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The Robin Hood Foundation was created in 1988 to find, fund and provide technical and management assistance to organizations serving poor New Yorkers. Robin Hood makes grants to poverty-fighting organizations that are direct service providers operating in the five boroughs of New York City. Robin Hood has a continuing commitment to community-based programs and strong leaders in the city's poorest neighborhoods. Robin Hood seeks to fund programs that provide comprehensive and intensive services and yield measurable results.

Potential additions to Robin Hood's core group of grant recipients are screened to determine whether they effectively serve poor New Yorkers. Robin Hood staff members conduct site visits and interviews, analyze outcomes and financial data, perform supplementary research and check references to ensure that Robin Hood is making a sound, smart investment.

Robin Hood seeks to fund 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofits in New York City with the following characteristics:

  • A proven track record
  • A bold idea that is feasible
  • Clear sense of mission and the steps needed to accomplish that mission
  • Strong, committed leadership
  • Existing evaluation procedures or willingness to evaluate programs and measure outcomes
  • Commitment to, and knowledge of, the population served
  • High quality, dedicated staff
  • Financial stability
  • Respect or standing in its community and relationships with other organizations in the community

Programs that do not wish to evaluate the outcomes of their efforts should not apply to Robin Hood for funds.

Support Provided
First time grant requests are generally in the area of $100,000 to $200,000. Robin Hood will consider requests for a variety of purposes, including specific programs, salaries or start-up costs. Capital, renovation and general operating funds are given only to those groups already receiving Robin Hood support.

Programs We Do NOT Support
In general, Robin Hood does not make grants to technical assistance providers, other funders, or individuals. Robin Hood does not give grants to distribute propaganda, to attempt to influence legislation or the outcome of any public election or to engage in any activity that is not exclusively charitable, scientific or educational. Robin Hood will not support organizations that discriminate against people seeking either services or employment based on race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation or physical disability.

Application Procedure
Applications are accepted year-round, and grant decisions will be made by Robin Hood’s Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. Due to a high number of applications, Robin Hood cannot guarantee that all applications will be considered by the Board at the first meeting after the application is received. If your organization submitted an application but was denied Robin Hood funding in the past, please wait one year from the date of denial before reapplying.

After reviewing our guidelines thoroughly, we recommend that you call and speak to the Grants Manager before completing an application. Please complete the entire application. If you wish, you may attach additional material as specified in the New York Common Application Form to your completed application, but please do not send any videos. If the application itself raises questions or poses difficulties, please feel free to contact the Grants Manager for clarification. Once the application has been submitted, you will receive a notice acknowledging its receipt; we ask that you not telephone us to ask about its status. In turn, we will let you know Robin Hood's decision as soon as possible although decisions may take up to one year.

View our Frequently Asked Questions
To apply for Robin Hood funding, download the New York Common Application Form.
Questions about our grant making process can be directed to: