The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving
At Robin Hood we pride ourselves on funding the most effective programs that have the biggest impact on reducing poverty in New York City. However, poverty is not a straight forward problem and combating it requires attention on multiple fronts such as education, healthcare and jobs. The challenge lies in evaluating the potential impact of dissimilar programs. How do you compare apples to oranges to plums?
Over the past decade our chief program officer Michael Weinstein has developed a disciplined metrics-based system that addresses the challenges non-profits face in determining the impact of their efforts. This system, referred to as “relentless monetization,” has helped Robin Hood become one of the most effective poverty-fighting organizations around.
To help other nonprofit organizations and donors achieve the greatest impact from each philanthropic dollar, Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd—long-time consultant to Robin Hood— have written The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving, which provides real world examples that demonstrate the benefits of this disciplined approach.
Purchase the book online.
Today program officers stopped by the new Urban Pathways supportive housing development, Hallet’s Cove, home to 47 residents. The individuals living here were formally homeless and are recovering from mental illness.
An Uncommon Solution to Hunger
Almost everyone who lives in New York City has experienced a traumatic trip to the grocery store. Crowds of locals and tourists alike, all pushing together, while trying to find the person holding the “end of line forms here” sign. It’s enough to make anyone have a nervous breakdown.
The folks at New York Common Pantry (formerly known as Yorkville Common Pantry) have found a way to remove some of the stress when grocery shopping for the folks who rely on the pantry for emergency food. By integrating technology into the process, NYCP is more efficient and therefore helps more of our neighbors in need. Last week we spent the day helping staff and volunteers at NYCP fulfill pantry orders, package food and serve hot meals to more than 220 individuals. This is an average day for the pantry.
Every week, Wednesday through Saturday, NYCP helps thousands of individuals and families (known as pantry members) choose diverse and nutritionally balanced groceries. After registering for the program, pantry members can order their food in advance through NYCP’s website or on-site by using wireless touch-screen tablets with the help of a volunteer. As soon as the order is submitted, volunteers begin packing each bag accordingly and by the time the member heads up to the pantry, the bags are ready to go.
The amount of food that members can order is based on family size and the items listed on the screen are only those currently in stock. By synching their inventory and ordering systems, NYCP ensures that members get food they like and nothing is wasted. Not only does this system improve the overall experience for their members, but it also allows NYCP staff to track and monitor the people coming in the door and the food going out.
In 2012, NYCP served nearly two million meals to 8,000 families and hot meals to more than 10,000 kitchen guests. Through Single Stop services, NYCP helped connect poor families to nearly $2 million in benefits beyond food.
To learn more about volunteering with NYCP, please visit their website: http://www.nycommonpantry.org/volunteer.html
After the #RHbenefit last night our pledge team stayed late at the office to manage all the accounting. Our guests donated an outstanding $80.7 million to help their New York neighbors!! THANK YOU.
A great sight upon exit from the #RHbenefit. Thanks to all for fighting poverty #likeaNewYorker!!
Honored to have grads from #rhfunded schools with us at the #RHbenefit!!
Tonight the Empire State Building shines green for the #RHbenefit. We are excited to have Mary J. Blige, Bono, Elton John and more. Together we can fight poverty #likeaNewYorker!!
Margaret Abigail, a baby giraffe calf, at the Bronx zoo, loves her mother #likeaNewYorker. Happy Mother’s day too all the moms!
Do you window shop #likeaNewYorker? Take our #likeaNewYorker quiz!
Do you play #likeaNewYorker? Let us know how you live #likeaNewYorker, and take our quiz: bit.ly/rhnyer.