President’s Report/Staff Reflections
The theme of this season in philanthropy seems to be, well, themes—grand themes, global themes, mega themes. Entrepreneurship. Climate Change. Global Health. The latest example surfaced late last year when Darren Walker, the President of the Ford Foundation, announced that henceforth all of Ford’s grants would fit under the umbrella of fighting “Inequality.” Who knows whether the trend will turn out to be good or bad.....What interests me is how unique The Pinkerton Foundation is in the world of philanthropy, and how our “where-the-rubber-meets-the road” approach—and not a grand abstraction—shapes every decision we make about how best to serve the disadvantaged young people of New York City.
By any measure 2014 was the most active year in The Pinkerton Foundation’s 49 year history of supporting programs for the young people of New York City. During the year, the Pinkerton board approved new and renewal grants to 295 youth-serving organizations—62 of them never funded by Pinkerton before—and distributed a total of $35.1 million. In the process, we launched important new strategic initiatives, refined several existing ones and, far more important, helped our grantees deliver innovative, high quality, in some cases transformative services to more at-risk and disadvantaged young people than ever before.
In an effort to go beyond simply reporting on dollars and details, President Rick Smith asked members of the Pinkerton staff to reflect on a moment, great or small, during the year that reminded them why they love the work we do.
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