Robin Hood Annual Report 2023

Robin Hood brings New Yorkers together to fight poverty. We convene philanthropists, civil society organizations, government, businesses, nonprofits, community members, and those living in poverty to develop and advance programs and policies that can make the American Dream real here in NYC. Our goal is to help New Yorkers permanently exit poverty.


Annual Report 2023




Improved the quality of child care for 11,810 CHILDREN FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES Referred 9,234 CHILDREN to early intervention services Helped over 4,000 YOUNG ADULTS gain jobs with hourly wages 40% higher than the minimum wage Connected 175,000 HOUSEHOLDS — more than 300,000 individuals — to $130 MILLION in lifesaving benefits Funded City University of New York (CUNY) programs that served 14,400 YOUNG ADULTS and that helped to nearly double graduation rates from 30% TO 55% .

Supported the rollout of a high-quality literacy curriculum to 365,000 STUDENTS and 32,000 TEACHERS in 1,053 SCHOOLS Helped over 70 HIGH SCHOOLS — 15% of all NYC public high schools — exceed average GRADUATION RATES OF 81% . Improved birth outcomes for 11,566 MOTHERS AND INFANTS Powered 2,300 NEW TEACHER GRADUATES with computational thinking skills






Dear Friends,

Letter from the CEO...................................................................................................... Putting your Dollars to Work .................................................................................... The Robin Hood Way.................................................................................................... Community of Caring................................................................................................... Programs and Special Initiatives Catalyzing Economic Mobility ................................................................................. Hunger .......................................................................................................................... Migrants – Our Newest New Yorkers .................................................................. Mental and Physical Health.................................................................................... High-Quality Education: Overall............................................................................ High-Quality Education: Early Childhood .......................................................... High-Quality Education: School Age Children ................................................ High-Quality Education: College Success ........................................................ Career Advancement............................................................................................... Financial Stability....................................................................................................... Stable Housing/Thriving Communities ............................................................ Blue Ridge Labs ........................................................................................................ Capacity Building ..................................................................................................... Poverty Tracker ......................................................................................................... A Home for Jaylen..................................................................................................... From Client to Leader............................................................................................... Our Community Partners ........................................................................................... New York Needs You .................................................................................................. Upcoming Dates ........................................................................................................... Governance .....................................................................................................................

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With nearly $3 billion invested in the fight against poverty, Robin Hood’s imprint can be found everywhere in NYC — in charter schools, public libraries, our public colleges, food banks, affordable housing, job training centers, and the hundreds of community-based organizations we support that bring hope to New Yorkers in need. After the pain of the pandemic, your support is fueling the revitalization of NYC. Not only are you helping to stabilize the lives of New Yorkers, but you are also creating pathways for self-determination. Together, we are building ≠ a future in which no one is left behind. While we have come a long way together, there is so much more to do. But we remain optimistic about the future because your support makes the improbable possible.

New York is a city of infinite opportunities and tremendous challenges. Foremost among those challenges is ensuring that our city lives up to its promise as a place where everyone is welcome, and where anyone can thrive. This is no small feat. All of us will need to come together if we are going to defeat poverty. And in 2023, you didn’t disappoint. I am filled with gratitude for Robin Hood Nation. Because of you, Robin Hood invested $117.6 million in 280+ organizations supporting New Yorkers in need across all five boroughs. New Yorkers have a proud history of supporting our neighbors and investing in our city. This tradition created iconic cultural institutions and universities, world-class hospitals, and a robust nonprofit social service delivery sector that is the envy of cities the world over. Since our founding in 1988, Robin Hood has not only leaned into this tradition, but we’ve transformed it. We apply a data-driven, metrics-based approach to elevate the lives of the 2 million New Yorkers who live in poverty.

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Thank you for being Robin Hood!


Richard R. Buery Jr. Chief Executive Officer of Robin Hood





Here’s how we invested in the most impactful poverty-fighting strategies in 2023.

Robin Hood brings New Yorkers together to fight poverty. We convene philanthropists, civil society organizations, government, businesses, nonprofits, community members, and those living in poverty to develop and advance programs and policies that can make the American Dream real here in NYC. Our goal is to help New Yorkers permanently exit poverty.

$2.7 million

Emergency Food

$2.9 million


FOCUSING ON RESULTS. Robin Hood invests in best-in-class organizations operating effective programs. We fund research to understand how poverty persists and what strategies are effective in fighting it. And we track grant outcomes and apply cost-benefit analyses to ensure every dollar we invest demonstrably improves the lives of low-income New Yorkers. ​ ​ BUILDING INSTITUTIONS THAT TRANSFORM NYC. We offer management advice, strategic real estate consulting, board placement services, financial and communications coaching, leadership development, and other technical assistance to help our partners increase scale and impact.​ ​ DRIVING INNOVATION TO SOLVE UNMET NEEDS. We invest in new leaders, new organizations, and new ideas that have groundbreaking potential.​ ​ SCALING WHAT WORKS. We partner with government and other funders to grow proven solutions in NYC and beyond so more people benefit from investments that work.​ ​ POVERTY IS RELENTLESS, SO WE MUST BE TOO.​

Mental & Physical Health

$14.7 million

$49.4 million

High-Quality Education

Early Childhood

$10.4 million

School Age

$27.6 million


$11.4 million

$15 million

Career Advancement

Financial Stability

$12.5 million

Stable Housing & Thriving Communities

$15.3 million

$5.1 million

Capacity Building & Data

Total 2023 Grantmaking $117.6 million

Total Organizations 281



ANNUAL BENEFIT Robin Hood’s 2023 Benefit brought together New Yorkers to commemorate our 35-year history. Each year, our Benefit celebrates Robin Hood’s impact on New Yorkers in need, as well as the heroes who make remarkable contributions to the fight against poverty in the city we love. This year, led by co-chairs Greg and Alexandra Mondre, David Solomon, and Kenneth Tropin, guests were treated to unforgettable performances by Kendrick Lamar, Brandi Carlile, John Cena, and Jim Gaffigan.


Victor Reyes and Gretchen Buchenholz

Our community is the lifeblood of Robin Hood, and we aim to grow it each year by reaching new poverty fighters of all ages. In 2023, thousands of supporters came together for thought- provoking conferences, memorable dining experiences, meaningful family activities, and more — all aimed at helping more New Yorkers escape poverty for good.

Gayle King

Brandi Carlile



Mary Callahan Erdoes

Jim Gaffigan

Kendrick Lamar

This year’s J.P. Morgan / Robin Hood Investors Conference convened leaders in AI, investing, policy, and tech to dissect pressing global challenges. Influential speakers like Stanley F. Druckenmiller, Alexis Ohanian, and Condoleezza Rice engaged in dialogues set to spark meaningful change for guests. Since its inception 11 years ago, the conference has raised nearly $60 million in support of Robin Hood’s poverty-fighting work. INVESTORS CONFERENCE

Condoleezza Rice and Ken Griffin

Alexis Ohanian

John Cena

Justin Tuck

Stanley F. Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones II



ROBIN HOOD’S HEROES BREAKFAST Robin Hood’s annual Heroes Breakfast is a triumphant celebration of New Yorkers who elevated themselves and their families out of poverty — despite incredible obstacles — with the support of Robin Hood’s community partners. At this year’s event, we honored Fair Housing Justice Center, KindWork, and NYLAG, as well as three incredible individuals whose stories exemplify the impact of our nonprofit partners.

RISING LEADERS FORUM Robin Hood and Goldman Sachs hosted the first Rising Leaders Forum, designed for emerging investors and philanthropists. Over 20 speakers — including some of the most inspiring CEOs, entrepreneurs, academics, activists, and athletes — joined in conversation about their varying experiences in social impact work. Throughout the day, participants connected with like- minded peers and explored Robin Hood’s own philanthropic model.

2023 Robin Hood Hero Nana Zakia

Dina Powell McCormick and Tory Burch

Mark Bezos and Paul Tudor Jones II

From this forum emerged the Rising Leaders Collective (RLC), a community of changemakers and partners who are committed to making a united impact in NYC and beyond. Year-round, RLC members have opportunities to learn about Robin Hood’s work, collaborate with peers, and activate their leadership and influence through events and other poverty-fighting programming.

Richard R. Buery, Jr. and the 2023 Robin Hood Heroes

Tom Hanks

2023 Hero Yiromys Vallejo

Misty Copeland, Henry Timms, and Thelma Golden

Ken Tropin

David Solomon


HALLOWEEN BLOCK PARTY Robin Hood Leadership Council member Stephanie Ruhle hosted her annual, fun-filled, family- friendly Halloween block party on the Upper East Side, open to all New Yorkers. Kids from DREAM Charter School, local families, Robin Hood supporters, and plenty of spooky trick-or-treaters joined the fun.

NYC MARATHON Sixty-four athletes joined Robin Hood’s team to go the extra mile for New Yorkers at this year’s NYC Marathon. After months of training, our team raised over $380,000 from 2,000 donors in support of our poverty-fighting work across NYC.

Stephanie Ruhle, Mayor Eric Adams, Al Roker, and Deborah Roberts

MrBEAST Robin Hood teamed up with YouTube star MrBeast and Beast Philanthropy to support Sharing Excess, a food rescue organization. Robin Hood and Beast Philanthropy, MrBeast’s charitable arm that shares Robin Hood’s heart-led approach of fueling the most impactful on-the-ground organizations, have each invested in Sharing Excess to allow the organization to expand to the Hunts Point Market in NYC. Together, we’re making an even bigger impact to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy food.

Jabali Swawki





CORPORATE PARTNER HIGHLIGHT We teamed up with Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank at The HOPE Program’s CoolRoofs program in Queens. CoolRoofs is a remarkable nine- week training that shows individuals how to make buildings more energy-efficient and equips participants to build careers in sustainability. Barclays is just one of the companies that graciously partners with Robin Hood to fuel poverty- fighting work across NYC — through volunteering, deep-dive learning sessions, and smart investments in Robin Hood’s community partners.

In 2023, Robin Hood relaunched our one-of-a-kind partnership with Major Food Group: Major Good. Thanks to the generosity and talents of Chef Rich Torrisi, Robin Hood donors can now enjoy a unique private dining experience at NYC’s hotspot and Michelin Star-winning Torrisi Bar & Restaurant. Chef Torrisi provides exceptional hand-crafted meals for parties in the restaurant’s private dining room, with all proceeds supporting Robin Hood’s food programs.

Barclays volunteers


Robin Hood convened experts, nonprofit and community leaders, elected officials and policymakers, foundation partners, our donors, and issue advocates to dive deep into critical poverty-fighting topics to foster learning, sharing, and collaboration across NYC. This year’s series focused on the urgent issues of child poverty, child care, racial equity, and housing.

Chef Rich Torrisi


Robin Hood’s Family Philanthropy program held its gingerbread decorating extravaganza with our partner, Win, at its family shelter in East New York. Over 25 Robin Hood donors worked with dozens of kids to build their dream gingerbread houses at NYC’s largest provider of family shelter and supportive housing. With homeless shelter occupancy reaching record highs in NYC last year, this annual event became even more special.

Richard R. Buery, Jr. and Nicholas Kristof

Jojo Annobil

Meisha Porter, Emma Vadehra, Kimberly Sweet, and John King




Programs and Special Initiatives

Robin Hood understands that the fight against poverty requires a long view and calculated bets.

We invest in programs that support people at every stage of their lives: from the womb to baby’s first steps, from elementary school and into adulthood. We focus on helping New Yorkers in need achieve outcomes that we know are critical predictors of life-long economic mobility: babies being born with healthy birth weights, accessing high-quality childcare and entering kindergarten ready to learn; achieving proficiency on third-grade and eighth-grade standardized tests; completing high school; graduating college or completing a postsecondary job training program; accessing public benefits; reducing personal debt; accessing jobs that pay livable wages; and retaining stable, affordable housing. These milestones are just a few of the many outcomes your financial support makes possible. Together, we are working to support people living in poverty to escape it — permanently.

With your support, we are also working to meet the basic needs of New Yorkers to help stabilize families so they can be in a position to thrive. It Is hard for children to focus in school if they don’t have enough to eat at home. And it is hard for parents to focus on developing the skills to build a well-paid career if they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. At Robin Hood, we believe your starting point in life should not define where you end up. Guided by data and rigorous results, we collaborate with government and community partners to produce outsized impact for New Yorkers in need. With your support, we will continue to build a New York City filled with hope and opportunity for all.

In 2023, Robin Hood invested over $117.6 million in strategies that permanently elevate New Yorkers from poverty.






Robin Hood partners with the city’s most effective emergency food organizations and distribution systems that provide a critical lifeline to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and their families. By focusing on food distribution, access to government benefits, and policy advocacy, Robin Hood fights for the basic health and well-being of New Yorkers facing poverty. Because of the generosity of donors like you, we are able to sustain organizations that feed hungry New Yorkers.

New Yorkers living in poverty, especially families and communities of color, are facing increasing food hardship, and are often running out of food. Nearly half of NYC families with children face food hardship. Food insecurity is often linked to other compounding pressures that trap people in poverty, such as trouble paying monthly bills and housing insecurity. Hunger also makes it difficult for children to learn and for adults to work and leads to higher rates of chronic disease, all of which severely limit long-term, upward economic mobility.

In 2023, Robin Hood funded emergency food partners that distributed over 32 million pounds of food to 337,000 New Yorkers facing food insecurity. Impact

IN 2023


43% — almost half — of families with children in NYC experience food hardship.





Robin Hood worked through long-standing partnerships to respond quickly to the crisis. We invested in high-impact organizations to scale services needed by migrants living in shelters. Services included screening for benefits, legal assistance, language courses, case management, and job preparation and placement. By focusing on critical benefits and pathways to legal, stable employment, new migrants can find their footing and hope in their new country.

Between April 2022 and December 2023, NYC welcomed over 175,000 migrants and asylum- seekers. The population surge became a challenge for the city as new arrivals urgently sought stability through an already strained social safety net. Without the ability to gain legal status or to access critical benefits, stable housing, or quality jobs, our newest New Yorkers risk becoming entrenched in poverty and hardship.

In 2023, Robin Hood funded nine organizations to expand their operations to reach 6,420+ of our newest New Yorkers. Impact

IN 2023


Over more 175,000 migrants and asylum-seekers — including as many as 20,000 children — have arrived since spring 2022.






Robin Hood focuses on ensuring access to quality health care and minimizing the traumatic experiences of New Yorkers across life stages, from pregnancy and early childhood through school-age years and into adulthood. We prioritize evidence-based models that promote lasting healthy changes in the lives of New Yorkers and their families.

The intersection of health and mental health with poverty is profound and reciprocal. Low-income New Yorkers, 48% of whom grapple with chronic and work-limiting conditions, only get medical care when there is an emergency. This results in inadequate short-term medical treatment, gaps in employment and income, and expensive bills — a nearly impossible spiral to escape.


In 2023, Robin Hood invested in programs that served 11,566 mothers and infants by improving birth outcomes and reducing rates of morbidity, mortality, and postpartum depression. Our advocacy efforts are helping to reform New York State’s Medicaid program. A state-mandated task force convened by Robin Hood, and $10 million in additional funding, expanded the Robin Hood- funded Healthy Steps program, which reduces maternal depression and supports early childhood development.

IN 2023


New Yorkers who faced poverty or material hardship were 1.5 times more likely to have high health care needs.





Robin Hood invests in innovative solutions to empower New Yorkers, training caregivers in early childhood development, supporting K-12 students and families through community schools, and investing in college success programs. Balancing innovation, research, and community input, Robin Hood aims to provide access to high-quality education, paving the way for New Yorkers to succeed.

Education is a key determinant of economic mobility. From a baby’s exposure to vocabulary to honing skills in a high-growth sector, learning opportunities are critical to escaping poverty. While access to schools and programs in New York City has improved, quality still lags, holding back generations from upward economic mobility.


In 2023, Robin Hood helped over 70 high schools — 15% of all NYC public high schools — exceed average graduation rates of 81%.

IN 2023


Just over 27% of NYC high school students complete their bachelor’s degrees within six years of graduation.





Robin Hood invests in high-quality programs for low-income families that use evidence-based strategies to support children’s health, cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development. We work to influence policies that impact children and families while improving the direct services they receive. Robin Hood also fights for improvements in child care, prekindergarten, and other early learning experiences so young children can have a solid foundation to enter kindergarten, a bright outlook for their school years, and a fair shot at long-term success. With the support of policy advocacy, 400,000 children statewide are now benefiting from increased child care voucher eligibility; and nearly 900,000 children under four years of age now qualify for a refundable $330 child tax credit in New York state, payable directly to families.

The early years of a child’s life are the most critical time for brain development, but children living in poverty often do not have access to resources that stimulate their growth. Without affordable, high-quality child care and early learning, low-income families are deprived of the much-needed security that allows parents to return to work and that helps for their children to thrive.


In 2023, Robin Hood funded organizations citywide to improve the quality of child care for 11,810 children from low-income families, and our grantees facilitated referrals of 9,234 children to early intervention services.

IN 2023


FUEL The Fund for Early Learning (FUEL) is an outcomes-driven initiative focused on quantifiable impacts on children’s socio-emotional and language competencies and improving public systems that serve families with children ages three and under. In 2023, FUEL invested in 28 organizations and partnered with government to tackle complex issues faced by families living in poverty so that every infant and toddler can have a brighter future.

100,000 children ages three and under live below the poverty line.






It takes a community to ensure students succeed in school and gain the tools they need to thrive. Robin Hood helps New York City’s students meet critical milestones by investing in high-quality programs prioritizing equity, holistic support, community voice, and evidence-based strategies like high-impact tutoring and community schools. Beyond academics, our funding supports mental health and community involvement to better respond to the needs of low-income students and their families. Through our partnerships, we are able to pave the way for students to meet milestones and flourish. 365,000 students and 32,000 teachers in 1,053 schools will benefit from Robin Hood’s support of NYC Reads, a high-quality literacy curriculum.

Among the nearly one million students attending NYC public schools, over two-thirds are economically disadvantaged, with a majority being Black or Latinx. Beyond their already- disadvantaged starting point, low-income students in New York also face inequities in the school system and exacerbated disparities due to the pandemic. These combined challenges hold children back from meeting major milestones, such as completing kindergarten on time, meeting proficiency standards in the third and eighth grades, and graduating from high school ready for college and careers. These milestones are critical for escaping poverty and getting on a path for upward economic mobility.


In 2023, Robin Hood invested $3.1 million in 8 tutoring efforts serving

IN 2023

over 3,500 students across 117 schools.


Learning + Tech Fund Robin Hood’s Learning + Tech Fund focuses on using technology to transform learning, so low-income students can advance in our tech-driven society. This year, the fund supported an accessible, high-quality curriculum that helped 18,000 K-8 students make gains in their reading and powered 2,300 new teacher graduates with computational thinking skills into NYC schools. The Fund is a collaboration between Robin Hood, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Siegel Family Endowment.

51% percent of NYC elementary school students are not reading proficiently.





Robin Hood partners with community-focused, innovative programs that actively address barriers to college success. By investing in initiatives designed to combat low college degree attainment, we provide consistent, frequent, and timely academic counseling and tutoring, along with support for transportation and textbooks for low-income students. Together, we are not only breaking down barriers but also empowering students to meet their goals, leading to increased graduation

College can be hard. For young adults living in poverty, it is even harder, as they work to meet academic requirements and their basic needs at the same time. Yet obtaining a college degree is one of the best ways to escape poverty permanently — it provides a strong start in the labor market, is strongly correlated with upward mobility, and is especially critical for regaining economic stability after a crisis, such as a pandemic or a downturned economy.

rates and lifetime earnings, ultimately transforming their lives and futures.


In 2023, Robin Hood funded City University of New York (CUNY) programs that served 14,400 young adults, helping to nearly double graduation rates from 30% to 55%. Policy advocacy efforts made it possible for an additional 1,300 CUNY students to be eligible to enroll in CUNY ACE, an evidence- based program pioneered by Robin Hood that significantly boosts college graduation rates for low-income New Yorkers.

IN 2023


Workers with a college degree make 25% more than those who did not finish high school.






Robin Hood is the city’s largest private funder of workforce development programs. We have expanded our investments in apprenticeship and internship models that enable New Yorkers to “earn while they learn” while placing themselves on high-quality, sustainable career pathways to in-demand sectors, such as technology, health care, and construction. By breaking down barriers to future-focused careers, NYC will be able to accelerate its growth as an inclusive, equitable city where any person can have a fair shot at opportunity.

While the rest of the country moves on from the pandemic and its shocks, thousands of low-income, working-age New Yorkers, especially those of color, have been left behind. The jobs available are too low-paying (like food delivery) or too high-skilled (like computer and information science) and out of reach for too many New Yorkers trying to build a future.

In 2023, Robin Hood helped over 4,000 young adults gain jobs with an initial hourly wage of $22.50 per hour, 40% higher than the minimum wage. Impact

IN 2023


The unemployment rate for young adults in NYC is 13.4%, nearly triple the adult rate.






Robin Hood advocates for policies and invests in programs that promote financial stability, equitable access to financial services, and public assistance. This includes increasing wages so families can save more and expanding access to emergency funds through government programs, grants, and no-interest loans while providing support to those who want to obtain education or training that increases earnings.

Low-income New Yorkers are highly vulnerable to financial shocks, which can set them on a downward spiral that is nearly impossible to escape. On top of debt, expensive loans and unexpected expenses, rising rents and dwindling benefits have made life even more precarious for these New Yorkers already on the edge.


In 2023, Robin Hood funded programs that helped more than 175,000 households — more than 300,000 individuals — connect to about $130 million in lifesaving food, housing, and health benefits. Policy advocacy helped decrease medical debt lawsuits targeting low-income families by as much as 80%. Medical debt is a major driver of poverty.

IN 2023


More than 40% of New Yorkers do not have enough money in cash to cover a $400 emergency expense.





Research demonstrates that an eviction is not just a symptom of poverty but a driver of it. Too many low-income New Yorkers face compounding crises and are just one missed paycheck away from keeping a safe, stable place to live. In 2023, city shelters have seen record numbers, which continue to climb and strain the city’s safety net of services. At the same time, communities lack robust infrastructure to build thriving neighborhoods and struggle because of involvement with the criminal justice system.

Alongside NYC’s most effective housing partners, Robin Hood fights to advance solutions to house families and to grow opportunities within the city’s neighborhoods. Your support helps us to focus on housing solutions, including rental assistance, eviction prevention, pathways from shelter to permanent, affordable housing, and developing resource-rich communities.


Through our policy advocacy, thousands more low-income New Yorkers may soon be eligible for housing vouchers under an effort Robin Hood spearheaded, putting them on pathways to permanent, stable housing. Seventy-eight percent of New Yorkers who leave the city’s shelter system do so with the help of housing vouchers, and voucher holders are 50% less likely to ever return.

In 2023, Robin Hood funded partners that built and preserved nearly 1,700 units of affordable housing and prevented evictions for more than 3,100 families.

IN 2023


Mobility LABs Mobility LABs at Robin Hood empowers communities to develop resident-driven solutions for economic mobility, agency, and belonging. In 2023, Mobility LABs supported organizations across nine unique communities, from Brownsville to the Bay Area, as they engaged 4,572 individuals in a variety of programs and trainings related to workforce development, advocacy and leadership skill building, educational opportunities, and other wraparound case management and navigation services. • Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY • South Bronx, NY • Flushing, Queens, NY • East San Jose, CA • Antioch/East Contra Costa County, CA • Southeast San Francisco, CA • Harvey, IL • Baltimore, MD • Northeast, PA

The average stay in the NYC shelter system is 437 days — almost a year and a half — for families with children.



New Yorkers. We worked with four Catalyst participants this year. Their technologies range from helping people purchase fresh food at the farmers market to paying off debt. Each year, successful Catalyst alumni are eligible for further investment through the Follow-on Fund. In 2023, this fund provided three alumni with $250,000 in investments or grants to grow their impact. Foundational to all these efforts is the work of the Design Insight Group (DIG), a community of more than 2,000 New Yorkers for whom poverty is a lived experience and who participate in co-designing and informing the development of these ventures.

Blue Ridge Labs runs an 18-week Fellowship Program and each year they work on an annual challenge to address poverty. This year, we welcomed 16 local innovators who responded to our 2023 challenge: Building Healthy Futures for Children in New York City . As part of this program, the fellows launched five new ventures. Their innovations give the youngest New Yorkers a fair shot at opportunity. We also run a Catalyst Program. It is a five-month bespoke training that offers $60,000 in funding, health insurance, and in-kind resources to participants whose ventures address the extraordinary challenges faced by low-income

Spotlight on Lulo Blue Ridge Labs Fellowship

Spotlight on Starlight 2023 Catalyst Participant

In an increasingly digital world, tech-based solutions are key tools to address real-world challenges, like poverty. Blue Ridge Labs is Robin Hood’s poverty-fighting innovation lab, focused on supporting, incubating, and scaling community-driven tech solutions that alleviate the obstacles of New Yorkers experiencing poverty.

Starlight is a Catalyst venture that helps low-income households stay connected to the internet without financial worry. Internet access is vital in the post-pandemic world. Starlight helps households advocate for their needs with providers and streamlines the process of applying for and applying and qualifying for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal benefit. Through partnerships with fintechs and nonprofits, Starlight has saved households an average of $1,400 a year. Saving money on internet bills not only helps house- holds dedicate money to other needs but increases the likelihood they will stay current on internet bills and maintain connectivity — longer term, this leads to reduced debt and better workplace and education outcomes. After the Catalyst program, Starlight went on to raise a $1.7 million in a pre-seed round of venture capital funding led by Looking Glass Capital and Outside VC.

Lulo is a Blue Ridge Labs fellowship venture that provides grocery pickup service for participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. By removing barriers to shopping using food benefits, Lulo aims to further reduce food insecurity and improve health for birthing people, infants, and children. The existing state of the WIC program is highly restrictive and confusing. Participants report spending hours in the store looking for eligible brands, sizes, and flavors only to find out at the register that they have made a mistake. The hassle and stigma associated with WIC shopping, coupled with program inefficiencies, has resulted in $1.6 billion of food benefits going unredeemed each year. With Lulo, families order their groceries online, and then Lulo matches their preferences with eligible items. Participants just need to show up at the store and swipe their eWIC cards, receiving their groceries in a way that respects their time and dignity.


SIX new poverty-fighting technology ventures launched

$1.5M invested in nine poverty-fighting technology ventures

THREE new follow-on fund investments in Blue Ridge Labs alumni

450+ hours of community engagement sessions with DIG members






Robin Hood partners with poverty-fighting nonprofits on key decisions and helps them build their networks, develop skills, and fund capacity-building projects so they can operate and scale effective, sustainable programs.

Nonprofit, poverty-fighting organizations lack the resources and tools they need to strengthen their resiliency and scale their impact.

In 2023, Robin Hood secured $5.1 million in pro bono capacity-building support for 30 community partners from seven firms: Deloitte, Accenture, Berkeley Partnership, Paul Weiss, Alvarez and Marsal, McKinsey, and OC&C. Impact Capital Grants Initiative Good facilities are essential to running great schools, efficient food pantries, and effective health care centers or job training programs. The Capital Grants Initiative provides grantees with advice, connections, and funding to secure, build, and improve brick-and-mortar facilities that support their important work. This year, Robin Hood provided hands-on support for building new housing, school facilities, and food distribution warehouses. Grants Readiness and Training Robin Hood’s Grant Readiness and Insights Training (GRIT) initiative provides workshops and individual support to help rising directors of local community-based organizations to improve and refine their proposals to secure robust philanthropic funding. This year, GRIT served 50 nonprofits, including 12 CEOs and 186 staff members. Board Placement Program Robin Hood facilitates board placements by connecting talented individuals with impactful nonprofits. This year, 30 candidates were placed across 25 community partner organizations. To learn more about Robin Hood’s Board Placement Program, please email

IN 2023


Robin Hood secured $5.1 million in pro bono services to support 75% of the Robin Hood portfolio.




Launched in 2012 in partnership with Columbia University, the Poverty Tracker is Robin Hood’s signature, groundbreaking study of poverty in NYC. Unlike other surveys, it explores the impact of poverty, material hardship, and health over time, surveying a representative sample of New Yorkers every three months. While our Poverty Tracker provides critical information on the dynamics of poverty and other forms of disadvantage, our special spotlight reports shed light on timely and nuanced aspects of poverty. Throughout 2023, we released seven Poverty Tracker spotlight reports highlighting experiences of hardship related to child care, the workforce, health and health care, financial shocks, and food insecurity.

A Data-Informed Approach to Fighting Poverty

Policy Advocacy Poverty Tracker data demonstrates that government policy can permanently reduce poverty in NYC, if policymakers choose to act. In 2023, our findings informed our policy recommendations to lawmakers in Albany as we sought population-level changes in poverty rates, including strengthening refundable tax credits for low-income families, increasing compensation for child care providers, and raising the minimum wage for hourly workers.

Thought Leadership In 2023, we debuted a new “Deep Dive” event series that convenes policy experts, community leaders and advocates for in-depth discussions on the most pressing challenges facing NYC and affecting low-income New Yorkers. Poverty Tracker data is a catalyst for many of these topics. In 2023, Robin Hood’s Deep Dive series highlighted child poverty, the affordable housing crisis, the future of the child care workforce, and racial equity.


Poverty Tracker Reports

Our 2024 Annual Poverty Tracker Report revealed sobering realities about the current profile of poverty in NYC:

• 2 million New Yorkers live in poverty. • 1 in 4 children live in poverty. • New Yorkers living below the poverty line are not the only ones struggling to get by. In fact, 56% of all New Yorkers live on incomes below 200% of the poverty line.



A HOME FOR JAYLEN When Jaylen Fitzpatrick first received her housing voucher, she felt as though she won the lottery; and in a way, she had. In NYC, only 21% of eligible households who receive rental vouchers end up finding an apartment. Housing vouchers are a form of guaranteed government assistance that subsidizes a portion, or all, of the rent for voucher holders. Most homeless New Yorkers living in city shelters automatically qualify for a housing voucher after being in the shelter system for 90 days or more. Others, like Jaylen, may qualify for a voucher under certain circumstances. Jaylen, 21 years old, grew up in foster care. She never had a place of her own to call home. After coming of age, and just starting college, she found herself homeless and couch-surfing with friends or distant relatives. As a young adult immediately out of foster care, Jaylen qualified for a housing voucher. Once she got it, she thought the process of finding her own place to live would be straight- forward and guaranteed. But it wasn’t. Despite having a job and the voucher, navigating the complexities of an apartment search — proving that she could meet the often-stringent eligibility requirements for renters, finding an affordable apartment, being rebuffed by brokers, and dealing with latent discrimination from landlords who refuse to rent to housing voucher holders — all proved to be overwhelming. Still languishing seven months after first receiving her voucher, Robin Hood grantee Anthos|Home emerged as a beacon of support. Anthos|Home helps low-income New Yorkers like Jaylen find permanent homes despite the obstacles.

“The process with Anthos|Home went so smoothly,” Jaylen reflects. “They did all of the footwork for me. I did not feel stressed, not one time.” The organization’s dedication was evident as it addressed every request and ensured a seamless experience for Jaylen. “They had my back and made sure I was set up for success, helping me not only get in the door but also helping me set up my whole house, giving me advice and tips.” Founded in 2022, Anthos|Home is pioneering a customer-centric approach to streamlining every step of the rental process for homeless New Yorkers. It works with landlords and potential tenants to ensure that apartments don’t sit empty that eligible tenants can move in fast. For Jaylen, Anthos’ support extended beyond paperwork; they accompanied Jaylen to meet with landlords, providing reassurance and guidance. The company even offers an after-placement service that helps new renters learn to budget and manage a household, something Jaylen says, “I was never taught.” After working with Anthos|Home for three months, Jaylen went from being homeless to settling into her first home. With keys to her new home in hand, Jaylen’s long journey finally ended. Her story is now a testament to the positive impact of Robin Hood-supported initiatives dedicated to reshaping the housing landscape and providing a path to stable, affordable homes for NYC residents. We’re proud of Jaylen, and we are so excited to continue to partner with and fund Anthos|Home.


Founded in 2022, Anthos|Home is pioneering a customer-centric approach to streamlining every step of the rental process for homeless New Yorkers.



FROM CLIENT TO LEADER As any parent of growing boys knows, they eat — A LOT. But in NYC, where one in 10 families with children experience food hardship, Ramona Nivar, a resilient single mother of three sons, struggled to keep her children fed. the adaptability and commitment of WSCAH to serve the community’s evolving needs.

Motivated by gratitude and a desire to give back, Ramona began volunteering for WSCAH, serving families just like her own. Her journey took a remarkable turn as she ascended to become a WSCAH customer board member, where her firsthand experiences and deep connection to the community now influence the organization’s decisions, ensuring that the voices of those in need are heard. Ramona’s transition from pantry visitor to board member is a testament to the transformative impact that supportive organizations like WSCAH, with Robin Hood’s backing, can have on individuals and communities. In Ramona’s words, “Being a single mom that used to go to the food pantry at 86th Street, and now [being] part of the board directors, means a lot to me, and I feel proud of myself.” Ramona’s story is an inspiration, highlighting the importance of accessible support systems and the incredible potential for personal growth within the framework of community aid. Ramona doesn’t see asking for help as a sign of weakness but, like Robin Hood, views it as a courageous step toward a brighter future. Robin Hood has invested more than $8 million in WSCAH, helping thousands of families like Ramona’s over decades. Additionally, WSCAH recently opened a new state-of-the-art food storage and distribution hub in Washington Heights, further cementing its role as a major player in the emergency food ecosystem and a reliable resource to New Yorkers. We’re proud to support New Yorkers like Ramona and their families, and because of donors like you, our partnership with WSCAH continues to grow and thrive.

“I was going through a really difficult time, so my social worker suggested that I go to West Side Campaign Against Hunger for the food that my family needed,” said Ramona. The West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) is a deeply embedded community- based organization serving Harlem and Manhattan’s West Side. Its mission is to alleviate hunger by ensuring access with dignity to healthy food and supportive services. A longtime Robin Hood grantee, WSCAH provides emergency food — from hot meals to food pantries and grocery deliveries — to more than 27,000 families annually, delivering 3.9 million pounds of food to New Yorkers in need. Through WSCAH, Ramona discovered a lifeline; not only did she receive essential food, but she found a supportive community. Like everyone who walks through WSCAH’s front door, Ramona was paired with a caseworker who advises on benefits access and other resources and services. WSCAH has been a Robin Hood grantee since 2002, and thanks to the generosity of our donors, is now a leader and innovator in NYC’s emergen- cy food access and advocacy ecosystem. As a founding member of the Allies for Food Access Roundtable, WSCAH leads this consortium of emergency food providers (and other fellow Robin Hood grantees) to explore collective purchasing, a groundbreaking cost-saving approach to strengthen our city’s emergency food safety net and innovate distribution efforts, especially during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. One effort, the introduction of food delivery from the pantry to a client’s doorstep, was pivotal for Ramona and, to her, exemplified


Ramona’s transition from pantry visitor to board member is a testament to the transformative impact that supportive organizations like WSCAH, with Robin Hood’s backing, can have on individuals and communities.



50-State Campaign for Achievement Now A Better Balance A.I.R. NYC ACE Program at The City University of New York Achievement First Adelphi University Institute for Parenting Advocates for Children African Communities Together Ali Forney Center All Our Kin Amalgamated Foundation Amber Education Fund America on Tech Ancient Song Doula Services Anthos Home, Inc. Arab-American Family Support Center Ariva Ascend Learning Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) Association to Benefit Children Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project Autism Speaks Avenues for Justice Bank Street College of Education Barbershop Books, Inc. Beam Center Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Beginning with Children Foundation Benefits Data Trust Black Economic Alliance Foundation Black Women’s Blueprint, Inc. Borough of Manhattan Community College Bottom Line Bowery Residents’ Committee Breaking Ground Bronx Defenders BronxCare Health System BronxWorks Brookings Institution Brooklyn Legal Services Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Brooklyn Workforce Innovations Brownsville Partnership Building Skills NY CAMBA Cambiar Education CareerWise New York Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) Center for Employment Opportunities Center for Family Life in Sunset Park Center for Justice Innovation Center for New York City Affairs at the New School

Center for Public Research and Leadership Center for Urban Community Services Center for Urban Families Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Chances for Children - NY Change Impact Chapin Hall Center for Children Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Inc. Chhaya Community Development Corporation Child Mind Institute Children’s Aid

Children’s Defense Fund Children’s Health Fund

Children’s Museum of Manhattan Chinese American Planning Council Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York, Inc. Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York City Harvest Coalition for Community Schools Excellence Coalition for the Homeless CollegeBound Initiative Columbia University Population Research Center Commission on Economic Opportunity Committee for Hispanic Children and Families CommonLit Communities Resist Community Action for Safe Apartments Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County Community Service Society of New York Comprehensive Youth Development Computer Science for All Coney Island Prep Consortium for Policy Research in Education Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Cornell Tech Corporation for Supportive Housing Covenant House New York


CUNY Internship to Employment CUNY Office of Academic Affairs

CUNY Office of Careers and Industry Partnerships Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Day Care Council of New York Day One New York, Inc. Democracy Prep Public Schools Docs for Tots DREAM Drive Change Duke University Eagle Academy Foundation Early Care and Learning Council East Side House Settlement Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst

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