The New York Women's Foundation
Social Innovation Fund 2012
The New York Women's Foundation (NYWF) is a grant-making institution with twenty-five years of experience driving results to strengthen economic security for women, girls and families in New York City. The NYWF increased its grant-making and has distributed $28 million in grants since its inception. In 2012 The Foundation will distribute an additional $5 million. The NYWF is committed to creating an equitable and just future for women, girls and families in New York City. The NYWF seeks a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) on a geographically-based Social Innovation Fund (SIF). This SIF grant from the CNCS falls under the Economic Opportunity issue area and will be distributed across New York City's five boroughs. The Foundation requests $10 million in grant funds over a five-year period, of which $8 million (80%) will be used for sub-grants and $2 million (20%) for technical assistance, evaluation and administration costs. The SIF grant will be matched 1:1 with $10 million in private funding over 5 years for the proposed New York Women's Foundation Fund for Economic Advancement. Over the last five years, The NYWF has intentionally grown its operating budget in order to increase its response to the deepening economic crisis and its impact on women, girls and families. During that period The Foundation tripled its operating budget from $3.2 million in 2006 to $9 million in 2011, simultaneously increasing its grant-making from $1.6mm to $5mm. Over that five year period The Foundation's sub-grantee partners increased from 53 in 2006 to 77 in 2011. The sub-grants amounts increased from a range of $20,000-$40,000 to a range of $50,000-$75,000. Key to this growth is The Foundation's deep roots in its donor base which totals approximately 24,000 individuals, corporations and foundations. The NYWF is a cross-cultural alliance helping low-income women and girls in the five boroughs of New York City to achieve sustained economic security through expanded opportunities. At The Foundation, the board, staff and committee volunteers are a diverse and remarkable team working towards fulfilling. The Foundation funds non-profits whose primary focus is to assist women, girls and families overcome the fundamental barriers that prevent their economic advancement. The NYWF promotes effective public policy and inclusive philanthropic giving that expand opportunities and reduce barriers for low-income women, girls and families. The NYWF uses a participatory grant-making model to engage a broad constituency of philanthropists and individuals committed to building economic security in New York City. Each year we invite a diverse group of women with varied professional and life experiences to join our Grants Advisory Committee (GAC). Drawing on a range of perspectives that are reflective of New York City's women, including local community leaders, this participatory grant-making model enables NYWF to create a transparent and inclusive grant-making process. It also allows NYWF to be more responsive to the changing needs of low-income women and girls and more accountable to the broader community. In 2011, The Foundation leveraged the expertise of 80 women of diverse professional backgrounds to participate on GAC and the sub-grantee selection process. This participatory grant-making model affords New York City women opportunities to learn more about issues of poverty that affect low-income women, girls and families, to weigh in on what their communities need and which solutions may be most effective. The Foundation has a proven track record of partnering with non-profits across the financial and program stage spectrums--start-up, nascent, promising and proven stages. Throughout its 25 year history, The NYWF has funded over 250 non-profit organizations at varied stages in their organizational life cycle with operating budgets ranging from $250K to $44mm. This diversity of portfolio enables maximum reach across New York City and solidifies The Foundation as a driving force in the expansion of economic opportunities for low-income women, girls and families. The Foundation's experience in successfully managing its diverse sub-grantee portfolio, its participatory grant-making process, its sub-grantee partnerships and our powerful fundraising ability makes us well-suited for a Social Innovation Fund Grant.