What We Believe – About the Foundation

We focus on programs in New York City. But since one out of every 300 Americans is a New York public school student today, we are mindful that these programs often have national importance.

We respect the organizations we support and largely rely on them to develop and carry out their programs. We understand that success often takes time.

We thoughtfully consider a few central questions before making or renewing a grant: Are the funds we provide being used expressly for the reasons requested? How do the young participants benefit from the programs we support? Are those benefits worthy of the expenses involved?

When we find a program that works, we like to share that knowledge with others in the field and to support efforts to take good ideas to scale.

We believe in academic research, but we leave its support largely to others. We are open, however, to occasionally supporting community-based “laboratory” programs designed to validate promising theories, test new ones or help grantees monitor the efficacy of their programs.

We make a small number of capital-grants, but only to organizations we know well and only for projects that will improve the quality or extend the reach of programs we believe in.

We recognize that not every initiative succeeds, but we applaud a spirit of innovation and believe that failure often teaches important lessons.

We take pride in our ability to quickly fill an unexpected need or explore a promising new idea.