New York Community Trust Awards Millions In Grants To Address Ongoing Pandemic

February 11, 2021

The New York Community Trust has announced $8.1 million in grants to 43 nonprofits. 

The nonprofits that do so much for New Yorkers continue to face extraordinary challenges brought on by the pandemic, including a surge in demand for safety net services, diminished revenue, and city and state funding cuts.

“Nonprofits play a critical role in our city as major employers and economic drivers. Their recovery is an important part of our recovery,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust.

The following grants seek to help our nonprofits adapt to these difficult times and provide New Yorkers with what they need to survive and thrive–today, and for the long-term.

These grants are made possible by New Yorkers who have included The Trust in their wills, as well as by contributors to its Emergency Fund, which will aid in the city’s recovery from the pandemic, and foundations that join The Trust through collaboratives. One-page descriptions of each grant are available.

Arts Education During COVID-19 

Students need arts education more than ever, as it provides an opportunity to express themselves while isolated. Using Trust grants, eight organizations will create and adapt programs for remote learning so more than 12,500 students can continue receiving high-quality arts education.

ArtsConnection: $125,000 to revise its curriculum to focus on social and emotional development, along with helping children deal with trauma. The grant will train eight teaching artists to work with students who have suffered trauma.

Dancing Classrooms: $125,000 to create beginner and advanced dance education curricula. Students will receive instruction on dances from different cultures, while teaching artists will be trained on responding to students’ varying cultural backgrounds.

DreamYard Project: $125,000 so 4,000 elementary and secondary school students can receive arts education and showcase their accomplishments during a weeklong festival. Students will also have access to laptops and Wi-Fi, while instructors will be trained on addressing racial injustice in education.

Education Through Music: $125,000 to provide music instruction to at least 1,800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Two end-of-semester concerts also will be organized for participating students to share what they’ve learned. Teaching artists will have access to professional development workshops so they can navigate remote learning and provide support to students who have faced trauma.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: $75,000 to start an arts program for young people with disabilities. Students will virtually tour the museum and engage in making art. Their teachers will get professional development, and the curriculum will be shared with at least 100 additional teachers.

National Dance Institute: $125,000 to adapt its curriculum for remote learning and socially distant in-person learning. Dance instruction will be made available to at least 3,000 students over two semesters, and each class will be taught by three teaching artists with 22 hours of professional development.

New 42nd Street: $100,000 to continue its collection of educational videos featuring performances by artists from around the world. New videos will be created and incorporated into workshops for 1,000 elementary and secondary school students. Students will receive arts instruction and collaborate on a project, and teaching artists and classroom teachers will receive professional development.

Workforce Development

Nonprofits supported by The Trust are focusing on shoring up protections for low-wage and immigrant workers, and giving young people with disabilities the support they need to enter the workforce.

Bridges from School to Work: $100,000 to continue expanding a program that helps young adults with disabilities find jobs as they transition out of high school. The program will support students with all aspects of their job search, including applying, networking, and interviewing.

Catholic Charities Community Services Archdiocese of New York: $200,000 to connect immigrant laborers with training to earn certifications and high school equivalency degrees, provide them with leadership training so they can advocate for themselves, and combat wage theft.

Center for Migration Studies of New York: $90,000 to research and develop recommendations to address difficulties faced by immigrant construction workers.

East Side House Settlement: $200,000 to expand a program that assists students foregoing college in acquiring marketable skills and certifications. The program will work with other nonprofits to prepare students for careers in IT, hospitality and food, health care, and building maintenance.

National Center for Law and Economic Justice: $170,000 to promote labor protections and improvements to unemployment laws for low-wage workers.

Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation: $150,000 to improve home-based childcare services for low-income working families. The grant will facilitate professional development for licensed and unlicensed providers so they can conduct self-assessments and improve their care.

Fighting Hunger

COVID-19 exacerbated hunger across the city, especially in low-income communities of color. The city’s dramatic increase in unemployment has doubled the number of food-insecure New Yorkers. Of the 2 million city residents who lack enough to eat, more than 500,000 are children, a 64 percent increase from pre-COVID levels. Last year, one in three New Yorkers visited a food pantry. Trust grants will support nonprofits providing this critical safety net to New Yorkers in need.

City Harvest: $600,000 to continue food and produce delivery to front-line workers and underserved communities during COVID-19. It also will consolidate its operations at a new Brooklyn headquarters that will increase its capacity to deliver food.

Food Bank for New York City: $600,000 to expand its distribution network to reach high-need communities during the pandemic. The group will deliver directly to agencies in food-insecure neighborhoods and to pantries, and work with city officials to ensure food distribution is equitable.

God’s Love We Deliver: $150,000 to continue providing nutritious frozen meals to cancer patients. About 1,400 new clients will have access to nutrition counseling. The grant will increase food production and expand meal delivery capacity.

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty: $400,000 for technical assistance to pantries serving kosher and halal food, and to study kosher and halal food needs to improve the allocation of resources.

Discipline in Schools

Alliance for Quality Education: $140,000 to assist Black and Latinx parents as they advocate for improved school discipline policies, and educate the public. The parents will hold meetings with public officials, town halls, and press conferences to raise awareness of school discipline reform legislation.

Make the Road New York: $150,000 to support a youth-led campaign calling for the removal of police and metal detectors from public schools. The program will provide 40 young people with leadership development, prepare them for press conferences and rallies, and facilitate meetings with officials and political candidates to win support for the campaign.

Education and Youth Development

Nonprofits supported by The Trust are advocating for inclusivity and accessibility of educational opportunities.

Asian-American Coalition for Children and Families: $80,000 to ensure school reform and reopening efforts consider the needs of the city’s diverse Asian population. The grant will go towards creating materials to advocate for, among other things, improving special-education services and accessibility for more diverse languages, while also engaging with Asian-American communities on their educational policy needs.

Foster Care Excellence Fund: $100,000 to raise public awareness of the need for additional funding from the city to support youth beyond the age of 21 so they can better transition out of foster care and have improved chances of getting established as self-sustaining adults.

New York Women’s Foundation: $150,000 to sustain the work of the New York City Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color, a funder collaborative focused on reducing sex-based inequities, during the pandemic. The Fund will award grants to organizations working with girls and young women of color and organize professional development workshops for staff.

Scholarship Plus: $400,000 to provide college scholarships to young people from low-income families. Twenty scholarships will be given each year for tuition and room and board. Scholarship recipients will also receive internship support and academic, financial, and mental health counseling.


Trust grants are supporting groups aiding those with cancer and disabilities, as well as the needs of older adults.


Cancer Care: $800,000 for financial and educational assistance to at least 2,200 cancer patients, with a continued focus on low-income people of color, immigrants, and patients with high insurance deductibles. In light of the pandemic, the nonprofit will also assist with household expenses and emotional counseling.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: $150,000 so documented and undocumented immigrant cancer patients can receive support with finances, housing, health insurance, and transportation. It will also open new sites in the Bronx and Harlem, along with increasing technical and telehealth assistance.

New York Legal Assistance Group: $150,000 for legal assistance to least 600 cancer patients navigating insurance issues and 75 patients who are facing COVID-related issues. Guidance will also be offered to health professionals on the legal rights of cancer patients.


Disability Rights Advocates: $50,000 to create a plan that will guide the installation of accessible street signals for people with visual disabilities. The group will monitor the efforts, mandated by a federal court, to install the street signals and create a list of priority intersections.

Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies: $178,000 to create an online training program for community-based paraprofessionals so they can support people with developmental disabilities as they live independently.

Older adults

Greenwich House: $125,000 to help nonprofit social service agencies triage their waitlists so that older adults can receive essential services quickly and efficiently.

Medicare Rights Center: $150,000 to ensure access to affordable healthcare for older adults by informing consumers and policymakers enrolling New Yorkers in healthcare programs, building an interactive website, and publishing a newsletter. The group will also advocate for making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

Arts & Culture

The city’s arts and cultural organizations are the lifeblood of communities, creating jobs and often providing a platform for marginalized voices. The pandemic has limited their activities, but Trust grants are helping organizations engage with their communities.

ArtistYear: $120,000 for a fellowship program placing teaching artists in 16 Queens public schools with large numbers of foreign-born students. The fellows will receive help in developing curriculum and classroom management, with a goal of reaching at least 4,500 students.

Fourth Arts Block: $90,000 to expand arts programming for residents of public housing on the Lower East Side, and to engage residents so they become more involved in cultural activities, including artist-led projects addressing neighborhood issues.

Lifetime Arts: $200,000 to offer in-person and virtual arts education programs to older adults through workshops, webinars, and skill-building programs. The efforts will be organized with libraries and public housing groups, while also covering the cost of teaching artists.

PEN America: $100,000 to expand the NYC Literary Action Coalition, which brings together writers and artists to tackle social justice issues. With the grant, the Coalition will increase and mobilize its membership, provide workshops on activism, and conduct press and social media outreach.

Civic Engagement

 With municipal elections around the corner, it is imperative our communities are more engaged not only with politics, but also with one another.

City Report: $80,000 to increase its coverage of budgetary matters affecting New Yorkers. With an expanded team, City Report will generate articles and investigative reporting on the government budget process.

New Yorkers for Park: $50,000 to begin a public awareness campaign through its Play Fair Coalition. The group will engage with different stakeholders to create recommendations on how to improve parks and open space, develop a digital advocacy campaign, and initiate conversations about the critical role of parks and open spaces.

Regional Plan Association: $400,000 for its Open Streets Coalition to promote the thoughtful expansion of safe and site-appropriate outdoor dining. It will work with city agencies, community boards, and restaurant owners on creating guidelines, provide technical assistance, and promote the new policies.

Strengthening Nonprofits

Bernard M. Baruch College of CUNY: $465,000 for The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program, a professional development program that helps mid-career professionals, particularly people of color, become more effective nonprofit leaders. Funding will allow the  program to continue virtually and in person, and to highlight the role of nonprofits in supporting the city during the pandemic.

Nonprofit New York: $100,000 to help the city’s nonprofits advance racial equity within their ranks. Funding will go towards identifying strategies and promoting the findings through social and traditional media for nonprofit and philanthropic audiences. The group also will design workshops and online resources for nonprofits on how to promote racial equity.


Trust grants are funding nonprofits who are leading innovations in sustainability and conserving the city’s unique historical sites.

New York City Audubon Society: $110,000 to promote the benefits of green roofs resulting from recent legislation. The group will create a social media campaign and organize webinars for real estate and architectural groups, community groups, and building owners. Funding will also go towards continued implementation of the green roof laws and expanding online resources.

New York University – Tandon School of Engineering: $120,000 so the Urban Future Lab can conduct an annual competition that will identify ten companies with promising sustainable products or services, and award $500,000 to the winners. A marketing campaign will raise awareness about the innovations, and the prize winners will receive ongoing technical assistance.

NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project: $100,000 to research and document historic and cultural sites associated with LGBTQ people of color, women activists, and transgender people in the city. The funding will help create scholarly texts, photographs, and other materials to be available online, along with programs and social media campaigns to create public awareness.

The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. It is a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. For more information, visit

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