NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Youth INC announced the distribution of $1 million in grants to its nonprofit partners as part of its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Youth INC is a venture philanthropy organization started 26 years ago by founder, Steve Orr. Steve explained, “My vision was to help build the fundraising muscle and operational strength of local grassroots youth development organizations because they are best positioned to help the young people living in under-resourced communities thrive.”
Since the onset of the public health crisis, Youth INC’s partners have been working around the clock to pivot to a virtual environment, stay connected to their young people, support them and their families with basic needs like food, and mitigate the learning gaps the crisis has amplified. Having been involved for the past 25 years, Youth INC National Advisory Board Member Ted Virtue, founder of MidOcean Partners, stated, “This is the most important year in our history, and there has never been a greater need for Youth INC’s services.” He added, “We stepped up to help our partners by raising $1M and issuing general operating support grants as fast as we could to help our partners keep their virtual doors open.”
Since inception, Youth INC has raised over $100M to accelerate over 180 nonprofits in NYC. Guggenheim Partners Executive Chairman and Youth INC National Advisory Board Member Alan Schwartz described the situation in NYC in 2020 as “a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ economy with the pandemic devasting certain communities while others are safely working from home.” He stated, “I am very proud of how we pivoted and raised $1M to help those who need our support more than ever. Organizations like Youth INC, which have a keen line of sight into the biggest challenges nonprofits face and how to address them, are really important to support. With an $11 return for every $1 invested, that means our $100M+ raised since inception has had over $1B of impact!”
The Aspen Institute estimates that investing in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) of young people generates an 11-times return. As Roger Ferguson, 2020 Recipient of the John C. Whitehead Leadership Award noted in his acceptance speech at Youth INC’s 26th Annual Celebration ‘Un-Gala’ in November, the keys to his success in life have been ‘honesty, optimism and resilience.’ These qualities are three of the key SEL capacities that Youth INC’s nonprofit partners help cultivate in the more than 300,000 young people they serve each year.
Increasing access to opportunities to develop the critical SEL skills required for success in life is core to Youth INC’s mission. “Youth INC is committed to standing alongside our nonprofit partners and pushing through the longstanding barriers highlighted by the pandemic that prevent all New York City youth from thriving.” said Rehana Farrell, Youth INC Executive Director.
Youth INC Board Co-President, Kathleen McCabe noted, “We always say we couldn't do this work without our caring community of supporters, which was essential to our success this year. We were thrilled to count so many new and increased donors this year.” She added, “The neighborhoods in which our nonprofit partners operate will feel the ramifications of the pandemic long after the immediate crisis ends, and we are committed to help for the long haul.”
Beyond the Response and Recovery Fund, Youth INC pivoted its programs to provide capacity-building resources on digital transformation for its partners, from programing to events to keeping youth safe online. Youth INC also offered assistance in managing remote teams, crisis communications, and financial analysis and contingency planning. To date, Youth INC has recruited over 150 corporate volunteers to fuel these efforts and is also providing bespoke consulting through a network of pro bono experts.
Major investors in Youth INC’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund include: The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Nuveen, Neeti Methukunta & Mahesh Saireddy, Roger Ferguson & Annette Nazareth, Rhonda & Stratton Heath, Barbara Marcin, Eurazeo, Goldman Sachs, PJT Partners, CVC Capital Partners, AlixPartners, Apollo Global Management, Nasdaq, L.E.K. Consulting, Capital Group, William Blair, GCM Grosvenor, Mike Perry, Mark DiMilia, Kathleen McCabe, Emmett McCann, Steve Orr, Dhan Pai, Dan Pine, Rick Schifter, Alan Schwartz, Adrianne Shapira, Wray Thorn, Ted Virtue, Evan Wildstein, Youth INC’s Young Professionals Board and many others.
Feedback from Youth INC’s nonprofit partners has been overwhelmingly positive:
“We continue to be humbled by Youth INC's support of our organization. The success of Only Make Believe is due in large part to Youth INC's commitment to supporting diverse experiences for the youth of New York City and your investment into the professional development of nonprofit organizations! Youth INC has been such a guiding force in our staff and program development and a reassuring partner during this unprecedented time.”
Tamela Aldridge, Executive Director, Only Make Believe
“It's because of supporters like Youth INC that our organization can give students the opportunity to learn and grow in a positive, nurturing environment. Thank you for providing so much support via coaching and virtual learning opportunities over the past few months. All of these things have really helped the Fiver Children's Foundation to be sustainable at this difficult time!”
Christie Ko, Executive Director, Fiver Children’s Foundation
“We are extremely grateful to staff of Youth INC for their continuous support of our work with youth and their families and serving as a resource to Ifetayo beyond just the dollars. We are all witness to a rare moment in history: a dual convergence of life changing global issues that have rocked society, but especially Black people to the core. Ifetayo’s authentic values allow us to be singularly positioned to help guide and reassure through this moment, building stronger bonds based on truth and a uniquely African centered perspective. We consider Youth INC to be a #SuperPartner and look forward to continuing to partner and collaborate as we create a lasting and impactful change in our shared world!”
Naima Oyo, Executive Director, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Inc.
“We are so grateful for Youth INC’s consistent support over the years. We value your advocacy and partnership. It is particularly during these unparalleled times that our families rely heavily on the power of an extended community to come through in meaningful ways. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Literacy has never been more critical. I'm so thankful you are one of our key partners in this mission.”
Shari Levine, Executive Director, Literacy INC
Youth INC’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grant Recipients include:
826NYC; A Fair Shake for Youth; Adoptive & Foster Family Coalition of New York; America SCORES New York; America On Tech; Apex for Youth; Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP); Beam Center; Beat the Streets, NYC; Behind the Book; Bloomingdale Family Program; Brooklyn Conservatory of Music; Change for Kids; Chess-in-the-Schools; Christodora; City Growers; Community Word Project; Cornelia Connelly Center; Council for Unity; Dancewave; Drama Club; Extreme Kids & Crew; FAN4Kids; Fiver Children’s Foundation; Fresh Youth Initiatives; Futures and Options; GallopNYC; George Jackson Academy; Girl Be Heard Institute; Girls Write Now; Global Kids; Hands in 4 Youth; Hour Children; Hudson River Community Sailing; I Challenge Myself; Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy; Imani House; INCLUDEnyc; Kids Creative; Kings County Tennis League; LEAP; Literacy, Inc. (LINC); Minds Matter NYC; NYC First; Only Make Believe; Opening Act; ParentChild+; Play Rugby USA; PowerPlay NYC; Project Morry; Read Ahead; Roads to Success; Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability (RISE); Rocking The Boat; St. Barnabus High School; Serious Fun; South Bronx United; St. Ignatius School; STEM From Dance; Story Pirates; Street Squash; TADA! Theatre & Dance Alliance; Tech Kids Unlimited; The Brooklyn Music School; The Eagle Academy Foundation; The New York Center for Children; The Reading Team; Trail Blazer Camps; viBe Theater Experience; Willie Mae Rock Camp; Writopia Lab; You Gotta Believe!; Youth Action YouthBuild; Youth Represent.