering 60, meet quarterly, along with colleagues from key public and nonprofit groups to share ideas and information.
About a dozen foundations make grants to a collaborative fund at The Trust to develop joint projects that test innovations or provide management assistance to many of the more than 140 nonprofits that train New Yorkers for jobs.
The Fund’s first two grants were used to help youth employment organizations manage dramatic increases in federal funding in 2001, and to build the financial systems of workforce organizations. In 2004, the Workforce Funders joined with the City’s Department of Small Business Services to focus on the health care and biotechnology sectors. That collaboration led the City to design a number of its employment programs to particular economic sectors, making them more effective.
The City’s job market has seen dramatic shifts in recent years. Some industries have disappeared, while others are expanding and need skilled workers. Many of the City’s new jobs are in lower-paying industries like hotels, restaurants, and retail. But big, fast-growing technology companies also are adding jobs—think Facebook and Google—and hiring skilled workers at a rapid pace. Meanwhile, the need for health care workers continues to grow. New Yorkers need to be trained for all of these new jobs.
In 2013, the Workforce Funders commissioned the Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System Report, which envisions a redesigned workforce system driven by employers’ needs. The report outlined a framework for the City administration to develop a bold new model—one that places a high priority on training and job placement through sector-focused industry partnerships led by employers.
The Workforce Funders have supported three industry partnerships based at the NYC Department of Small Business Services.
Since 2001, the Workforce Funders have raised more than $12 million, along with more than $8 million in aligned funding, for its collaborative projects from the following private current funders:
For more information, contact Pat Jenny at (212) 686-7069.
In the early 1990s, 17 foundation presidents, including The Trust’s, began meeting to find ways to make the City a better place to live. They decided to focus on improving schools, and in 1995 The Trust created the Donors’ Education Collaborative (DEC). With 1.1 million students in nearly 1,800 schools, New York’s public school system is the largest in the country. The cost and logistics of managing it are daunting.
DEC’s founding premise is that broad-based change in schools requires an active, informed, and diverse constituency. Effective reform is grounded in research and carried out in partnership with parents, students, educators, and other community members. Therefore, member foundations pool funds to make grants for research, advocacy, and community organizing to advance equity, opportunity, and excellence for all students, including those facing the greatest challenges.
To find out more about the Donors’ Education Collaborative, download our report.
“We joined the Donors’ Education Collaborative because of its focus on improving the system for students who are often left behind, such as immigrants, those living in poverty, and those with disabilities or special needs. DEC’s grantmaking addresses problems broadly, allowing us to extend our reach to help many more children than we could working alone.”
– Tanya Herbick, DEC member and senior program officer, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation.
“Working with the collaborative, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation can help tackle inequality and improve the quality of instruction for all students by examining the issues and supporting strategies that move the entire education system in a positive direction.”
– Nicole Leach, DEC member and education program officer at Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
Established in 2014, the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund in The New York Community Trust is a joint effort of grantmaking organizations that aims to:
The Fund makes grants to support research, technical assistance, and other initiatives that advance its goals. It also organizes briefings to review research in arts and culture, and pushes for the findings to be implemented.
If you are a funder interested in joining the Fund, please contact program associate Michele K. Baer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 686-0010 x 658.
To encourage dialogue among arts advocates, funders, and policymakers, the Fund regularly organizes briefings. For instance:
Since 2014, the Cultural Agenda Fund has been making investments in advocacy, policy, and equity efforts around New York City. Our grants include:
We opened our first funder collaborative in 1977, in response to New York City’s fiscal crisis with the creation of the Corporate Special Projects Fund. Other past efforts included: