Our life stages approach

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Driving health outcomes, fostering early brain development, and promoting core life skills

Nearly two out of three children born low-income remain in poverty as adults.

Giving children the opportunity to realize their full potential begins before they are born.

Our Early Childhood investments focus on children aged 0-5 and their parents.

We are building data-driven solutions that drive health outcomes in parents and children, foster early brain development, social-emotional learning and executive function, and promote caregiver mental health and core life skills

SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Building strong academic foundations, social-emotional development and career potential.

The achievement gap had increased by 40 percent over the past four decades, with low-income children lagging three to four years behind their more affluent peers.

Educational achievement is definitively linked to economic opportunity. By focusing on both academic and social emotional learning, our investments in children from kindergarten to 12th grade empower students, regardless of income level, race, or gender identity, to graduate from high school ready for college and career.

Young adults

Promoting academic success, training young people for middle-skills jobs and preventing recidivism.

57 percent of jobs require a college degree.

While college graduation rates have increased sharply for wealthier students, they have stagnated for their lower-income peers.

To live a sustainable life outside of poverty, by age 29 young adults must be able avoid a criminal conviction, find a middle-skill job or earn a post-secondary degree. Our investments focus on closing the skills gap for youth who are disconnected from school and work, preventing recidivism and promoting criminal justice reform.

Adults + household supports

Buffering against financials shocks, building skills and assets, and reshaping systems and policies.

55 percent of adult New Yorkers who move out of poverty are back in poverty within two years.

Common life events, like having a baby, losing a job, ending a relationship or undergoing a medical procedure often push people into poverty. Our Adults + Household Support investments bolster the safety net, build skills and assets, and reshape systems or policies that cause poverty or constrain households from escaping it.

Our Impact

At Robin Hood, we are scrupulous in measuring our performance and impact so that we can learn what’s working, and where we’re most effective. In 2019, we witnessed how partnering with other organizations on pilot programs can lead to implementation on a vastly wider scale, thereby impacting a far greater number of people.

 

In 2019, Robin Hood helped reduce barriers to opportunity for millions of New Yorkers by fueling creative partnerships, implementing impact investing, and supporting innovative initiatives.

Between 2015 and 2018, half of New York City adults lived in poverty for at least one year.

Poverty Tracker

Background: In 2012, we teamed up with Columbia University for a long-term, in-depth study of poverty in our city, closely following 4,000 families so we can better understand the intricacies and nuances of poverty. After all, you can’t create solutions for problems you don’t understand.

New Ground: In November we launched the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker which closely monitors more than 1,500 families and focuses its study on young children. We significantly ramped the use of Poverty Tracker data to inform the policy work of our new policy teams. We provided testimony to the New York City Council on evictions and made two public comments to the Federal government on the impact of potential changes in policy for benefits eligibility. And at the 2019 No City Limits Conference, we released a report on New Yorkers’ perceptions of economic mobility and opportunity.

Explore our reports >> Visit the Annual Poverty Tracker >>

In 2019, Mobility Labs approved grants of $125K each to local organizations in nine communities across the country.

Mobility Labs

Lived Experience Matters: Those who are closest to the problem of poverty are closest to the solutions to solving it so we seek to elevate the often-excluded voices of those experiencing hardship and trust that they are most equipped to know what solutions work. Mobility LABs empowers communities to develop innovative programs to tackle poverty and promote economic mobility, while exploring how power, autonomy, dignity and belonging are contributors to overcoming poverty.

The Source is the Solution: Mobility LABs identified nine diverse communities across five states in which to launch an innovative pilot program to measurably and sustainably lift families out of poverty. The Mobility LABs board committee approved grants of $125,000 each to local nonprofits to anchor the planning process in each community. At the end of the planning process, each community will submit a written proposal for their program to be implemented over the next three years with additional funding from Mobility LABs.

Find out more>>

In 2019, we invested over $1M in three investments as part of Robin Hood’s Mission Investing initiative.

Mission Investing

Double the Impact:  In 2019, we piloted a new strategy for mission investing and set the bar high to find opportunities to recoup investment while continuing to meet high impact goals.

Yes, It Was a Good Year: We invested $425,000 with New York Immigrant Freedom Fund, an initiative of Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, which works to provide bail to immigrants awaiting deportation hearings. The fund has already supported hundreds of immigrants and we expect to recoup the full investment within five to eight years.

We invested $200,000 in Hebrew Free Loan Society for the creation of an emergency loan program to enable employers to provide low income employees with no interest loans. Loans are to be repaid in 18 month and if successful, it’s a unique opportunity to encourage other employers to establish similar programs.

Finally, we invested $600,000 with longstanding community partner, Breaking Ground, a leader in affordable housing. This investment will help to preserve 167 affordable housing units and will be fully repaid from the sale of air rights received under the V.I.H. Program.

In 2019, 4.3 million people were served by a tool developed in Blue Ridge Labs.

Blueridge Labs

Tech Solutions: Blue Ridge Labs connects low-income community members with technologists to tackle economic inequality. We provide the space, funding, and resources to develop life-changing products and services.

In 2019, 4.3 million people were served by a BRL portfolio organization. The app FreshEBT saved users $28 million on groceries and helped 80,000 people apply for jobs. Other BRL ventures led the way for New Yorkers to claim $13.5 million in additional income, facilitated the donation of 1.5 million meals, and helped 170,000 people access legal assistance.

We added five start-ups to the BRL portfolio this year, bringing the total to 25. The 23 still in operation have raised $47.8 million non-Robin Hood funds over the past five years, all from an initial investment of just $3.3 million from Robin Hood.

Finally, this year saw the launch of the advisory board for DIG, the Design Insight Group, a community of over 1,400 low-income New Yorkers who provide guidance and feedback to the technology teams.

Find out more >>

SPENDING WISELY

In 2019, we allocated over $116 million for 372 grants and engagements with our community partners.

  • Early Childhood
    $14.5 Million
    School-Age Children
    $33.2 Million
    Young Adults
    $16.3 Million
    Adults & Household Support
    $44.1 Million
  • Our Multiplier
    $8.1 Million
  • Poverty Tracker $2.5 Million
    Blueridge Labs $1.4 Million
    Mobility Labs $1.1 Million
    Management Assistance $0.6 Million
Total investment
$116 million
372 grants and engagements
with our community partners

We are Robin Hood

Thank you to the entire Robin Hood community for making last year’s impact possible.

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