New York Community Trust Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: Funds from the New York Community Trust reach disease-related causes through various routes, with most grantees being in the state of New York. The foundation's disease-related funding is dispersed broadly, but has tended to focus on HIV/AIDS, and cancer. 

IP TAKE: If you're located in New York, you've got a big advantage over other potential grantees — but if not, don't count yourself out. The trust gives broadly to a number of different diseases, and it disperses tons of small-bore grants, even outside the Empire State.

KEY INFO: The New York Community Trust is different from many foundations, as it works with donors to help them disperse their money. With assets of around$2.4 billion, the trust has a lot to give, and although 90 percent of its funding stays within New York State, the remaining 10% (about $1 million annually) is still a big pot. It's most useful to examine the trust's giving separately for inside and outside its home state.

Although 90 percent of the trust's money stays in New York, only 72 percent of grants do. That discrepancy indicates that its New York gifts are bigger than those to organizations outside the state. Still, amounts were relatively small. Over the past decade, only three grants have breached the million-dollar mark. 

It's hard to pin down the trust's interest areas, and best to take a look at its current RFPs to evaluate which causes it will give to next. Historically, it gives a lot to cancer causes and other big-name diseases such as AIDS, Parkinson's, coronary, cystic fibrosis, and epilepsy. But you'll also find relatively frequent grants to lesser-known diseases like tinnitus and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. The trust also focuses on blindness and visual disabilities, which include many vision-related diseases.

Disease-related grants generally fall into the trust's Health and People with Special Needs program, which includes AIDS and HIV; Blindness and Visual Disabilities; and Health Services, Systems, and Policy. Non-research funding for AIDS and HIV goes to advocacy, the funding of services, and education and prevention efforts. For Blindness and Visual Disabilities, grantees work to expand programs that identify and provide early treatment for vision problems. And for Health Services, Systems, and Policy, the trust gives grants to initiatives that provide health screening, early intervention, and general services to needy people.

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