Promise Neighborhoods: What Is the Promise and How Can Foundations Help It Shine Through?

Monday, January 31, 2011 -
7:30am to 11:00am EST
Philanthropy New York, 4th Floor, 79 Fifth Avenue, NYC.
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A program presented by Philanthropy Connects, the public policy committee of Philanthropy New York, together with The Blue Ridge Foundation, The Brooklyn Community Foundation, and The New York Community Trust.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: All interested funders.


In late September 2010, the federal Department of Education (ED) announced grants of up to $500,000 each to 21 organizations across the country to plan programs that would take a bold approach to meeting the needs of students living in poverty and provide the wide array of services necessary to improve outcomes for those students.  The idea for the program came from New York’s own Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), and two NYC organizations were among those awarded planning grants.

Those who won the planning grants are not guaranteed support for implementation and, given the more than 330 applicants from 48 states, not all promising candidates could win planning grants.  Candidates that plan on their own – most likely with the support of local foundations and community-based organizations – are eligible to enter next year’s competition for implementation grants along with those that received federal planning grants.  Seven NYC applicants scored high but did not receive federal funds for planning.

PROMISE Neighborhoods is a federal effort to jump-start the replication and scaling up of HCZ’s successes, in a way that is responsive to the diversity and diverse needs of different neighborhoods.  But it is clear that making the Promise come true requires the help and participation of local government, local philanthropists, and local residents. 

We invite you to a discussion about why and how foundations should respond to this challenge.  Our local and DC-based speakers will answer these questions:

  • What is the strategy behind PROMISE Neighborhoods?
  • What are ED’s goals for the program?
  • What do PROMISE Neighborhoods look like in NYC – and how are they reinventing neighborhood support for community students?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities for local funders?