Current Initiatives 

Girls IGNITE! Grantmaking
The Foundation’s Girls IGNITE! Grantmaking is a youth grantmaking program aimed at engaging, educating and empowering economically, racially and culturally diverse self-identified girls and gender-fluid youth through philanthropic education and giving. The program activates a new generation of philanthropists by: promoting an awareness of social justice issues; developing leadership and team-building skills; and educating youth about philanthropy and engaging them hands-on grantmaking.

In December 2016, The New York Women’s Foundation launched a $1 million initiative in response to changes in the national political landscape and the impact of federal-level policy changes on women and other disadvantaged communities. Through this initiative, The Foundation increased its investment in strategies that support immigrant rights, political empowerment and women’s engagement and leadership in an informed and vibrant democratic process. In particular, this strategy focuses on immigrant populations, LGBTQI, and communities of color who are being directly impacted by current federal policy changes. As part of Resilience NYC, The Foundation launched its Civic Engagement grantmaking strategy in 2017 to support community-based organizations that are increasing women’s engagement and leadership in our democracy.

Past Initiatives, Funds, and Partnerships 

The Hildegard Fund
The Hildegard Fund at The New York Women’s Foundation was launched in 2015 with the purpose of funding organizations engaged in movement-building strategies and systems change initiatives in a new economy that works for all.  The Foundation leveraged grant-making, public education, and advocacy to amplify women’s voices in a newly evolving economy. In doing this work, we sought to empower women as leaders, lift up their voices to architect an economy that enabled everyone to thrive. Funding areas included: 1) Women’s Leadership; 2) Faith-Based Organizing towards a New Economy; and 3) New Economy Special Initiatives.

Hurricane Sandy Response and Recovery Fund 

The New York Women’s Foundation provided emergency funding to community organizations responding to the devastation caused by the storm. While emergency funding is necessary for relief, sustained funding is essential for long-term recovery, to ensure that the obstacles created and exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy do not continue the cycle of inequity in New York City. The funding initiative supports organizations in the heaviest-hit neighborhoods as they continue to guide, supplement, and leverage city-wide and national recovery support.

Click here to read our report about the initiative.  

RISE-NYC! (Respond, Inspire, Solve, Engage) 

In 2009, driven by our commitment to promote the long-term economic security of New York City’s women and families and in response to their increased need during the Great Recession, The Foundation boldly launched RISE-NYC! which mobilized financial and human resources to:

Increase economic security using microenterprise financing, training and small business development.

Increase access to higher paying jobs in high-growth, high-demand sectors such as technology, healthcare, and childcare, as well as nontraditional fields, such as construction.

Increase family stability through access to work and income supports such as child care, after-school programs, and government benefits; and providing urgent, culturally sensitive crisis intervention services.

Partnership for Women’s Prosperity 

The New York Women’s Foundation was a member of the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP), a national partnership with five other women’s funds. PWP strengthens opportunities for economic security for low-income women facing high numbers of obstacles in their pursuit of living wage employment and other income generation opportunities. our funding through PWP supported our work in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Building off previous Foundation investments, the work of these programs spanned strategies of: 1) education, training, and job placement; 2) business development; 3) asset building; and 4) wrap-around supports and services to comprehensively address women’s unique assets and needs, such as language ability, education level, status as caregivers, and histories of criminal justice involvement, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence.

Collectively they:

Increased the number of low-income underinvested women served by these programs.

Broadened these programs’ reach to include the increasingly diverse nature of these neighborhoods.

Increased opportunities for career advancement that leads to more sustainable living wages and middle-skill employment in key high growth industries such as health care administration, technology, construction, child care, and the culinary industry.

PWP was supported by the Walmart Foundation.