Transforming Our Impact
Investing in Non-Profit Leaders of Color
4 THE POWER FUND
THE POWER FUND 5
Robin Hood believes that one’s starting point in life should not define where you end up. Every New Yorker deserves a fair shot. But to make that a reality, 35 years of experience has taught us that we need to keep proximity to the work, to the people, and communities we serve. Across the city, Black, Latinx, and Asian New Yorkers are roughly twice as likely to live in poverty compared to white New Yorkers 1 . Through their proximity and lived experiences, Power Fund Leaders are implementing unique solutions borne out of the communities they serve. In short, Power Fund Leaders are social entrepreneurs and innovators. As a result of The Power Fund , we are forging new relation- ships and connections. We are working in communities that were once previously underrepresented in our grant- making portfolios and expanding the types of services we support to address the various facets of poverty. We’ve cultivated a stronger ecosystem of poverty-fighting organi- zations by reaching both the leaders of today at more established organizations and the leaders of tomorrow at newer and smaller nonprofits. The Power Fund enables Robin Hood to be stronger, more adaptable, and even more effective. Over an 18-month period, Robin Hood made nearly $11 million in new investments to 23 leaders of color at 22 organizations and granted more than $750,000 in capacity-strengthening services through our Management Assistance program. Additionally, our Management Assistance’s board placement team facilitated the placement of new members to the board of directors at 7 Power Fund organizations. SINCE 2020, ROBIN HOOD’S GRANTS TO ORGANIZATIONS LED BY PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE UP BY 60% Since Robin Hood launched the Power Fund, the number of grants and amount of funding we give to organizations
led by people of color has risen significantly. In July, 2020, about 30% of our total grants and 20% of total dollars went to leaders of color. Today, organizations led by people of color constitute 48% percent of both our total grants and total grant dollars awarded. That increase includes grants made with Power Fund dollars as well as other grants we’ve made, and also reflects changes in the field, as a new, more diverse generation of leaders take on executive roles in the non- profit sector. Of the new grants made through the Power Fund, Robin Hood has renewed 80% of them – because the organiza- tions delivered the intended results. That renewal rate is higher than Robin Hood’s renewal rate as a whole. And it reinforces for us the premise of the Power Fund – that holding ourselves accountable to finding and funding effective leaders of color does not compromise standards for grantmaking but is entirely consistent with our commitment to achieving a measurable impact on poverty. WE’RE MAKING MEANINGFUL INVESTMENTS AND REACHING NEW COMMUNITIES The average Power Fund investment is about $450,000 with nearly 70% of the funding going towards general operating support. The inaugural cohort ranged from organizations at earlier stages of development with a grassroots focus to larger and more established nonprofits. These partnerships helped us expand our reach into parts of the city like Red Hook, Coney Island and Jackson Heights, Queens where we previously had little to no footprint – and they enabled us to deepen our relationships with populations of New Yorkers experiencing poverty such as African, South Asian, and Indo-Caribbean immigrant communities, and workers in the gig economy.
THE POWER FUND IS TRANSFORMING OUR IMPACT
1 Robin Hood Poverty Tracker. ‘Winter 2023 Annual: The State of Poverty and Disadvantage in New York City, Vol. 5.
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