The Robin Hood Foundation: An Introduction

The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving

Today, we will finish up our week featuring The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving, Michael M. Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd, with a post explaining what the Robin Hood Foundation is and how it attempts to address the problem of poverty in New York City. (Don’t forget to enter our Goodreads book giveaway for a chance to win a FREE copy!)

The Robin Hood Foundation finds, funds, and partners with programs that have proven they are an effective way to combat poverty in New York City. Robin Hood employs a rigorous system of metrics and third-party evaluation to ensure grantee accountability. The board pays all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of donations goes directly to helping New Yorkers in need build better lives. The foundation also works closely with grantees to help make them more effective, ensuring that they will assist even more people.

The Robin Hood Foundation is one of the premier poverty-fighting nonprofit organizations focused on combating poverty in New York. This aim leads the foundation to support more than 200 programs in the city, ranging from education reform to stable housing, from food availability to literacy, and from health insurance and healthcare availability to disaster relief.

The directors and advisors to the Robin Hood Foundation are a diverse group. Managers and founders of capital management firms play a leading role, along with lawyers, investors, and prominent members of the media, such as Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodruff. The organization also includes The Daily Show’s John Stewart and music producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid. In all, the Robin Hood board of advisers and directors boast an acute sense of social issues and impressive money-management skills, ensuring that the Robin Hood Foundation provides the best possible results for each dollar donated.

Finding and selecting the most effective organizations to fund is a challenging task. How do you choose between programs that offer job training to the unemployed, to programs that focus on children’s health, to programs that help the homeless? To compare apples to oranges to plums, Robin Hood has developed a disciplined system for comparing the impacts of dissimilar programs by measuring them on this same scale: how much the program is going to increase future earning and income.

Grantees are also given help in program management, legal affairs, and real estate. Robin Hood knows that giving funds to enact change is not enough for a program to be successful. Grantees have a close relationship with program officers, who ensure that funds are used with equity. They also have access to pro bono legal advice as well as real estate space to conduct their work. Robin Hood ensures from beginning to end that grants go to the right people, for the right purpose, and are used as effectively as possible.

Visit the Robin Hood Foundation website for more information, and for information on donations, and read The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving to learn more about the Robin Hood approach to philanthropy.

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