Robin Hood Invites NYC Nonprofit Leaders To Apply To The (GRIT) Program

February 10, 2023

Today, Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting philanthropy organization, opened applications from Harlem to Hollis for its Grant Readiness and Insights Training (GRIT) program.

GRIT provides nonprofit leaders with tools to develop financial flexibility and organizational independence through weekly sessions led by Robin Hood senior staffers and a team of nonprofit consultants. GRIT’s leadership has made New York’s social services sector more resilient. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies since its inception in 2016, the GRIT program has propelled 80 New York City nonprofits to diversify their funding base, attracting more than $12 million in new philanthropic grants.

New York City relies on the nonprofit sector to deliver social services, which continues to be an urgent need as we rebuild from difficult years. Many of these critical services come from small-to-midsize organizations that rely heavily on government funding and have limited philanthropic and individual donors,” said Suzi Epstein, Managing Director of Field Building and Public Benefits at Robin Hood. “The GRIT initiative is focused on making these organizations more agile, helping them secure other private sources of support and teaching nonprofit leaders how to elevate their results, good governance and best practices to increase their visibility and resources.”

“At Bloomberg Philanthropies, we’re big believers in working with data-driven partners and investing in strong local leadership. Robin Hood shares that approach, which is why we’ve teamed up on so many initiatives over the years,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Through GRIT, nonprofit leaders are sharpening the skills and tools they need to meet their most pressing challenges, and we’re glad to help them do that across the five boroughs.”

“Robin Hood’s GRIT program helped me become a more sophisticated and effective nonprofit leader. I learned how to better assess our programs’ successes, communicate them to potential funders, and, ultimately, make the ask. I’ve also shared insights I gained with senior staff and board members, elevating our organization overall.” said Ann Shalof, Chief Executive Officer of the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter. “Since I completed the program, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter has embarked on a bold new project, raising over $1,000,000 in grant funding (so far!)”


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“As GRIT began, I made a list of issues that needed immediate assistance. Bronx Community Guardianship Network needed to refine its pitch, create and execute a fundraising campaign, encourage board participation, engage in succession planning, replace our director, cut our overhead and expenses, and move offices. A little over a year later, we accomplished those goals.  Thank you to the GRIT program for giving us the tools to accomplish all this and more,”said Patricia Hennessy, President of the Bronx Community Guardianship Network 

Robin Hood invites talented leaders of nonprofit social services organizations at a crucial development milestone to apply to GRIT. Candidates must:

  • Be based in New York City or the tri-state region and serve New York City and the metropolitan area; 
  • Be operational for at least five years; and 
  • Oversee an annual budget between $1 million and $25 million in revenue in which no more than 20 percent of the budget comes from non-government sources.  

Robin Hood’s community partners are not eligible to apply. GRIT seeks to support up-and-coming organizations, especially those led by women and people of color. In 2022, of the twelve participating organizations, there were ten leaders of color, and seven were women.

To learn more about eligibility and the application process, visit www.robinhood.org. Applications are due by March 15, 2023, and require proof of nonprofit status. Candidates will be notified on April 14, 2023, and the program will run from May 2 to June 1, 2023.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood has been fighting poverty in New York City since 1988. Because Robin Hood’s board covers all overhead, 100% of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. In 2021, Robin Hood awarded $172 million in grants, filling a critical void during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing cash assistance, meals, housing, healthcare, education, and other urgent needs to one million New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19, as well as funding an array of programs and initiatives developed to elevate families out of poverty in New York City. Follow the organization on Twitter @RobinHoodNYC and learn more at www.robinhood.org.

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