In 2020, we expanded our support of organizations which help other non profits to grow, we underwrote the major expansion of new facilities and programs serving youth, and we supported partnerships to better inform families about educational choices.
Arbor Brothers (AB) sources, funds, and supports promising “second-stage” nonprofits. Our 2020 support continued our partnership with Arbor Brothers in helping nonprofits with effective capacity-building. Each grantee in the AB portfolio receives over 250 hours of deep consulting engagement on their model plus program strategies for growth and readiness for funding by other substantial funders. Our two-pronged 2020 grant funded general operating support to help underwrite 2,000+ hours of deep consulting engagement with 10-12 grantees in the 2020-2021 portfolio and support for the Leaders of Color Initiative (LOCI) launched in 2017 to support a pipeline of talented leaders of color heading up young but promising organizations in AB’s strike zone. AB has worked with and cultivated a number of organizations that have become substantial grantees of ours (Bottom Line, Row New York, Exalt Youth, Blue Engine, New York Needs You, New Heights Youth, OneGoal). Many of these organizations would not have achieved their level of success without Arbor Brothers.
We were a major supporter in 2020 of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) renovation which will triple its space for exhibitions and programs designed for the community. CMOM is an interactive museum currently located on West 83rd Street. The new building will be located at 96th Street and Central Park West and is set to open in 2023 with a focus on four areas: arts and creativity, early-childhood programming, health education, and cultural literacy. In general, CMOM is focused on experiences at the intersection of the arts, sciences, and humanities to ensure children thrive at home, at school, and in the community.
In 2020, we made grants to Education Trust–New York (EdTrust) to make a tool we conceived of and funded more widely available to help New York City families make better-informed decisions about where to send their children to high school. Our grants created a partnership with InsideSchools, the best resource for parents seeking information on schools in New York City, and supported the expansion of InsideSchools’ own data. Every year, approximately 80,000 middle school families apply to high school. With 500+ high schools in New York City, parents often struggle to identify what schools might be the best fit for their children. With our funding, EdTrust created a database that identifies milestones for students (including high school graduation, college enrollment, college persistence, and college graduation) and then publicly reports the full data set connecting the outcomes back to the high school level. By conceiving of and funding the integration of the EdTrust and InsideSchools data related to college-ready course access, FAFSA applications, and To & Through, families will have an entirely new angle into their high school selection process: how well individual high schools prepare students to succeed in college.
We supported Global Glimpse in 2020 with our third installment of a three-year commitment to expand its impact, in addition to providing program support. Global Glimpse centers around a three-week summer experience in a developing country; its program model was significantly disrupted by COVID-19. With all 2020 travel cancelled, Global Glimpse successfully pivoted to offer a virtual summer program, Brave New Leaders Academy, that focused on experiential education and leadership development to all students free of charge. Our commitment was initially intended to support the organization as it expanded and shifted its model away from relying entirely on private dollars toward increasing earned revenue but Global Glimpse successfully accomplished this goal in the first two years of our commitment.
We led the foundation funding in 2020 of a major expansion of one of the most successful outcomes-driven sports and college prep programs in operation in New York City. New Heights provides year-round academic and basketball programming for underserved youth in grades 4-12 via after-school and summer programs. Since 2005, New Heights has been using shared office space and renting basketball courts and classroom space to operate its programs. As it grew, New Heights searched for a permanent, centralized home facility. It recently finalized a 30-year lease agreement to relocate to the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights, Brooklyn as a community partner working with developer BFC Partners. The Armory will provide nearly 30,000 square feet for New Heights’ basketball facilities, administrative offices, and classroom/computer labs. New Heights plans to serve 3,000 youth annually with this new facility: 450 through deep engagement in the College Bound program and an additional 2,600 through new community-based programming. New Heights has worked with Arbor Brothers to help develop a long-term revenue plan as the move to Brooklyn will provide new earned income opportunities.
We have provided catalytic grants to Row New York, one of the most successful outcomes-driven sports and college prep and persistence programs in New York City, for a number of years. In 2020, we provided both program support and an underwriting grant to support the construction of a new boathouse. Row New York’s capacity had been limited by the availability of rowing facilities that can house academic programming and equipment, but with adequate space, the program has the potential to serve up to 1,000 youth. Row New York serves sixth through twelfth grade students from under-resourced high schools with year-round programming through a blend of competitive rowing and individualized academic support. This new boathouse headquarters will allow Row New York to serve more youth in a comprehensive program onsite with increased earned revenue streams.