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New York Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-07

At A Glance

New York Foundation

10 E. 34th St., 10th Fl.

New York City, NY United States 10016-4327

Telephone: (212) 594-8009


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2013-12-31)

Assets: $65,741,696

Total giving: $3,035,344






Incorporated in 1909 in NY - One of the first foundations in the United States, the New York Foundation was established in 1909 with a gift of $1 million from Alfred M. Heinsheimer, part of a bequest he had received from his brother Louis. This first philanthropic gift was augmented by two additional gifts: one restricted broadly to the benefit of the young and the elderly; the second from the estate of Alfred M. Heinsheimer in 1929. Its founding documents list general philanthropic purposes, but its name has always signaled a special concern for New York City. From the beginning the trustees argued that the role of philanthropy was to broaden awareness of social problems; not to limit grant making to direct charity. The early trustees were venture capitalists comfortable with a high degree of risk and made grants to organizations at their earliest stages. To explore the foundation's history and view examples of grants by issue area and decade, visit the New York Foundation's website at For more than 100 years, the foundation has supported efforts that address a wide diversity of issues, but all grantees share a commitment to inspire New Yorkers to become more informed, active participants in the life of the city. Today its grant program encompasses both start-up grants to emerging groups; particularly those with few other sources of financial support; and longer-term institutional support. The foundation influenced many changes in the philanthropic field during its history, primarily around making foundations' processes more transparent and accessible. The foundation also has created programs to help newer organizations build their capacity to thrive. The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement

Purpose and Activities

The New York Foundation is a steadfast supporter of community organizing and advocacy in New York City. It believes that the resilience and vitality of its neighborhoods is the city's greatest resource. Its grants support community-initiated solutions to solve local problems, constituents mobilizing for adequate and equitable resources, and groups organizing a collective voice among those whose voices have not been heard.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Capacity Building Program

The Capacity Building Program can: 1) provide you with information and resources; 2) put you in touch with others for support and coalition building; 3) help you enhance the skills and ability to advocate for the people you serve; 4) give you access to information you need to do your work better.

Strategic Opportunity Fund

One-year grants for time sensitive community organizing or advocacy campaigns that have the potential for broad public policy impact, innovative projects that address urgent needs, or critical alliances of diverse organizations working for common purpose.

Fields of Interest

  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Disabled persons' rights
  • Diversity and intergroup relations
  • Homeless services
  • Housing development
  • Housing for the homeless
  • Human rights
  • Human services
  • Immigrant rights
  • Immigrant services
  • LGBTQ rights
  • Minority rights
  • Reproductive rights
  • Rights of the aged
  • Senior services
  • Women's rights
  • Youth organizing
Population Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Homeless people
  • Immigrants and migrants
  • LGBTQ people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Migrant workers
  • People of African descent
  • People of Latin American descent
  • People with disabilities
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Seniors
  • Coalitions and alliances

Financial Data

Year ended 2013-12-31

Assets: $65,741,696 (market value)

Gifts received: $312,875

Expenditures: $4,694,379

Total giving: $3,035,344

Qualifying distributions: $4,146,660

Giving activities include:

$3,035,344 for grants