NMM NEW YORK FOUNDATION
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER By Steven Barboza
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER IN 1906, THE U.S. ECONOMY WAS IN SHAMBLES. BANKING TITAN JACOB H. SCHIFF, WHO WAS TO BECOME FOUNDING CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION, ISSUED A STERN WARNING THAT AMERICA WOULD FACE CRITICAL FAILURE IF THE NATION DIDN'T MODERNIZE ITS BANKING AND CURRENCY SYSTEMS. THERE WOULD BE “SUCH A PANIC,” HE SAID, “AS WILL MAKE ALL PREVIOUS PANICS LOOK LIKE CHILD’S PLAY.” The country did not heed his call, and in 1907, economic conditions
That foundation is the New York Foundation.
worsened, the situation capped by two stock market crashes and a global credit shortage. Depositors lined up to take their money out of the banks.
This is its story.
A little more than a hundred years later, the U.S. economy plunged once
“GOING PUBLIC” ON WALL STREET
again. Investor Warren Buffet said, “its fallen off a cliff.” At the start of the 20th century, the U.S. economy had been shaken to its At first it might seem paradoxical to celebrate grantmaking amid the
core by stock market collapses and credit crunches. But 1909 would turn
current economic conditions. But rich traditions of philanthropy deserve
out to be a propitious year.
special honor not just in flush times, but also in times of greatest need. And one foundation—established in an economically stressful period of
Four New Yorkers of great distinction in their fields—Edward C.
American history, when there were few templates for grantmaking—
Henderson, Jacob H. Schiff, Isaac Seligman, and Paul M. Warburg—
gathered on April 5 at 2:30 in the afternoon in an office at 52 William Street in Manhattan. Determined to make a difference in the lives of people not
Even during the toughest times of the past century, that foundation has
as fortunate as themselves, they got down to the business of creating one
stubbornly clung to the ideals upon which it was founded: social justice,
of the first foundations in the United States. Only a handful had existed
grassroots giving, and faith in the resilience of New Yorkers.
prior to that time—three established by Andrew Carnegie, who believed it
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
was the height of immorality for a man to die rich; the Baron de Hirsch
and President Woodrow Wilson would appoint him to the Federal Reserve
Fund, founded in 1891; the Association for the Aid of Crippled Children, in
Board, where he was to serve as vice governor in 1917 and 1918. Warburg’s
1900; the Milbank Fund, in 1905; and the Russell Sage Foundation, in 1907.
family bank, M.M.Warburg & Co., in Hamburg, had been founded in 1798 and would last into the Hitler era, when it was forcibly confiscated in 1938
At the April 5 meeting, the four citizens adopted a charter and bylaws, and
elected a chairman (Schiff), a president (Morris Loeb, a New York University professor of chemistry), and appointed other officers. They wrote a
Schiff, Seligman, and Warburg were among the grand dukes of New York
charter later enacted by the state legislature and signed by the governor,
society. They were part of a close-knit group of venerable German Jewish
creating the New York Foundation.
families who had built vast banking fortunes but who nevertheless were
� The founders of the New York Foundation had come together as a result of
considered newcomers in America. Led by Schiff, these families played an important role in American philanthropy: they held fast to the Jewish principle of tzedakah, or “righteous giving,” from the root Hebrew word for “justice.”
the unexpected death at age 49, of Louis A. Heinsheimer, a partner at Kuhn, Loeb & Co., a banking firm founded in 1867. In his will, he bequeathed $1
Among the greatest financial minds of their day, these men shared a grand
million to the Jewish charities of New York, but only if they would federate
vision for their foundation: that New Yorkers, given the proper tools and
within a year of his death. When they chose not to federate, the bequest
means, could create social change. For a century now, this vision has
reverted to his brother, Alfred M. Heinsheimer, who formed the New York
served as a guiding principle of the New York Foundation.
OF RISK AND REWARD Three of its founders—Schiff, Seligman, and Warburg—were profiled alongside J.P. Morgan in a New York Times article about the most active people
From its inception, the New York Foundation has shown an appetite for
uncertainty. The founders, who were knowledgeable about the vagaries of the finacial markets, were well versed in the language of capitalism. Theirs
For his part, Schiff considered himself an equal to Morgan, who called him
was a world of risk/reward ratios, and they somehow imbued their new
“that foreigner” but regarded him as a friend. Schiff stood at five feet, two
foundation with a principle borne of the vicissitudes of life on the Street:
inches in stocking feet, but he was a banking giant. The Seligmans, accord-
the greater the expected return, the greater the investment risk. Only, in
ing to banking lore, helped finance the Civil War by selling hundreds of
this case, the prize ultimately was not financial, but social, gain.
millions of dollars worth of Union war bonds in Europe on behalf of President Lincoln. Warburg would go on to create the Federal Reserve System,
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
Only,York in this ultimately wasstriving not financial, but social, gain. New in case, 1909 the wasprize an industrial town to become a world-class
the city produced all death clothing made in the United States, Factory, they weretwo-thirds called “fireofand traps.”
metropolis. It was a city compelled to expand in every direction, including
mainly in sweatshops. After the horrific blaze at the Triangle Shirtwaist
New Yorkand in 1909 was an Burrowers industrial town striving to become a world-class skyward downward. carved a warren of subway tunnels.
Factory, were “fire and death traps.”to step up and create At a timethey when fewcalled foundations were prepared
metropolis. It wasskyscrapers a city compelled to expandto intouch every the direction, Builders erected that threatened clouds.including Two
infrastructure to augment the limitations of government assistance to the
skyward andbridges, downward. Burrowers carved warren of subway tunnels. magnificent the Queensborough anda the Manhattan, were built
At a time when few were prepared up and create disenfranchised, thefoundations New York Foundation roseto tostep the occasion. Its trus-
Builders erected skyscrapers that threatened clouds. Two over the East River. The well-heeled shopped to ontouch Ladiesthe Mile, which
infrastructure to augment the limitations of government assistance to the tees were willing to underwrite untested programs operated by groups that
magnificent bridges, the Queensborough and themore Manhattan, werethan built stretched from 10th to 23rd Streets and boasted fine stores
disenfranchised, thedefied New York Foundation rosetotobring the occasion. Itsneeded trusbattled the odds or convention in order desperately
over the East The The well-heeled shopped Mile,aswhich anywhere elseRiver. on earth. New York Times on wasLadies emerging the nation’s
tees were willing underwrite untested programswork operated by groups social change. Thetotrustees funded the grassroots of nurses and that
stretched from 10th toand 23rd Streets and boasted more fine stores than newspaper of record, Manhattan was fast becoming the center of radio
battledworkers the oddsonorthe defied convention needed social Lower East Sideininorder 1912 to to bring bring desperately relief to residents in
anywhere else To on highlight earth. TheitsNew York Times washosted emerging the nation’s programming. ambitions, the city the as Hudson-Fulton
social change. trusteesthe funded the grassroots ofschoolchildren, nurses and dire need, and The underwrote distribution of free work milk to a
newspaper ofa record, andriverfront Manhattan was fast becominga the center of radio Celebration, two-week festival. It included 40-mile-long
social workers onlunch the Lower East for Side in poor. 1912 to bring relief tosupported residents in precursor to free programs the The foundation
programming. To highlight ambitions, the city hosted Hudson-Fulton parade of tall ships and theits first flight in New York’s sky, the a 30-minute
dire need, andthat underwrote the distribution free milk to schoolchildren, organizations raised awareness of childoflabor in factories, and spear- a
Celebration, a two-week riverfront festival. It included a 40-mile-long jaunt by Wilbur Wright from Governors Island to Grant’s Tomb.
precursor free lunch programs for the poor. foundationthat supported headed thetonational child labor movement and The organizations
parade of tall ships and the first flight in New York’s sky, a 30-minute jaunt
organizations thatby raised awareness child labor in factories, and supported strikes those seeking toofregulate working conditions.
by Wilbur Wright from side Governors But there was another of NewIsland York, to theGrant’s side ofTomb. crushing poverty,
spearheaded the national child labor movement and organizations that
and the juxtaposition of richness and dearth was startling.
The foundation was guided by the belief that The foundation was guided bywill theifbelief thatmeans community residents had the not the
But there was another side of New York, the side of crushing poverty, and the juxtaposition of richness and dearth wasofstartling. New York was also a teeming, sweltering jungle smoking factories and sooty skies. Millions came seeking pathways to better lives. What they New York waswere also acrowded, teeming,dilapidated sweltering jungle of smoking factories and found instead tenements, food riots, chaos, sooty skies. Millions came seeking pathways to better lives. WhatThe they disillusionment, and an inept government steeped in corruption.
community residentsin had theown will lives. if not the means to to make a difference their make a difference in their own lives.
found of instead werewas crowded, dilapidated foodwhere riots, chaos, index suffering particularly high intenements, the tenements, misery
Throughout its history, the New York Foundation has supplied seed money
disillusionment, inept government smothered hope,and andan disease ran rampant.steeped in corruption. The index
supported by those seeking to regulate working conditions. to address strikes social problems, especially at “tension points” in society: hous-
of suffering was particularly high in the tenements, where misery
Throughout its history, the New York Foundation has reproductive supplied seedrights, money ing, public health, workers’ rights, women’s suffrage,
smothered hope, and disease ran rampant. The tenements contributed workers for the steady drone of industry. More
to address social especially “ tension points” in society:onhousracial equity, legalproblems, aid, and more. Earlyattrustees put the foundation track
people worked in the factories of Manhattan in 1909 than in all the mills of
ing,taking publicrisks health, workers’ rights, practices. women's suffrage, reproductive rights, for in its grantmaking
The tenements contributed workers for the of industry. Massachusetts, and more than a quarter of asteady milliondrone garment workersMore in
racial equity, legal aid, and more. Early trustees put the foundation on track
people in the factories in 1909 than in all States, the mills of the cityworked produced two-thirds ofof allManhattan clothing made in the United
for taking risks ininterest its grantmaking The foundation’s in social practices. welfare escalated during the Great
Massachusetts, and more than quarter blaze of a million garment Shirtwaist workers in mainly in sweatshops. After theahorrific at the Triangle
Depression of the 1930s. The federal government provided relief to the
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
The foundation’s in social welfare during the of the by unemployed, but interest public assistance proved escalated to be inadequate andGreat had toDepression be supplemented 1930s.and Theprivate federalagencies. government relief to thewith unemployed, but public assistance local The provided foundation worked established social service agencies proved to be in inadequate and ones had to be supplemented private agencies. and assisted forming new throughout the city.by In local 1934, and the foundation fundedThe efforts foundation worked and withmake established social service assisted in forming anew ones to conduct surveys recommendations to agencies the state and government, providing road throughout theefforts. city. InTwo 1934, the foundation funded efforts to to conduct surveys and make map for relief years later, the foundation helped support a dozen private recommendations to theinstate providing a road map reliefwelfare efforts.rolls, Two years family welfare agencies Newgovernment, York that strove to keep people offfor public later, the morale, foundation supportnot a dozen private family assistance. welfare agencies in New York preserve andhelped providetoservices supplied by public that strove to keep people off public welfare rolls, preserve morale, and provide services not supplied public assistance.to take risks has become a valued attribute of the foundation, Over the by years, a willingness a prize in a field where established major players are often content to stick with safer, docOver theoutlooks years, a on willingness to take has become a valued the foundation, trinaire grantmaking andrisks meeting public need. The attribute New YorkofFoundation’s a prize in afully fieldrecognized where established major playersofare often foundation—it content to stickhad with docleadership the inherent strength a small thesafer, flexibility trinaire on grantmaking and meeting need.greatest, The Newbut York Foundation’s to get inoutlooks early, admittedly at the point when thepublic risks were precisely at the leadership fullyresources recognized the inherent strength a small foundation—it hadeven the flexibility moment when could be aligned to solveofproblems before they were to get in early, admittedly acknowledged as such. at the point when the risks were greatest, but precisely at the moment when resources could be aligned to solve problems before they were even acknowledged such. the emerging field of community organizing as early as the mid-1950s, The foundationas funded supporting work in Chelsea to test the hypothesis of Saul Alinsky, whose approach stressed The foundation funded the emerging field of community organizing as early as the citizen participation in neighborhood organizations and later financed a project onmid-1950s, the Lower supporting Chelseadevise to testsolutions the hypothesis Saul Alinsky, whose stressed East Side towork help in residents for theofburdens of poverty andapproach the changing citizen participation in neighborhood organizations later on financed a project on the Lower population in the neighborhood. In 1978, as the city and teetered the brink of bankruptcy, Eastfoundation Side to help residents devise solutions for the burdens of poverty changing the awarded startup grants to community-based projects inand the the city’s neediest population in theshouldering neighborhood. In 1978, as the city teetered on the brink bankruptcy, neighborhoods, the lion’s share of administrative costs. In theoflate 1970s andthe foundation startup grants to community-based projects city’s neediest early 1980s,awarded it became a prime funder of grassroots groups aimedin atthe community organizing. neighborhoods, shouldering the lion’s share of administrative costs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, became ain prime funder of grassroots groups trustees aimed atchallenged communitythe organizing. As with theiritforebears the early 1900s, the foundation’s status quo during this period; they were willing to take calculated risks to assess local resources and As with their forebears in the early 1900s, the foundation’s trustees thecounseling status quo mobilize and deliver them at the neighborhood level, including crisischallenged intervention during thisadvocacy period; they were for willing to take calculated to assess local for youth, services welfare recipients, andrisks training classes for resources surrogate and
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
mobilize and deliver them work at thewith neighborhood level,mothers including crisis grandmothers who would disadvantaged and their
issues inhealth, real time, aswork, change occurs.literacy, Throughhigher the years, these issues have mental social housing, education, unemploy-
intervention youth, advocacy services welfare recipients, children. Thecounseling foundationfor was guided by the belief thatfor community
been part ofrefugees, a broad continuum that criminal includes justice, child labor, workers’rights, rights, ment relief, legal services, immigrants’
and training for grandmothers would in work residents hadclasses the will if surrogate not the means to make awho difference theirwith
mental health, work, housing, literacy, higher education, unemployvictims’ rights, social AIDS research and treatment, youth empowerment, and
disadvantaged motherscommunity and their children. The foundation guided by own lives. Grassroots organizing jibed with thewas foundation’s
ment relief, legal services, immigrants’ rights, “green jobs”refugees, and sustainability. Race criminal and race justice, relations have also been
the belief that communityapproach residentstohad the will if not the means to make a bottom-up philosophical social change.
victims’ rights, AIDS research andthe treatment, youth empowerment, and powerful drivers of grants during past century.
difference in their own lives. Grassroots community organizing jibed with
“green jobs” and sustainability. Race and race relations have also been
the foundation's philosophical approach to social change. The foundation isbottom-up known today as a preeminent funder of grassroots
powerful RACE drivers of grants during the past century.
groups. More than half of its grants go to community organizing groups. The foundation is known today toward as a preeminent funder of grassroots Foundation funding has moved groups that conduct community groups. More than half of its grants go to community organizing processes, groups. organizing to resolve common problems, increase participatory
In 1911, a total of 19 grants were made. Appropriation No. 19, a gift of RACE $500, went to a fledgling organization just a few months older than the
Foundation fundingof has moved toward groups that conduct community and tip the balance power.
foundation itself, National Association for the Advancement of of In 1911, a total of the 19 grants were made. Appropriation No. 19, a gift
organizing to resolve common problems, increase participatory processes,
Colored People. $500, went to a fledgling organization just a few months older than the
and the balance power. AMIDtip1,000 TIPPINGofPOINTS
foundation itself, the National Association for the Advancement of With early and continual foundation support, the NAACP, the nation’s Colored People.
The Foundation AMIDNew 1,000York TIPPING POINTSsupports organizations as varied as the back-
oldest civil rights group, has since played a pivotal role in dismantling
grounds of New Yorkers themselves. This is apt because there are multiple
racial barriers the U.S.,foundation including overturning Crowthe laws and bringWith early and in continual support, theJim NAACP, nation’s
New Yorks, as writer E.B. White noted in 1949. First, thethe “New York The New York Foundation supports organizations as there’s varied as back-
ing thecivil 1954rights case that ledhas to desegregating Brown v. Board of oldest group, since played aschools, pivotal role in dismantling
of the man woman who was born here, who the there city for grounds of or New Yorkers themselves. This is apttakes because aregranted multiple
Education, to the U.S.U.S., Supreme Court. racial barriers in the including overturning Jim Crow laws and bring-
and itswriter size and itsWhite turbulence and inevitable.” Newaccepts Yorks, as E.B. notedas in natural 1949. First, there’s the “Second, New York
ing the 1954 case that led to desegregating schools, Brown v. Board of
there’s the New York of thewas commuter, andwho third, there “thefor New York of the man or woman who born here, takes theiscity granted
Other groups in race relations Education, to working the U.S. Supreme Court. were also among early grant
of personitswho somewhere andand came to New York in andthe accepts sizewas andborn its turbulence aselse natural inevitable.” Second,
recipients. In 1912, the National League on Urban Conditions Among
quest something.” there’softhe New York of the commuter, and third, there is “ the New York of
Negroes (which wouldin later its were namealso to the National Other groups working raceshorten relations among earlyUrban grant
the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest
League) received of many New York Foundation grants. Over the recipients. In 1912,the thefirst National League on Urban Conditions Among
Diversity has always been a principle theme of the New York Foundation’s of something.”
years, substantial fundslater wereshorten committed to educational programs designed Negroes (which would its name to the National Urban
grantmaking practices. By any analysis, its grants show a remarkable diver-
to compensate forthe thefirst severe disadvantages black students. The founLeague) received of many New Yorkof Foundation grants. Over the
sity. This is true in part because as thetheme city changes, its most Diversity has always been a principle of the New Yorkpressing Foundation’s
dation awarded grants a number of historically black programs universities, the years, substantial fundstowere committed to educational designed
issues do too,practices. and the New York Foundation has been to responddiverto grantmaking By any analysis, its grants showable a remarkable
United Negro College the NationalofScholarship Service Fund to compensate for the Fund, severeand disadvantages black students. Theand foun-
issues in real time, as change occurs. the years, these issues have sity. This is true in part because as theThrough city changes, its most pressing
for Negro Students. dation awarded grants to a number of historically black universities, the
been of a and broad includeshas child labor, rights, issuespart do too, thecontinuum New York that Foundation been ableworkers’ to respond to
United Negro College Fund, and the National Scholarship Service and Fund
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
The foundation helped to challenge racial inequality across the city, par-
rights era, and as New York followed the lead of civil rights organizations
ticularly in Harlem, where two-thirds of black Manhattanites lived by 1914.
elsewhere, the foundation targeted efforts in the South for funding. Trustees believed that efforts there ultimately would have an enormous
And when tempers flared, the foundation responded. On August 1, 1943,
impact on the lives of black New Yorkers.
Harlem boiled over, according to Walter White, head of the NAACP, himself a resident of Harlem’s Sugar Hill section. A police officer arrested a woman
By the late 1960s, race and poverty formed an underlying theme for half of
for disturbing the peace. When a black soldier tried to intervene, a scuffle
the foundation’s appropriations, from grants to study lead poisoning
ensued, and the policeman shot the soldier in the arm as he fled. A crowd
among children in the South Bronx to workers’ cooperatives across the
gathered to accompany the soldier to a nearby hospital, and tensions
South. The trustees also granted power to Dr. Kenneth B. Clark to award
mounted. Then someone shouted that a white cop had shot and killed a
up to $10,000 to support educational and training programs for poor black
black soldier. The rumor ignited a riot largely focused on property. Rioters
youth in Washington, D.C.
set fires, broke windows, turned over cars, and looted stores. In 1967, D. John Heyman, then president, led foundation efforts to support With funds provided mainly by the foundation, Mayor LaGuardia’s Com-
groups that fought discrimination anywhere in the nation, and particularly
mittee on Unity studied and dealt with this explosive situation, engaging a
in the South. The New York Foundation was among the first of few groups
full-time staff. The purpose of the committee was “to make New York City
willing to make grants to programs in the South during the early years of
a place where people of all races and religions may work and live side by
the civil rights movement.
side in harmony and have mutual respect for each other, and where democracy is a living reality.”
In the foundation’s earliest days, most low-income people served by its grantees were immigrants. This reflected the demographics of the time. As
Among the committee’s many projects was an investigation of a 1948 boy-
the foundation’s commitment to racial justice grew and the poverty profile
cott of white merchants on 125th Street conducted by Harlem residents
of the city changed, grants followed the growing needs of low-income
who believed the merchants were overcharging them for food. The com-
African Americans. The demography of New York continues to evolve, and
mittee negotiated a settlement, easing tensions. In addition, the committee
today the foundation has formed partnerships with other marginalized
studied inequality in higher education, submitting a report that prompted a
communities while maintaining a core commitment to racial justice.
national drive to abolish quotas based on race or nationality in admissions to colleges and medical schools, which were used then to bar minorities.
By the end of its 40th anniversary year in 1949, the foundation had made an unequivocal commitment to the struggle for equality and justice, a commit-
In “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man,” a fictional account of a
ment that would grow and strengthen. As the nation plunged into the civil
biracial man published when the foundation was three years old, James
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
Weldon Johnson described the city as “the most fatally fascinating thing in EMERGING COMMUNITIES
displaced persons by the war wereinadmitted the U.S., and New York was a major displaced camps Europe. to Large grants were awarded early on
America.” He wrote, “She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country,
portthe of relief disembarkation. Foundation funds supported organizations to for of Jews persecuted by Hitler. These grants supported the
showing her alluring white face and hiding her crooked hands and feet In “ The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man,” a fictional account of a under the folds of her wide garments—constantly enticing thousands from biracial man published when the foundation was three years old, James
resettle foreigners whose skills werebrightest in demand, including thousands and of resettlement of some of Germany’s scholars and physicians
far within, and tempting those come seas to gothing no in Weldon Johnson described thewho city as “ thefrom mostacross fatallythe fascinating farther.” America.” He wrote, “ She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country,
displaced persons camps in Europe. Large grants were awarded early on
showing her alluring white face and hiding her crooked hands and feet Throughout its early New York Foundation, founded by immiunder the folds of heryears, wide the garments—constantly enticing thousands from
resettlement of some of Germany’s brightest andlater physicians and cans had arrived in a great migration from thescholars South and there was
grants and and the children immigrants, supported newcomers far within, temptingofthose who come from across the seasfrom to goacross no Europe. For them, New York symbolized a new beginning. farther.”
Puerto Rican population swelled from 61,000 to 818,000, equaling more
scholars, scientists, physicians, writers, and artists who were waiting in funded groups that aided refugees and emigrants. for theinrelief of Jewsthe persecuted by Hitler. supported the Later the century, human ecology of These the citygrants shifted. Black Amerifunded groupsinflux that aided refugees andBetween emigrants. an enormous of Puerto Ricans. 1940 and 1970, the city’s Later10 in percent the century, the human ecologyFor of the shifted. Black Amerithan of the total population. thecity many people facing a cans had arrived a great South and later thereorganwas an language barrier, in work wasmigration difficult tofrom find.the The foundation funded
At the turn ofitsthe 20thyears, century, newcomers arrived by the boatload only Throughout early the New York Foundation, founded by immito become entangled in of a web of socialsupported and publicnewcomers health problems. In grants and the children immigrants, from across
enormous influx of Puerto Ricans. Between 1940 and 1970, the city’s izations that supported young Puerto Rican community leaders. In the
Manhattan, estimated 70 percent of thea population lived in tenements. Europe. Foran them, New York symbolized new beginning. A quarter of all families on the Lower East Side lived five or more to a
than 10 percent of the total For the manyhousing, people facing a determined to address theirpopulation. community’s economic, and educa-
room. four outcentury, of ten New Yorkersarrived were foreign-born, mostly poor At the By turn1910, of the 20th newcomers by the boatload only to immigrants from Italy, and Eastern Europe. Theproblems. decade from 1935 become entangled in a Russia, web of social and public health In Man-
izations that supported young Puerto Rican community leaders. In the late
to 1945 an might well be70 called the of erathe of population the uprooted, forinnotenements. other era in hattan, estimated percent lived A modernof history has witnessed as much migration. popuquarter all families on the Lower Eastwidespread Side lived five or moreWhole to a room.
determined tochief address community’s housing, and educafoundation’s focaltheir point once again. economic, Grants were made to several
lations the terror ofNew genocide thatwere culminated in the mostly concentration By 1910,fled four out of ten Yorkers foreign-born, poor camps of Europe. Private agencies workingEurope. largely without government immigrants from Italy, Russia, and Eastern The decade from 1935
community schools in poor and minority neighborhoods. The foundation
assistance faced the challenge of relocating millions. to 1945 might well bemonumental called the era of the uprooted, for no other era in
foundation’scommunities chief focal point again. Grants were in made low-income and once with affordable housing oneto ofseveral the tightest
modern history has witnessed as much widespread migration. Whole popuAlthough itsthe charter thethat contribution ofin funds for use outside lations fled terrorprohibited of genocide culminated the concentration
experimental programs innation. the city’s public schools and to innovative real estate markets in the It also funded neighborhood preservation
the United States, Private the foundation able tolargely help the uprooted after they camps of Europe. agencieswas working without government arrived in America. 1945 challenge and 1957, of 600,000 European refugees assistance faced theBetween monumental relocating millions.
gave a series grants to organizations concernedenterprises with the revitalization of programs thatofretained industry and commercial and helped to
displaced by the war were admitted to the U.S., and New York was a major
real estate the nation. It also funded neighborhood third of themarkets granteesinwere advocacy groups working on behalf preservation of under-
port of disembarkation. Foundation funds supported organizations to Although its charter prohibited the contribution of funds for use outside resettle foreigners whose skills were demand, thousands of the United States, the foundation wasinable to helpincluding the uprooted after they
groups and awarded grants tomore economic development organizations for represented populations, and than half of the grantees served clients
scholars, physicians, writers, and 600,000 artists who were waiting in arrived inscientists, America. Between 1945 and 1957, European refugees
launch businesses in poor communities. In 1975 and 1976, more than one-
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
Puerto Rican population from 61,000newly to 818,000, equaling more late 1960s, it also funded swelled a number of small, formed organizations language barrier, work was difficult to find. The foundation funded organtional needs. 1960s, alsotrustees funded declared a numberNew of small, formed organizations In 1975,it the York newly City and its problems as the tional needs. programs in the city’s public schools and to innovative experimental In 1975, the trustees declared New Yorkconcerned City and itswith problems as the gave a series of grants to organizations the revitalization of
community schools ingrants poor to and minoritydevelopment neighborhoods. The foundation groups and awarded economic organizations for low-income communities with affordable housing in one of the launch businesses in poorand communities. In 1975 and 1976, more thantightest one-
programs industry and of commercial enterprises and helped to who were that poor,retained minority, or victims discrimination.
thirdnumber of the grantees were advocacy groups working on behalf of underThe of newcomers kept rising. In the 1990s, nearly 1.2 million representedwere populations, moreYork, than resulting half of theingrantees served clients immigrants admittedand to New an almost 10 percent who wereinpoor, minority, or victims of came discrimination. increase the city’s population. They from every continent, making Thecity number of newcomers kept rising. In one the 1990s, nearly 1.2 million the a Babel of 180 languages. In fact, in ten of the nation’s foreignimmigrants York, resulting in an almost 10 percent born lived inwere Newadmitted York CitytoinNew 1999. increase in the city’s population. They came from every continent, making thethe city1980s, a Babel of 180 In fact, one in as teninofitsthe nation’s foreignIn 1990s, andlanguages. so far in the 2000s, just earliest years, the born lived inassisted New York City in 1999. foundation foreign-born residents who were struggling to become New Yorkers in the fullest sense. Foundation grants supported attempts by In the 1980s,to1990s, and so farorganizations. in the 2000s, just as in itsgroups—including earliest years, the immigrants form their own Immigrant foundation assistedAlbanians, foreign-born residents whoCentral were struggling toAmeribecome Afghans, Africans, Arabs, Bosnians, and South New Yorkers the fullest sense. grants supported attempts cans, Indians,in Haitians, Poles, andFoundation many others—developed a variety of by immigrants to form their own organizations. Immigrant groups—including projects, ranging from assistance to victims of human trafficking and Afghans, Africans, Albanians, Arabs,toBosnians, Central and South Ameridomestic workforce empowerment food justice and reproductive health cans,rights Indians, Haitians, Poles, and many others—developed a variety of and advocacy. projects, ranging from assistance to victims of human trafficking and domestic empowerment to food justice and reproductive health New Yorkworkforce is still a jumble of humanity. and rights advocacy. Sixty percent of city residents are either immigrants or the children of New York is Just still aasjumble humanity. SixtyNew percent city residents are immigrants. back inofthe early 1900s, Yorkofpersonifies
affecting New Yorkers. Workers’ Rights: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 was widely considered the greatest disaster Shirtwaist in the city Factory prior to the attack on Workers’ Rights: The Triangle fire terrorist in 1911 was widely September Garment factory hadtolocked the exitattack door on to considered 11, the2001. greatest disaster in theowners city prior the terrorist increase worker productivity. A fire broke out,had andlocked 146 young immigrant September 11, 2001. Garment factory owners the exit door to women killed. increasewere worker productivity. A fire broke out, and 146 young immigrant women were killed. The tragedy drew the ire of the city, the nation, and much of the world’s
1900s, New York personifies unlike any other city on earth, of grants continues to reflectglobalization this.
press. In a heavy the the second anniversary The tragedy drewrain the on ire April of the5,city, nation, and muchofofthe thefoundation, world’s more half a million watched the mass of funeral press.than In a heavy rain on New AprilYorkers 5, the second anniversary the foundation,
and the foundation’s tapestry of grants continues to reflect this.
procession. more than half a million New Yorkers watched the mass funeral
SHIFTING ISSUES SHIFTING ISSUES
procession. The New York Foundation responded to a galvanized labor movement by
The New York Foundation has been a leader in promoting the rights of
funding child laborresponded projects and vocational, and by The Newnational York Foundation to aeducational, galvanized labor movement recreational programs for workers, well as other labor-related funding national child labor projectsasand educational, vocational,projects and
either immigrants orany the other children Justfoundation’s as back in the early globalization unlike cityofonimmigrants. earth, and the tapestry
grassroots organizations tohas define their own issues, develop their own The New York Foundation been a leader in promoting the rights of the foundation made and a mark on many of theown key behalf. public policy issues leadership, andhas organize advocate on their In doing so, the
for young women and girls. It supported factories designed with the health recreational programs for workers, as well as other labor-related projects of in mindand andgirls. efforts to organize department storewith salesgirls, forworkers young women It supported factories designed the health
affecting New foundation hasYorkers. made a mark on many of the key public policy issues
janitors, andinmusicians. of workers mind and efforts to organize department store salesgirls,
leadership, and organize and advocate their own develop behalf. In doing so, grassroots organizations to define theiron own issues, their own
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
janitors, and musicians. The foundation continues its nearly century-long legacy of funding workers’ rights groups. In more recent years, foundation grantees have improved working conditions for day laborers, The foundation continues its nearly century-long legacy of funding rights groups. In domestic workers, and street vendors, as well as New Yorkers who workers’ work in garment factories, more recent big-box years, foundation have improved working conditions also for day laborers, restaurants, stores, andgrantees other low-wage industries. The foundation supports domestic workers, and community street vendors, as well as New Yorkers who work in garment factories, collaboration between groups, laborers, and worker-owned businesses. restaurants, big-box stores, and other low-wage industries. The foundation also supports collaboration between community groups, laborers, and worker-owned businesses. Law and Criminal Justice: In 1930, Franklin D. Roosevelt, then governor of New York, appointed the Commission to Investigate Prison Administration and Construction, chaired by and Criminal In 1930, Franklin D. Roosevelt, then governor ofprison New York, aLaw foundation trustee.Justice: Its findings provided a blueprint for reforming the state system for appointed Commission to Investigate Prison Administration and Construction, chaired by a decades tothe come. The commission sparked the creation of a better-organized program emphafoundation trustee. findings provided a blueprint the stateeducational prison system sizing education andItsrehabilitation at Elmira prison. for Thisreforming work influenced pro-for decades come. The commission sparkedand theClinton. creationThe of afoundation better-organized program emphagrams in to newer prisons, including Wallkill also underwrote work sizingon education and rehabilitation Elmira prison. This influenced educational pro-for done a national basis by private at organizations such as work the Osborne Association, named grams inMott newer prisons,aincluding Wallkillofand The foundation underwrote Thomas Osborne, former warden SingClinton. Sing Prison and one of also the nation’s mostwork done on a national basis by private organizations such as the Osborne Association, named for renowned prison reformers of his day. Thomas Mott Osborne, a former warden of Sing Sing Prison and one of the nation’s most renowned prison reformers of his day.brought even more change to New York’s criminal justice Other foundation-supported projects system. Grants funded the careful study of successful antiracketeering efforts, prisoner reentry Other foundation-supported projectsparolees’ brought even moreand change to New York’s criminal justice programs, prison issues for women, concerns, the treatment of first offenders system. Grants funded study successful antiracketeering efforts, prisoner reentry between the ages of 17 the andcareful 19—boys whoofwould ordinarily have been incarcerated. Recent programs, prison issues women, concerns, and the treatment of the firstrights offenders foundation grantees havefor fought for parolees’ the reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, of between the ages of the 17 and would ordinarily have incarcerated. prison families, and fair 19—boys treatmentwho of incarcerated people whobeen suffer from mentalRecent illness. foundation grantees have fought for the reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, the rights of prison families, and the treatment of the incarcerated people suffer from mental illness. Education Reform: In fair the early part of last century, manywho worthy education programs were not in a position to receive public support—they first had to prove their value. The New Education Reform: In the of the last programs. century, many worthy education York Foundation sought outearly thesepart experimental An early initiative sentprograms visiting were not to in the a position support—they had to prove The New teachers homes to of receive childrenpublic who were delinquentfirst from school. Thetheir first value. such teacher Yorkemployed Foundation sought outfunds thesegranted experimental programs. An early initiative sent visiting was in 1911 with to the Public Education Association. Foundation teachersfor to the children for whoyears, wereand delinquent from spread school.to The firstcities. such teacher was support the homes projectof continued the practice other employed in 1911 with funds granted to the Public Education Association. Foundation support
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
The foundation funded many other education initiatives. A 1932 project
In the first decade of the 21st century, foundation grantees are at the fore-
to “adapt the school to the child” by introducing progressive education
front of efforts to ensure that the child welfare system preserves families
methods resulted in the famed Little Red Schoolhouse. In 1947, the foun-
and involves parents and youth in determining the course of their own
dation financed a new center at New York University that housed the law
lives. Grantees include organizations that bring together young people—
school and focused on new formulations of modern law. It also funded
parenting teens, immigrant youth, young people in detention, and youth
innovative institutions, such as the New School for Social Research.
workers—to demand better schools, gender equity in public programs, immigration reforms, fair wages, and human rights.
The foundation supported scholarships and fellowships for needy students, programs that brought retired top-tier faculty to smaller colleges, after-
FORGING PATHS, BUILDING MODELS
school and summer recreation programs, and financial assistance for African American students.
That the New York Foundation was itself an innovation is clear—it established a new and unproven template for giving. It also sparked creativity
More recently, foundation grantees are organizing public school parents
among both grantees and prospective grantees, helping to launch programs
and students across New York. These grassroots organizations have led
that would deliver a host of services to New Yorkers, from low-cost nursing
the movement for smaller schools, school-based budgeting, improved site
care and experimental drug-rehabilitation therapies to new treatments for
management, and increased accountability to parents and communities.
diseases and major advances in the efficient delivery of health care.
Child Welfare: Since its founding, the New York Foundation has sought
This legacy of innovation is traced to the foundation’s inception. Appro-
to safeguard children by funding organizations working with and for them.
priation No. 2 went to the Henry Street Settlement, to support nurses who
These include groups concerned with child protection, recreation, voca-
treated victims of infectious diseases. The settlement—federal-style row
tional services, wartime care of children, and the emerging fields of youth
houses purchased by foundation trustee Jacob Schiff—was headed by
development and social work.
Lillian Wald, a nurse who was asked by charity workers in the neighborhood to instruct them in home nursing.
As early as 1919, the New York Foundation supported “protective leagues,” which guarded the welfare of girls and sought to create “a movement of
The idea got its start when a girl begged Wald to visit her sick mother. Wald
girls for girls” that could improve their economic condition and promote
did, and found a family of seven living in two rooms in a tenement house.
sex education. The foundation also funded infant-feeding programs, adop-
The father, a cripple, begged on the streets; the mother, who had suffered a
tion agencies, and organizations that provided day care for the children of
hemorrhage, was bedridden and in pain. Wald saw them as abandoned by
working mothers. It supported early work to promote reproductive rights,
society, and turned to the New York Foundation for help.
and provided a founding grant to Planned Parenthood.
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
få=íÜÉ=t~âÉ=çÑ=pÉéíÉãÄÉê=NNI=OMMN New New York York Foundation Foundation staff staff witnessed witnessed the the attacks attacks on on the the World World Trade Trade
The grant father,toa Henry cripple, begged on the streets; the mother, who had hemorrhage, was The Street Settlement established a precedent for suffered a long lista of future grants in
Center Center from from the the windows windows of of its its office, office, then then in in the the Empire Empire State State
bedridden in foundation pain. Wald saw themthe as Visiting abandoned by Service society,of and turned thecreated. New York health care.and With support, Nurse New Yorktowas It
Building. Building. Though Though many many grantees grantees were were located located near near the the Twin Twin Towers Towers
Foundation forahelp. would become model for similar organizations nationwide—and the recipient of hundreds of
and it seemed seemed that that no no neighborneighborand witnessed witnessed the the mayhem mayhem up up close, close, it
thousands of dollars from the New York Foundation over the years. Another innovation followed
hood spared the the agony. agony. As hood was was spared As foundation foundation staff staff reached reached out out to to colleagues colleagues and and grantees grantees in in the the days days that that followed, followed, stories stories both both horrific and heroic heroic emerged. emerged. horrific and
The grant Henry established for in a long list ofpolitics—health future grants in in the late to 1930s andStreet 1940sSettlement that remains a subject aofprecedent controversy latter-day health care. With foundation support, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York was created. It insurance. would become a model for similar organizations nationwide—and the recipient of hundreds of
A A New New York York Times Times article article on on September September 21, 21, 2001, 2001, reflected reflected the the
thousands dollars Society from theofNew over the years. in Another innovation In 1939, theofMedical NewYork YorkFoundation conducted an experiment voluntary prepaidfollowed medical
foundation's concern concern that that the the needs needs of of particular communities foundation's particular communities
in theThe latefoundation 1930s and 1940s thatorganization’s remains a subject of controversy latter-day politics—health care. paid the expenses and fundedinthe experiment at a low-rent
could well well be be neglected neglected in in the the wake wake of of the the tragic tragic events. events. “The could “The world world has changed, changed, but has but it it doesn't doesn't mean mean that that the the problems problems that that existed existed a a
insurance. public housing project, the Vladeck Houses on the Lower East Side. The experiment involved
week ago ago don't don't exist,” exist,” Maria week Maria Mottola, Mottola, now now the the foundation’s foundation’s executive executive
offering subscribers the services of a private family doctor whenever needed, including an annual
director, was quoted as as saying. saying. Many director, was quoted Many families, families, particularly particularly in in
In 1939,examination, the Medical immunizations, Society of New York conducted an experiment in voluntary prepaid medical health and access to services at the clinic of Gouverneur Hospital.
Chinatown, were Chinatown, were displaced displaced from from Lower Lower Manhattan. Manhattan. Job Job losses losses were were borne most most heavily heavily by by the the lowest-earning lowest-earning New New Yorkers, Yorkers, many many of of borne whom were were immigrant immigrant workers. workers. Limitations whom Limitations on on relief relief funds funds barred barred
care. The foundation paid the organization’s expenses and funded the experiment at a low-rent public housing project, the Vladeck Houses on NewLaGuardia York’s Lower East Side. experiment Although the experiment was discontinued, Mayor appointed NewThe York Foundation
many from from receiving receiving help. help. Unemployment to many Unemployment in in New New York York climbed climbed to
involved offering subscribers services of a private family recommend doctor whenever including President David M. Heyman tothe head a committee that would a planneeded, to cover the
8.4 percent. percent. Immigrants 8.4 Immigrants who who lived lived in in fear fear of of deportation deportation also also felt felt a a
an annual health immunizations, access to of services at the Houses. clinic of The Governors health needs of anexamination, even larger population than and the residents the Vladeck result:
ripple effect effect of of the ripple the terrorist terrorist attacks attacks as as they they watched watched their their neighbors neighbors
Hospital. the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York—or HIP—incorporated in 1945. It pioneered prepaid
being interrogated interrogated and and arrested. arrested. The The reorganization reorganization of of the being the Immigration and and Naturalization Naturalization Service Service delayed delayed applications applications for Immigration for
immigrant status, status, and immigrant and new new special special registration registration requirements requirements forced forced
Although the experiment was discontinued, Mayor LaGuardia appointed New York Foundation
thousands of of immigrants thousands immigrants to to report report to to the the INS, INS, unrepresented unrepresented by by
President David M.traced Heyman to head a committee thatinclude would the recommend plan to cover the in Other innovations to foundation sponsorship evolutionaof public television
legal counsel, counsel, thus legal thus risking risking detention detention or or deportation. deportation.
healthYork needs an founding even larger population theplayed residents of the Vladeck Houses. The result: New andofthe of WBAI radio,than which an important role in the evolution of
In response, response, the In the foundation foundation made made a a special special allocation allocation of of $500,000 $500,000
the Health Insurance Greater New York—or HIP—incorporated in 1945. It pioneered counterculture in the Plan 1960sofand beyond.
in addition addition to to its its regular regular grants grants budget. budget. Trustees in Trustees gave gave the the founfoun-
prepaid health care.
dation staff staff the dation the flexibility flexibility to to make make discretionary discretionary grants grants to to organizorganiz-
In 1954, the foundation added arts and recreation to its list of philanthropic programs. That year,
ations, or ations, or to to consider consider extending extending support support past past the the usual usual threethree- or or
Other innovations tracedthe to foundation sponsorship include the evolution public television the foundation awarded first of several large grants to Lincoln Center’sofbuilding fund. The in
five-year limit, limit, if five-year if the the staff staff felt felt grant grant support support was was critical critical to to a a group's group's
New York andobjective the founding which played an important roleand in the center’s early was of to WBAI make radio, the performing arts more affordable thusevolution more of
survival. The survival. The Rockefeller, Rockefeller, Kresge, Kresge, and and Nathan Nathan Cummings Cummings FounFoundations asked asked the the New New York York Foundation Foundation to to regrant regrant a a total total of of $1.3 dations $1.3
counterculture in the 1960s and beyond. accessible to large segments of the population.
million to to local local groups. groups. These million These national national funders funders recognized recognized that that the the New York York Foundation Foundation could could be New be responsive responsive at at the the neighborhood neighborhood level level
In the 1954, the foundation and to its listsought of philanthropic year, In 1970s, foundationadded grantsarts went torecreation organizations that to stop theprograms. practice ofThat redlining
at a a moment’s moment’s notice, notice, even at even in in the the midst midst of of tragedy. tragedy.
theBrooklyn foundation theBronx. first ofItseveral large grants to Lincoln Center’s projects, building fund. The in andawarded the South also underwrote tenant homesteading centers for
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
center’s early objective was to makeof the performing arts more affordable the homeless, and the development community credit unions. In the
capacity-building, management supportfrom organizations board involvementseeding that stillnonprofit distinguishes the foundation other
and thus more accessible toof large of the early 1980s, it funded some the segments earliest work to population. fight the HIV/AIDS
that have continued to provide assistance to New York nonprofits. The philanthropies.
In the 1970s, foundation grants went to organizations that sought to stop epidemic.
New York Foundation has become well known for its bottom-up approach
the practice of redlining in Brooklyn and the South Bronx. It also under-
to grantmaking. Wittingly or not, the LOOKING FORWARD BY GLANCING BACKearly trustees created a legacy of
wrotethan tenant homesteading projects, centers forcalamity the homeless, More a decade before the housing market that ledand thethe nation
board involvement that still distinguishes the foundation from other
development of community credit In thefunded early 1980s, it fundedthat into the current deep recession, theunions. foundation organizations
philanthropies. In 100 years of grantmaking, the New York Foundation has distributed
some of to theprevent earliestforeclosures work to fightcaused the HIV/AIDS epidemic. worked by aggressive subprime mortgage
some $133 million to a wide range of people and groups working in extraor-
lending practices. The foundation even supported sustainability projects
dinary ingenious to improve LOOKINGandFORWARD BYways GLANCING BACK the quality of life for New Yorkers.
More“green than ajobs” decade before back the housing market calamity that led the nation and programs in the 1990s, years before federal, state,
The foundation has been sensitive to residents’ needs, to the failure of
into the governments current deep recession, foundation funded organizations that or local took note. the It also funded early initiatives in the urban
municipal programs to meet them, andYork often to the inability of the federal In 100 years of grantmaking, the New Foundation has distributed
worked to prevent foreclosures caused by aggressive subprime mortgage environmental justice movement.
government to acknowledge them.of When only a handful of institutions some $133 million to a wide range people and groups working in extraor-
lending practices. The foundation even supported sustainability projects
were to philanthropic work,the itsquality grantees filling in dinarycommitted and ingenious ways to improve of were life for Newgaps Yorkers.
and “New green jobs” programs also backestablished in the 1990s, years before federal, state, or The York Foundation innovative philanthropic
public health, education, and socialtowelfare. Andofit did The foundation has been charitable sensitive toservices, residents’ needs, the failure
local governments tookand note. It also funded earlythe initiatives urban practices. In the 1980s 1990s, it streamlined process in of the applying
so with theprograms peculiar knowledge thatand taking risks to develop municipal to meet them, often to the inability sustainable of the federal
environmental justice movement. for a grant, developing one-page applications that were soon replicated by
social changetoinacknowledge a continuallythem. changing world a primary of a government When only is a handful of function institutions
other area foundations. It also created one of the earliest programs for
foundation, particularly at the local level. groups often getgaps closer were committed to philanthropic work, itsLocal grantees were filling in
The New York Foundation also established innovative philanthropic capacity-building, seeding nonprofit management support organizations
than others to education, the core ofcharitable public policy issues.and social welfare. And it did public health, services,
practices. In the 1980s 1990s, it streamlined process of applying that have continued to and provide assistance to Newthe York nonprofits. The for
so with the peculiar knowledge that taking risks to develop sustainable
a grant, developing one-page applications that were replicated by New York Foundation has become well known for itssoon bottom-up approach
social change in a continually changing world is a primary function of a
other area foundations. It or also created onetrustees of the earliest to grantmaking. Wittingly not, the early createdprograms a legacy for of
foundation, particularly at the local level. Local groups often get closer
TAKING RISKS THAT MATTER
diversity and itstoundeniable character. faith in the abilities of community also important note the foundation’s residents. Civic organizations play a crucial role in articulating and It is important to understand the foundation’s roots, especially an age advocating community interests. While social theorists, pundits,inand when, due to a faltering economy, needs keep escalating, political theater customarily stresscommunity the necessity of calling in experts to making philanthropy and its the inherent risks Foundation matter morehas than ever. aIt is also investigate social problems, New York shown important toconviction note the foundation’s faith in theofabilities of community century-old in the irrepressibility New Yorkers; it has striven residents. play a social, crucialpolitical, role in articulating and forces advoto cultivateCivic theirorganizations capacity to engage and economic catingrespecting communitytheir interests. theorists, while will toWhile act associal the sole arbiterspundits, of theirand fate.the political theater customarily stress the necessity of calling in experts to investigate social problems, the New hasof shown century-old The New York Foundation grew York out ofFoundation the resilience New aYorkers. It convictionto inserve the irrepressibility of positive New Yorkers; has striven to cultivate continues as a catalyst for socialitreform, and its history their capacity to engage social, political, and economic forces while provides valuable lessons for giving in the new millennium. than should others to the core of public issues. still matter? Why a century-old legacy policy of grantmaking
respecting their will to act as the sole arbiters of their fate.
A singular, uniquely New York creation, the New York Foundation has
� evolved as the city has, along the way helping to forge some of the city’s
The New York Foundation grew out of the resilience of New Yorkers. It
greatest institutions—its schools, museums, hospitals, and housing develWhy should a century-old legacy of grantmaking still matter? opments. The organization has also supported the work of leaders in their
provides valuable lessons for giving in the new millennium.
field. A singular, uniquely New York creation, the New York Foundation has evolved as the city has, along the way helping to forge some of the city’s Yet the foundation’s most important work has been among lesser-known greatest institutions—its schools, museums, hospitals, and housing develcity residents—scientists, scholars, political agitators, crime victims, opments. The organization has also supported the work of leaders in their homeless persons, HIV/AIDS patients, restaurant workers, civil rights field. lawyers, educators, and community organizers. They lend the city its great diversity and its undeniable character. Yet the foundation’s most important work has been among lesser-known city residents—scientists, scholars, political agitators, crime victims, It is important to understand the foundation’s roots, especially in an age homeless persons, HIV/AIDS patients, restaurant workers, civil rights when, due to a faltering economy, community needs keep escalating, lawyers, educators, and community organizers. They lend the city its great making philanthropy and its inherent risks matter more than ever. It is
C E L E B R AT I N G 1 0 0 Y E A R S
continues to serve as a catalyst for positive social reform, and its history
pq^cc Melissa Hall Edna Iriate
^`hkltibadjbkqp Report written by Steven Barboza Graphic design by Roger Meyer, Level M, Inc.
Nick Levitin Maria Mottola Isabel Rivera Kevin Ryan
Photograph on page 3 by John J. Loonam Photographs on pages 5, 7, 11, 12, 15 by Margaret Chase Streeter
Special thanks to photographer Nick Levitin, and trustees Sayu Bhojwani, Dana-Ain Davis, Keith Hefner, Stephen D.
Heyman, Marlene Provizer, Paul Spivey, and Denice Williams for their comments on early drafts. This report would
not have been possible without the research conducted by archivist Nancy Johnson, and students Anya Bailey and
Philippa Crowne, who collected and digitized almost 100 years of grant data.
Dr. Rose Dobrof
Construction of Manhattan Bridge,1909
New York Foundation 1910 to 1954 Grants Register
Stephen D. Heyman
Mary Mitchell Family Center, July 2009
Domestic Workers United, demonstration, July 2009
New York Foundation interns, rally, July 2009
Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, 1911
Damayan, demonstration, July 2009
Arab American Association of Bay Ridge, Arab American Festival, July 2009
Community Voices Heard, retreat, July 2009
Domestic Workers United members, July 2009
Mulberry Street in Manhattan, New York City, photographed circa 1900
melqldo^mep Front Cover:
qvmldo^mev The report uses typefaces that debuted circa 1909. These include Century Oldstyle, News Gothic, and Alternate Gothic.
Printed in the USA on 30% recycled fiber. Processed with chlorine free soy-based inks. Copyright ÂŠ 2009 New York Foundation. All rights reserved.
NMM NEW YORK FOUNDATION
1909/2009 10 East 34th Street 10th Floor New York, New York 10016 www.newyorkfoundation.org (212) 594-8009