COVID-19 Response | The New York Community Trust

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A student at one of the family shelters run by BronxWorks does her schoolwork online thanks to a grant from the Emergency Fund. Photo by Aaron Cipollina/BronxWorks

The Trust Emergency Fund

Help New York Recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic

With your help, our Emergency Fund is addressing both immediate challenges and efforts to re-establish the vibrancy of the city over the months ahead. As we have for close to 100 years, The New York Community Trust is aggregating the collective generosity of New Yorkers to help their neighbors—this time as they confront the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us.

Our neighbors are in need. You can help:

  • By credit card: fill out form at right
  • If you have a donor-advised fund in The Trust, use MyNYCT to make a contribution to the Emergency Fund, or contact Gay Young at, and she can transfer money from your fund
  • If you have a donor-advised fund elsewhere, suggest a grant to The New York Community Trust for its Emergency Fund
  • Under the “charitable IRA rollover” rules, donors aged 70-1/2 or older may direct up to $100,000 from an IRA (up to $200,000 for married couples) to the Emergency Response Fund. These transfers are not included in the donor’s taxable income and, where applicable, can count towards a donor’s required minimum distribution.  As contributions to donor-advised funds and private foundations are excluded from these rules, giving to the Emergency Fund is a great way to take advantage of this tax benefit while supporting local nonprofits. Please inform your IRA custodian bank that you’d like to make a qualified charitable distribution and they will give you the proper form (each financial institution has its own). You will need the following information from us:
    • Legal Name: Community Funds, Inc.
    • Address: 909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022
    • EIN #: 13-6089923
    • Purpose of Gift: Emergency Response Fund
    • Please also make sure they include your name and information when they send the distribution, or let us know when it is complete so we can properly thank you!


“During this COVID-19 pandemic, we feel strongly that we should adjust our giving to match the moment. Giving through The Trust allows us to fuel the work of front-line nonprofits.” – Stephen and Emily Cahnmann

Your generosity in action

The Trust draws upon its decades of experience and an expert grantmaking staff to identify nonprofits that are key to responding to this unprecedented chapter in the city’s history. Here are some of the recent grants from the Emergency Fund:

Remote learning for homeless students: Grants to BronxWorks, CAMBA, HELP Social Services, and Women In Need for the expansion and enhancement of the organizations’ homeless shelters so school-age children residing there can continue to receive educational support while staying within federal guidelines on social distancing.

Maintaining green spaces: A grant to the City Parks Foundation so it can maintain even more needed open spaces throughout the five boroughs through the summer. 

Supporting students with disabilities: A grant to INCLUDEnyc to provide support—given in English and Spanish—to children with disabilities and their families while classes are held both online and in person in the fall.

Helping foster children learn: A grant to the Jewish Child Care Association of New York so children at risk of being placed in foster homes can receive help for their education during remote learning.

Nonprofits adapting: So nonprofits can improve their services during the pandemic, a grant to Behavioral Ideas Lab so they can help them adapt to new conditions with behavioral science principles.


Training teen advocates: A grant to the Red Hook Initiative to expand their Anti-Violence Project, which trains young people in geographically isolated Red Hook to organize and advocate for social reform, including efforts to curb police violence and prevent evictions during COVID-19.

Helping front-line staff with trauma: A grant to Vibrant Emotional Health to design and carry out virtual mental health workshops for workers at social service nonprofits. 

Saving arts education: Because public schools’ arts education is threatened by budget cuts and the move to remote learning, we have given grants to a unique partnership of the following nonprofits to create online curricula for schools: 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, Fund for Public Schools, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Studio in a School.

Reopening businesses and nonprofits: A grant to the Van Alen Institute so businesses and nonprofits servicing low-income communities can make necessary adjustments to continue their reopening in light of post-pandemic requirements.

Monitoring COVID-19 relief efforts: A grant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities so they can monitor and influence fiscal relief for low-income New Yorkers struggling during the pandemic.

Thank you

We are grateful to the more than 200 individuals, foundations, and corporations that have already stepped forward to help. Donors include: AllianceBernstein, Energy Impact Partners, Jane Mead Timken, Leo Model Fund, Marietta & Andrew Romay Foundation, the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, the New Yorker Festival, the van Hengel Family Fund, and White Cube, Inc.