New York City's Community Foundation Carries Out Charitable Legacies of Brooke Astor and Many Others

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New York City's Community Foundation Carries Out Charitable Legacies of Brooke Astor and Many Others
The New York Community Trust recently approved more than $12.3 million in grants to support 65 nonprofits that will help domestic violence victims find housing, strengthen arts groups, feed the hungry, and more. Three highlights from our grantmaking in health: 

TREATING DEPRESSION DIGITALLY: What if an app could sense if a person was depressed and alerted a doctor? Montefiore Medical Center will use our $152,000 to test an application that allows patients to text their care team while a monitoring system alerts the team to unusual behavior, such as not leaving the house for days. 
MENTAL HEALTH HELP FOR NONPROFIT WORKERS: Mental Health Association of New York City and Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York will each receive $75,000 for a joint mental health training program for safety-net agencies. Families with tight finances fear federal cuts to after-school programs, food stamps, and more. These stressed-out New Yorkers are turning to nonprofits, where the staffs are struggling, too. They're facing rising demand for services and worrying budget cuts could affect their own jobs. This grant will provide the staffs with self-care help and referrals to professional mental health services.
HELP FOR THOSE WITH AUTISM: With simple training, teachers and others can help those with autism spectrum disorder succeed. In 2014, The Trust supported Quality Services for the Autism Community (known as QSAC) to train public school staff. Nonprofits heard about the program and requested it. With an additional $150,000 from The Trust, QSAC will train more educators and staff of nonprofits serving those with autism. 
The Trust is committed to helping solve some of New York's toughest problems. 

Other grantmaking includes:

In 2012, the State Attorney General and administrators of Brooke Astor's estate chose The New York Community Trust to manage and distribute more than $43 million to support education. So far, we've awarded nearly $17 million to improve reading in 250 schools, and prekindergarten and after-school programs that enroll 16,000 disadvantaged City children.

  • Creative Arts Team, $658,000 to help teachers use drama to improve the reading skills of kindergarten-through-second-grade students in District 30 in Queens.
  • Union Settlement Association, $350,000 to use photography and nonfiction storytelling to help English-language learners improve reading skills. 
  • Four grants focus on improving reading instruction in after-school programs run by community groups: CAMBA, $958,000; Chinese-American Planning Council, $808,000; Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, $806,000; and ExpandED Schools, $1,889,000.
  • Power My Learning, $75,000 to use text messages, video, and other technology to involve parents in their children's math assignments.
  • The New School, Center for New York City Affairs, $90,000 to promote integrated elementary schools. The group will gather data on students' socio-economic status and ethnicity, and look at whether or not these students are attending their zoned schools. 
  • Teach for America, $145,000 for scholarships and training for new teachers placed in early childhood programs run by community groups.

Behavioral Health

  • The Child Center of NY, $120,000 to streamline intake and referral systems. The agency counsels and supports 26,000 at-risk children at 60 sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.
  • The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, $125,000 for a substance abuse treatment program for LGBTQ youth. With our previous $150,000 grant, the Center launched and expanded the nation's only drug-treatment program tailored to LGBTQ young people. The program had good results: Sixty-five percent of those who signed up completed treatment and avoided relapse. Our new grant will develop a "clubhouse" model-peer support in a casual setting. 


  • Actors Fund of America, $209,000 to open a senior center in its residential building on West 57th Street for retired performing arts and entertainment professionals. The new center will offer hundreds of events, including book club meetings, visual art groups, and financial management and legal workshops.
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, $141,000 to continue a study of osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that develops most often during adolescence.
  • American Heart Association, $150,000 to improve emergency care for stroke victims. Timely stroke treatment saves lives and reduces permanent brain damage, but delays can be deadly. Stroke victims or their families may not recognize the symptoms and delay calling 911. Emergency transport can take too long, and EMS or hospital teams can fail to identify stroke symptoms. Our grant will help improve coordinated care for stroke patients. 
  • Institute for Applied Gerontology, $125,000 to develop and share a guide that doctors can use to discuss end-of-life care with Chinese patients and their families. 

Youth Development

  • Center for Supportive Schools, $100,000 to expand a peer-mentoring program for middle- and high-school students.
  • Legal Outreach, $225,000 to help low-income people of color graduating from high school prepare for college and to provide first-year scholarships.

Human Justice

  • New York University, $50,000 to educate New Yorkers about Islam. 
  • Queens Legal Services, $60,000 to train clients and community members to protect immigrants in southeast Queens through know-your-rights workshops and advocacy. 

Human Services 

  • City Harvest, $250,000 to increase access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods. With our funding, City Harvest has created a rapid delivery system to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to soup kitchens and food pantries. With our new grant, City Harvest plans to create a way for families to choose what types of produce they get. It will also deliver 1.4 million pounds of perishable foods, in addition to the 55 million pounds of excess food it now delivers.
  • Community Food Advocates, $85,000 to ensure public school lunches are free for all students. Thanks in part to our $175,000 over the past four years, Community Food Advocates has helped convince the City to make lunches free for all students, not just those from certain grades or family income levels. Our continued funding will monitor this program and ensure successful implementation.
  • Early Childhood Partners Fund, $125,000 for funder collaborative housed at The Trust, which pools resources to expand access for poor families to high-quality early childhood services.  
  • Forestdale, $100,000 to support healthy relationships between caregivers and young children in foster care.
  • Jewish Child Care Association of New York, $200,000 to help young foster children of all backgrounds prepare for school.
  • National Academy of Sciences, $200,000 to analyze how to integrate social services into health care systems, in particular the role of social workers.
  • New Destiny Housing Corporation, $50,000 to help victims of domestic violence find homes. Women trying to escape home violence often have nowhere to turn. New Destiny will use our grant to offer counseling and provide housing to women at the Queens Family Justice Center. 
  • University Settlement Society of New York, $66,000 to improve community center services and increase civic participation by public housing residents. 

Jobs and Workforce Development

  • Center for Employment Opportunities, $125,000 to expand training and job counseling for former inmates. Classes include training in scaffolding and construction, culinary arts, and entry-level health jobs.
  • STRIVE, $125,000 to help entry-level workers upgrade skills and advance. It will add training in boiler maintenance and asbestos removal to existing classes in medical billing, coding, and health care. 

Arts and Culture

Despite the large footprint of Museum Mile and Times Square, most of the City's 4,700 arts groups have operating budgets of less than $1.5 million. The New York Community Trust is investing $980,000 to help the following small arts groups at major crossroads.

  • Alice Austen House, $120,000 to highlight its LGBTQ history. Alice Austen, one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers, lived in Staten Island with her companion, Gertrude Tate. The museum, now on the National Register of Historic Places, will use the grant to expand its audience, particularly the LGBTQ community.
  • ArteEst, $100,000 to expand an arts program for Middle Eastern and North African artists. 
  • Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, $150,000 for a leadership transition in this East Harlem organization. 
  • Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, $150,000 to create an African-centered curriculum and share it with other African-American arts groups in Brooklyn.
  • Mabou Mines, $80,000 to provide rehearsal and production space to geographically and ethnically diverse artists.
  • Noel Pointer Foundation, $100,000 to expand a Brooklyn music education program to Staten Island and Queens.
  • Socrates Sculpture Park in Brooklyn, $150,000 to prepare the park for new construction.
  • Time in Children's Arts Initiative, $130,000 to expand an arts education program for schools with many students affected by homelessness, domestic violence, or developmental disabilities.

 Arts and Education

  • ArtsConnection, $150,000 for arts instruction for students learning English at six middle schools in south Brooklyn. Teachers have found that dance and theater motivate students learning English and improve their perseverance, focus and self-confidence. With our grant, ArtsConnection will train 45 teachers, reaching 500 students over the next two years.
  • Community-Word Project, $70,000 to provide arts education to students learning English at Queens District 30 and Bronx District 10 schools.
  • Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program, $150,000 to provide arts instruction to first-grade English language learners in five schools.
  • Repertorio Español, $150,000 to provide theater arts instruction to English language learners in 15 middle and high schools.

Youth Development

  • Futures and Options, $100,000 to expand an internship program for City high school students.
  • Global Kids, $100,000 to build the leadership and technology skills of high school girls.
  • Red Hook Initiative, $100,000 to expand an education and employment program for unemployed young people in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 
  • Woodlawn Conservancy, $75,000 to expand an apprenticeship program in stone masonry for disadvantaged young people in the Bronx.

Help for Nonprofits

  • Human Services Council of New York City, $120,000 to establish rating systems for City and State human services contracting agencies.
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York, $60,000 to help nonprofits understand the rules and regulations of advocacy.

 Civic Affairs

  • Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York, $60,000 for a voter participation campaign.

Community Development

  • Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, $65,000 to advocate for the preservation of industrial clusters that generate jobs in low-income neighborhoods.
  • City Limits, $50,000 for investigative journalism on NYC housing topics.
  • Flatbush Development Corporation, $70,000 for tenant advocacy that serves immigrant households in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods.
  • New York State Tenants & Neighbors Information Service, $60,000 to preserve affordable Mitchell-Lama buildings through a combination of services and advocacy.

Conservation and Environment

  • Climate Group, $100,000 to convince large companies to meet all their energy needs with renewable sources. 
  • Food Fight! Coalition, $125,000 to eliminate the use of toxic phthalates in food processing and packaging.
  • Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, $300,000 to support partnerships between municipal sustainability directors and local foundations.
  • Georgetown University, $100,000 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in the Northeast.
  • Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Labor (HEAL) Food Alliance, $125,000 to advocate for a healthier and more sustainable national food system.
  • National Wildlife Federation, $100,000 to accelerate development of the nation's Atlantic offshore wind resources. Offshore wind power is an untapped resource of renewable energy. The National Wildlife Federation helped convince New York and Massachusetts to purchase a total of 4,000 megawatts of offshore wind power. With a new grant, the Wildlife Federation will develop more offshore wind power along the East coast.
  • New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, $100,000 to reduce legal costs for energy efficiency upgrades in the affordable housing sector.
  • Waterfront Alliance, $100,000 to promote resilient waterfront design standards in New York and other cities.
  • Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, $100,000 to protect critical conservation corridors along the U.S.-Canadian border.  (Many of our national environmental grants are made possible by our Henry Phillip Kraft Family Memorial Fund, created to protect and improve our planet.)
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