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Robin Hood adds five new Power Fund organizations to its core grantmaking portfolio in the first half of 2023, spanning maternal health, high-quality schools, youth employment and other critical interventions that fight poverty

In total, the Power Fund has supported 28 diverse NYC non-profit leaders since launch in July 2020

New York, NY – Robin Hood, New York City’s largest local poverty-fighting philanthropy, announced today a 60% increase in the number of grants it has provided to organizations led by people of color since launching the Power Fund in 2020 – an initiative to boost investment in organizations with diverse leadership that helps New Yorkers living in poverty achieve economic mobility. In July 2020, when the Power Fund was launched, approximately 30% of Robin Hood’s total grants and 20% of total dollars went to leaders of color. Today, organizations led by people of color constitute 48% of both total Robin Hood grants and total dollars awarded. The increase reflects a broader shift within the non-profit sector in recent years that has yielded greater visibility and opportunities for a rising generation of leaders of color.

“The Power Fund has strengthened our fight against poverty in New York City and is transforming our impact. In a city where 4 out of 5 people experiencing poverty are people of color, underinvestment in leaders with lived experience is more than a moral failure – it is a detriment to our mission,” said Rich Buery Jr., Robin Hood CEO. “We can’t separate the fight for racial justice from the fight for economic opportunity. Our Power Fund partners are social entrepreneurs who have helped us expand our footprint into more parts of the city and reach diverse communities of New Yorkers with poverty-fighting programs. We are proud that today, nearly half our investments are to organizations led by people of color but recognize that we can’t take full credit – the world and the city is doing a better job of elevating capable, diverse leaders. We are excited about the future and continue to hold ourselves accountable to practicing racial equity.”

In New York City, Black, Latinx and Asian-Americans are twice as likely to live in poverty as white New Yorkers. The Power Fund addresses a critical funding disparity between philanthropy and nonprofit leaders of color who run direct service organizations and bring essential perspective, proximity, and expertise to the fight against poverty, but have historically received little support from major philanthropic institutions compared to their white counterparts. Research published by Echoing Green and the Bridgespan Group in May 2020 demonstrated significant disparities in revenue and unrestricted assets between Black-led non-profits and white-led organizations and showed that philanthropic practices often exacerbate these inequities. They argue that population-level impact cannot happen without funding more leaders of color. These findings played a role in catalyzing Robin Hood to create the Power Fund.

Today’s announcement includes grants made with Power Fund dollars as well as traditional investments through Robin Hood’s core portfolio that leverage best practices in equitable grantmaking – such as sourcing potential partner organizations from a wider social network and through non-traditional referrals. Additionally, the increase reflects a broader shift within the field in recent years that has yielded greater visibility and opportunities for a rising generation of leaders of color.

As part of an ongoing effort to improve racial equity, Robin Hood announced today that the Power Fund will continue to make grants this year with the addition of five new partner organizations. In this wave of investment, grantees have been selected that align closely with Robin Hood’s approach to core grantmaking along life-stages impacted by poverty: supporting early childhood development beginning in the womb, school-aged children, young adults and adult New Yorkers seeking stable income and housing. With this alignment, Power Fund leaders will benefit from fully integrating into the broader Robin Hood ecosystem of peers and staff experts. Partners have also been selected based on the learning that Robin Hood can best support early-stage organizations, first-time leaders of color at nonprofits that have historically had white leaders, and people with lived experience reflecting the New Yorkers they serve.

2023 Power Fund Leaders and Partner Organizations:

Black Women’s Blueprint | Farah Tanis, Co-Founder and Sevonna Brown, National Director

The Black Women’s Blueprint provides health and holistic healing programs and birth education to Black women and survivors to heal from trauma and violence. Through the Power Fund, they have received a grant to improve maternal and child health and mental health outcomes among Black and low-income women living in Brooklyn through the support of community-informed maternal health services and the evaluation of their impact.

Healing Schools Project | Wenimo Okoya, EdD, MPH, Founder and Executive Director

The north star of the Healing Schools Project is to retain educators, especially educators of color, out of the belief that cared-for educators will reinforce a positive culture of care, support, and learning within the school. They have received a Power Fund grant to support the implementation of a unique program model, which focuses on improving teacher well-being, and therefore job satisfaction and retention, across six schools in the Bronx and Queens.

Drive Change | Kalilah Moon, Executive Director and CEO

The mission of Drive Change is to support formerly incarcerated young people and create quality employment pathways to ensure their economic and emotional wellbeing. They have received a Power Fund grant to provide sectoral job training and placement in the food service and hospitality sector to justice-involved youth, and to support the growth of Drive Change to scale, track and ensure long-term job retention and success for participants.

Coalition for Community Schools Excellence | Terrence Winston, Executive Director

The Coalition for Community Schools Excellence consists of more than 60 lead community school partner organizations, neighborhood groups, parents, advocacy organizations and education policy organizations, which began in 2015 as a vehicle for committed stakeholders to have an elevated voice on ensuring the success of the community schools initiative. Through Power Fund investment, the coalition will preserve and develop more high-quality schools that serve low-income students by elevating community voice and ensuring that families and students are represented in school and citywide strategy development.

New York Immigration Coalition | Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director

The New York Immigration Coalition is a state-wide member-led coalition of immigrant and refugee organizations that works to transform the lives of all New Yorkers by strengthening and building our members’ power, organizing and educating our communities and the public, and using our collective voice to advocate for opportunity and justice. They have received a grant that provides general operating support to advance key advocacy priorities.

Quotes attributable to the new Power Fund leaders are here.

Complementing the announcement designating five new Power Fund Leaders, Robin Hood also released a report, The Power Fund: Investing in Nonprofit Leaders of Color, which captures lessons learned from the first two years of the initiative that inform the Foundation’s approach to equitable grantmaking moving forward. The inaugural Power Fund cohort offered support to 23 leaders of color across 22 organizations. Over an eighteen-month period, the initiative provided leadership development, strengthened organizational capacity, and made meaningful investments averaging $450,000 to each organization.

As the Power Fund continues to make grants, Robin Hood is renewing programmatic and capacity-building support for 80% of the first cohort. The high renewal rate is a testament to the caliber of the organizations, tier operational excellence and their effective program models. Through the next phase of the Power Fund and beyond, Robin Hood is working towards the goal of fully incorporating equitable practices and lessons learned from this initiative into its overall grantmaking process.


About Robin Hood:

This year Robin Hood celebrates its 35th year of funding, supporting, and connecting New York’s most impactful community organizations at the forefront in the battle against poverty. We’re NYC’s largest local poverty-fighting philanthropy and since 1988, we’ve invested nearly $3 billion to elevate and fuel the permanent escape of New Yorkers from poverty. Last year, through grantmaking with 300+ community partners, we created pathways to opportunities out of poverty for more than 325,000 New Yorkers, and through our strategic partnerships on child care, child poverty, jobs, and living wages, we are scaling impact at a population level for the more than 1.5 million New Yorkers living in poverty. At Robin Hood, we believe your starting point in life should not define where you end up. To learn more about our work and impact, follow us on Twitter @RobinHoodNYC or go to

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