- Get Involved
Ivy Prince, a 25 year-old financial consultant, doesn’t think she and her peers have to “wait to make a difference” in the world. Like many millennials, she wants to make things happen now. “Professionals my age are aware of the needs around them and do want to get involved,” says Ivy, who is among Robin Hood’s one-year-old Philanthropic Young Things (P.Y.T.) group. “Instead of waiting until we’re older to give back, we want to make an impact today.”
Ivy proved her point this spring. For the first time in its storied history, Robin Hood hosted two satellite parties the same night as its annual Big Benefit at the Javits Center -- targeting a new generation of charitable doers and givers that care about erasing poverty. By rallying a large contingent of like-minded peers, her efforts led to a sell-out crowd at the hip midtown nightspot Lavo and, in the process, helped set a new fundraising record --$101 million -- to help New Yorkers build better lives for themselves and their families.
There, amid DJ Nori spinning on the ones and twos, cocktail-sipping young professionals -- many of them but a glint in their parents’ eyes when Robin Hood was founded in 1988 -- staked their claims to this city’s future. The popularity of the PYT celebrations bode well for the fledgling group’s success. Importantly, the growing strength of PYT can also add much to the breadth and vitality of Robin Hood.
A study of millennial philanthropy sponsored by the Case Foundation notes that this “newest generation, with an action-based philosophy…is changing charity as we know it.” Its findings show that millennials engage with causes designed to help people, not institutions, and that they are heavily influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers.
In other words, Ivy is onto something: “Between photo-booth snapping and dancing, people were asking how to get involved,” Ivy recalls. “It was a great night -- a fun way to get everyone excited about making a difference for this city. After all, why should we wait?”