The New York Community Trust celebrates 100 years of giving

The organization now has a new campaign and branding that will honor its centennial year mark.

Amy Freitag, president of The New York Community Trust

Amy Freitag, president of The New York Community Trust Image courtesy of The New York Community Trust.

The New York Community Trust, New York’s largest community foundation, celebrates 100 years of giving and philanthropic endeavors with new branding (including a new logo and website) to signify its many years of impact while integrating its Long Island and Westchester regional offices.

The Trust started in 1924 with the goal of giving to nonprofits that help New York City thrive and has since awarded a total of $5.7 billion from 1924 to 2023. Every year, The Trust distributes more than $200 million in grants to organizations through its open request for proposals process that is open year-round. 

From the beginning, the Trust has been tackling issues such as environmental and economic justice, access to the arts, and LGBTQ+ rights. It has been funding groundbreaking AIDS research, the redevelopment of Governors Island, and rapid response initiatives during crises, such as COVID-19. The Trust also created the first-ever donor-advised fund, which impacted the landscape of philanthropy. 

“The community foundation has been built over 100 years by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers,” said Amy Freitag, president of The New York Community Trust.

“We are literally made up of hundreds, actually thousands of individual funds, each created by a different New Yorker with their own vision and goals for the city and region,” Freitag continued. “So for us, I like to refer to us as sort of this crazy quilt of generosity that's been stitched together by individual funds, individual patches over 100 years. So there are literally moments where we're connecting someone who made a gift to us in the 1920s with someone trying to solve a problem today.”

According to Freitag, a great example of giving that has lasted throughout the years is actor David Warfield’s support in the 1920’s. Warfield, who experienced vision loss, made a financial gift to help others experiencing vision loss. Today, the Trust is one of the largest contributors to disability causes. 

As New York City continues to tackle issues, such as the migrant crisis, housing shortages, and mental health, Freitag said the Trust will remain a vital resource to organizations and fill the gaps in funding where the city is not able to.