ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NY, May 13, 2022 – The Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund (the Fund) has announced $150,000 in grants to 13 nonprofits working to benefit Roosevelt Island residents and enhance their quality of life.
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the State of New York to plan, design, develop, and maintain Roosevelt Island. RIOC asked The New York Community Trust (The Trust) to administer its public purpose grants this year and created the Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund in The Trust.
“We are proud to assist these dedicated nonprofits in their service to the Island,” said RIOC President and CEO Shelton Haynes. “The New York Community Trust’s expertise improved the grantmaking process this year and will help the grantees strengthen their operations for the future.”
The grants support a range of projects aiming to make life on Roosevelt Island more enjoyable and equitable: from enrichment classes for older adults and improving services for people with disabilities to supporting the island’s visitor center and putting on orchestral concerts.
The Fund previously provided a grant of $50,000 to Community Resource Exchange, one of the city’s most distinguished nonprofit consultant agencies, to provide a series of free nonprofit management workshops to grantees and other Roosevelt Island nonprofits. The workshops for nonprofit volunteers and leaders will share information about best practices in nonprofit management, governance, and fundraising.
The Trust aimed to simplify the application and reporting processes for nonprofits, while ensuring grants support important programs and services for Roosevelt Island residents–including educational opportunity, cultural enrichment, improved health, and a better environment.
The grant application process began in February, and closed on March 14.
The Trust convened an independent, five-person advisory committee made up of members of the Roosevelt Island community to review applications and make grant recommendations. The committee members live or work on the island; have nonprofit and/or public service experience; and reflect race, age, and gender diversity. Members were anonymous during the review period to keep the process fair and confidential. Their names and affiliations are:
- Carlos Chavez, manager, Roosevelt Island Library
- Katherine Teets Grimm, MD, pediatrician, Roosevelt Island Pediatrics, Mt. Sinai
- Jennifer Ifil-Ryan, global director of experience at Nike; former director of education at The High Line
- Sharon Pope-Marshall, executive director of CIVITAS; Community Board 8 member
- Carl Weisbrod, senior advisor at HR&A Advisors; former chairman of the New York City Planning Commission
In April, the committee met to discuss each application and to collectively make decisions about grantees and grant amounts. They prioritized organizations with a history of commitment and a proven track record of serving Roosevelt Island; that filled a critical gap in services to historically under-resourced communities (such as low-income populations, communities of color, older adults, and people with disabilities); that clearly articulated project outcomes and activities; and that aimed for long-term engagement with beneficiaries.
The grant recipients are:
The Carter Burden Network: $5,000 to provide culturally responsive services to Korean-speaking Roosevelt Island residents.
iDig2Learn: $12,000 to support a food and compost initiative, educational outreach, and a tree survey.
Island Kids: $20,000 to provide need-based scholarships to 18-20 children and families for the Island Kids Summer Camp.
Leonardo Suarez Paz's PIAZZOLLA 100: $1,000 for general operating support.
Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance: $20,000 to provide 40 need-based scholarships and work-study placements, and 15 internships.
PTA PS/IS 217: $12,000 to provide movement classes from the National Dance Institute for 160 school children ages 3 to 6.
Roosevelt Island Concerts: $10,000 to hold a chamber music and orchestral series on Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island Disabled Association: $20,000 to provide food pantry, field trip, and transportation services to people with disabilities on Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society: $5,000 to support the Roosevelt Island visitor center and outreach activities.
Roosevelt Island Living Library / Life Frames: $16,000 to provide gardening, nutritional, and wellness classes on Roosevelt Island, prioritizing older adults and people with disabilities.
Roosevelt Island Senior Association: $12,000 to provide weekend and evening classes for older adults.
Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association: $16,000 for the “Open Arms” community partnership and exhibition series.
Wildlife Freedom Foundation: $1,000 for general operating support.
About The New York Community Trust
The New York Community Trust is a public charity and New York City’s largest community foundation. It connects generous people and institutions with high-impact nonprofits making the city and its suburbs a better place for all. It builds stronger communities, influences public policy, foster innovation, improves lives, and protects our environment.
About the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation was created in 1984 by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation with a mission to plan, design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island.
About the Community Resource Exchange
Community Resource Exchange was founded in 1979. Each year, it helps hundreds of nonprofit clients with planning, risk assessment, financial sustainability, management, and board and leadership development.