Supporters Come Together and Raise $54.5 Million for New Yorkers in Need


NEW YORK, NY—(May 16, 2017)—Last night Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, gathered longtime donors, new supporters and community partners at the Javits Center to focus on addressing the needs of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

By night’s end the group raised more than $54.5 million to house, feed, educate, train, advise and care for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children living in poverty.

Wes Moore, the organization’s new chief executive officer and a nationally prominent social advocate, addressed the crowd of nearly 4,000 people. “This is the city I stand with pride to fight with and this is the organization that I stand humbled to lead,” said Moore, 38, a social entrepreneur, decorated Army combat veteran, and bestselling author. “We are artists, business leaders, community activists, and entrepreneurs. What we do might be different, but who we are is the same. We are poverty fighters. We are all Robin Hoods.”

The evening’s co-chairs were Emily and Len Blavatnik of the Blavatnik Family Foundation; Mary Kathryn and board member Alex Navab of KKR & Co.; Alex Rodriguez, a World Series champion with the New York Yankees; and Jackie and David Simon of Simon Property Group.

Ken Griffin, a Chicago-based philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Citadel, made a $15 million challenge grant that inspired the crowd to give generously. He noted that “Robin Hood’s impact on New York City serves as an example for cities across America.” Robin Hood supporters matched his donation and went beyond it, with live pledges and table sales bringing the evening’s total to $54.5 million. Griffin, a longstanding Robin Hood supporter, is the first-ever person to provide a second challenge grant to the organization; his first was in 2001. Robin Hood’s board underwrites all operating costs, so 100% of donations goes directly to serving New Yorkers in need.

The money raised on Monday will reduce barriers to opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people. Robin Hood funds and partners with more than 200 of the most effective nonprofits in New York. And when an effective solution to challenges faced by low-income New Yorkers does not exist, Robin Hood will create it.

Robin Hood’s work is not limited to the five boroughs. The organization takes an open-source approach to its work and is committed to helping other communities across the country build on its successes. In addition to operations in New York City, one-third of Robin Hood’s community partners also deliver services beyond NYC. For example, Robin Hood was the founding funder of Single Stop, which provides streamlined access to critical social services to those in need. SingleStop is now in nine states and has connected low-income Americans to over $3 billion in benefits. Similarly, KIPP, a high-quality non-profit network of 200 public charter schools that serves 80,000 students, helped inspire a national effort to improve public education.

“Last night we celebrated and extended Robin Hood’s history of love and leadership and reaffirmed our commitment to fight poverty in New York City and to spread effective programs throughout our nation,” said Larry Robbins, chair of Robin Hood’s board. “Leadership investments by Ken Griffin and benefit co-chair David Simon, Midwest-based CEOs and philanthropists, send a powerful message to national philanthropists that Robin Hood and its partner organizations are creating and perfecting programs to fight poverty on a broad scale.”

Michael Strahan, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America and a Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, hosted the benefit. The evening featured a performance by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay along with DJ and singer-songwriter Samantha Ronson. Additionally, Miley Cyrus, a passionate advocate for homeless youth, was the event’s surprise musical performer. Stand-up comedy superstar Dave Chapelle brought his trademark irreverence to the evening.

Robin Hood partnered with GREATS to create limited edition GREATS x Robin Hood sneakers. One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of the sneakers will benefit Robin Hood and the organizations it funds. For a full list of the organizations that supported Robin Hood’s benefit, please visit:

Yellow taxicabs lined up after the benefit to take riders home. Robin Hood urged riders leaving the Javits to “Be a Robin Hood” and tip generously in support of the hardworking drivers.

“The momentum this evening was extraordinary. I think it’s safe to say we’re all energized to carry this forward to dig into the incredible work that lies ahead,” said Wes Moore.

Thank you!

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