New York Foundation
10 E. 34th St., 10th Fl.
New York City, NY United States 10016-4327
Telephone: (212) 594-8009
Type of Grantmaker
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 www.nyf.org. 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