NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund is a collaboration of individual New Yorkers who pool modest contributions to impact social issues.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, poverty, environment, health, youth, arts

IP TAKE:  VPF only provides one grant each year and focuses on emerging under-funded and under-recognized New York City nonprofits that embody an entrepreneurial spirit.

PROFILE: Founded in 2008, the NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund (VPF) is a group of investors whose “core principal is the power of collective effort.” VPF provides local nonprofit groups with cash, contacts, and resources to build capacity.

VPF seeks investors who are willing to give at least $1 per day, a minimum of $365 per year. Some past grantees include Concrete Safaris, an East Harlem youth health startup, Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective, a resource for disadvantaged young mothers, Full Circle Education, a public school tutoring program, 596 Acres, a land access advocacy nonprofit. Poverty, education, and the environment are common grantmaking focus areas.

Although donor contributions vary each year, VPF typically offers grants between $5,000 to $10, 000, and its donors volunteer with grantees on a pro bono basis. All grants are unrestricted, and individual investors are encouraged to actively participate with grantees. VPF is organized like a funder training program, which aids fledgling philanthropists gain experience through working on an investor team and volunteering for grantee projects. Unlike individual or family-based philanthropies, this is a community effort of individuals who want to achieve a greater impact than they could on their own.

VPF has two key committees, each devoted to one half of the foundation’s resources: cash and capacity. The Grants Committee oversees the selection of grantees for the member ballot each year, and the Project Management Committee coordinates the foundation’s pro bono work on behalf of the grantee.  Contact the committees at grants@nycvpf.org and projectmanagement@nycvpf.org.

For more information, contact VPF leadership at info@nycvpf.org or sign up for the fund mailing list.

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