Our Impact

We leverage partnerships across corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors to support low-income New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Together, we're creating a platform for possibility. Take a look at our impact in 2015.

ReadNYC

ReadNYC is United Way of New York City's collective impact initiative to improve grade-level reading by third grade for children living in some of our City’s most-challenged communities.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

94 Kindergarten–2nd grade students participated in a five-week summer program in partnership with East Side House Settlement and Read Alliance (95% increased their reading level, 43% by at least one academic year, and 35% read at or above grade level by the end of the five-week program).

316 Kindergarten–2nd grade students received literacy tutoring from Read Alliance during the 2014–15 school year (97% increased their reading level, 55% by at least one academic year, and 25% read at or above grade level by the end of the program).

100% engagement from six ReadNYC school principals in the Instructional Leadership Professional Learning Community in partnership with Safir & Associates.

758 Pre-Kindergarten–5th grade students received dental screenings in partnership with Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures—every student was screened by a dental professional and any student with severe or emergency dental problems received follow-up services with a dental provider.

14 parents completed a six-week English as a Second Language program in partnership with Mercy Center (93% of parents who finished the program made language gains).

825 ReadNYC families, Mott Haven residents, and 16 community-based organizations, received direct services or capacity building support to increase financial empowerment. Services included tax preparation assistance, benefits screening, and financial counseling conducted in partnership with the Financial Clinic, Ariva, and BronxWorks.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 825 returns were filed for households with an average income of $16,000 / year
  • $589,379 in total refunds
  • 224 participants received an Earned Income Tax Credit, totaling $499,139
  • 49 staff were trained as coaches

English Language Arts Results for Mott Haven ReadNYC Schools

ReadNYC Chart

Our ReadNYC schools in Mott Haven have made significant progress. These English Language Arts (ELA) results speak to UWNYC’s instructional leadership work across the six schools.

Our coaching work, which began in the 2014–15 school year, has positively impacted this student achievement growth and improved teacher and school leadership capacity. Our work has supported the school leaders’ focus on the achievement gap and on strengthening their instructional leadership skills.

Of importance, we have worked with school leaders and their teacher leadership teams to define equity, to define and implement a solution to an equity challenge, and to focus on improving rigor in classroom teaching and learning practices through participation in professional learning communities.

EducationNYC

EducateNYC, now in its second year, is UWNYC’s community schools initiative. The strategy brings supports and services that are needed to remove barriers and help students succeed in school.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

UWNYC’s community schools initiative recently completed its launch year of serving elementary, middle, and high school students and their families. Key areas of implementation included:

  • Pre-Implementation: Designed and lead the process for selecting and matching community-based organizations to our partner schools
  • Implementation: Programmatic oversight, creation of governance structure, completion of asset and needs assessments, fiscal management, and security clearance

Attendance is a key component of EducateNYC that helps students stay on track and succeed in school. Within the first six months of the community schools initiative, average daily attendance increased for 6,882 elementary students attending 13 schools, improving students more time for learning during the critical early years.

In its first year, the initiative served over 20,000 students at 45 schools and engaged the services of 26 community-based partner organizations. Services were provided in:

  • 14 elementary schools, serving over 6,300 students
  • 12 middle schools, serving over 4,000 students
  • 19 high schools, serving over 9,500 students

All 45 schools received the following services and assistance:

  • Asset and needs assessments
  • Bi-yearly capacity-building workshops, site visits, webinars, and coaching
  • Institutionalized shared leadership and decision-making through a special strategy leadership team made up of the principal, community school director, United Federation of Teachers representative, parent representative, and students
  • Creation of communication structures to address priorities
  • Co-created work plans that addressed school and community needs and assets
  • Budget and report submissions that are aligned to the work plan and vision
  • Newly established communication and approval structures
  • End-of-year Community School Forums for ongoing collaboration with members of the community, including parent leaders, school-based organizations, and partnering organizations.
FeedNYC

FeedNYC is UWNYC's strategy to strengthen the capacity of emergency food providers to distribute healthy food to underserved neighborhoods in New York City.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

Emergency Food Programs (EFP): Each EFP receives funding to purchase nutritious foods, in alignment with state nutrition standards, and is required to spend 15% of their food grant on fresh produce. FeedNYC provided over $6.7 million in food support grants to 330 emergency food programs (EFPs) in FY15. These funds contributed to more than 55 million meals served to in-need New Yorkers across the City.

Annually, UWNYC runs 12-15 workshops that train over 250 representatives from emergency food program sites in food protection, pantry management, and cooking with fresh produce to improve the health and nutrition status of people needing food assistance.

Local Produce Link: In partnership with Just Food, FeedNYC operates Local Produce Link, a farm to food pantry program. In FY15, 8 small-scale farmers received $414,168 and delivered approximately 280,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to 48 food pantries across NYC serving over 242,950 people across the city.

Operations Support Grants: Grants cover program operating costs such as rent, utilities, staff, paper goods, and transportation. The average grant size is approximately $2,500 per EFP. For FY15, $950,000 in operation support grants was issued to 334 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 2,466 people per month.

Capital Equipment Grants: FeedNYC provides capital equipment grants to purchase refrigerators, freezers, shelving and other equipment to ensure funded programs are able to store and distribute food safely. Approximately $110,335 worth of equipment was purchased in FY15 for 66 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 2,424 people per month.

Client Choice: FeedNYC provides assistance for food pantries that want to transition to a system of food pantry distribution that allows guests to select their own food instead of receiving a pre-packed bag of food. Approximately $33,000 worth of equipment was purchased in FY15 for 10 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 1,300 people per month.

Seed Grants for Urban Farming: Seed Grant funds are targeted at urban farming initiative in NYC to transform unused land to vital, food producing spaces. In FY15, United Community Center received $30,000 to develop an urban farm at the Pink Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development located in East New York, Brooklyn. 500 pounds of produce were grown and distributed to neighborhood residents with over 350 community members engaging in farming through volunteerism and attendance at nutrition workshops.

WorkNYC

WorkNYC connects families with critical resources essential to self-sufficiency, including benefits access, financial empowerment, and workforce development opportunities.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) provides supplemental funds to existing emergency food and shelter programs to assist low-income New Yorkers to prevent hunger, preserve housing, provide shelter, and support their basic energy needs. EFSP organizations are required to have 15% of their food allotment of fresh and/or frozen vegetables.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 169 organizations supported
  • 3,850 individuals received emergency rental assistance totaling $1,360,652
  • 607 individuals received utility assistance totaling $30,991
  • 14,198 individuals were provided emergency hotline referrals throughout the five boroughs

Food Support Connections (FSC) is a community-based Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) aimed at providing screening, application, and enrollment assistance services for the hardest to reach low-income individuals and families across all five boroughs of New York City. UWNYC received a total of $900,000 in funding from Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 42,744 individuals screened for SNAP benefits
  • 30,485 individuals filed for SNAP applications
  • 11,134 individuals enrolled in SNAP benefits

Financial Empowerment is a joint collaboration with The Financial Clinic, Ariva, and BronxWorks. The pilot offered financial stability services, including: tax preparation, financial coaching, and banking assistance, as well as organizational capacity building, to nonprofits and residents of the South Bronx.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 825 residents of Mott Haven and Hunts Point served (229% above target)
  • Average increase of $827 in savings for participants (275% above target)
StrengthenNYC

StrengthenNYC is UWNYC’s capacity building strategy, providing resources and expertise that deliver high-quality outcomes, ensuring the success of partner community-based organizations.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

United Way of New York City’s BoardServeNYC Program trains individuals to become effective board members and connects them to local nonprofits interested in strengthening their boards.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 64 board members, including executive directors, received customized coaching
  • 14 people were accepted into the BoardServeNYC program
  • 146 board candidates—primarily from the corporate world—received training
  • 67 nonprofit boards trained in good governance
  • 2 newly-trained board members placed. We have also increased the number of trained board members through day-long trainings for candidates

Leadership Development: In partnership with American Express and the Center for Creative Leadership, UWNYC sent a New York City-based cohort of 88 community-based organizations and partners to an intensive week-long leadership development training with the American Express Leadership Academy. This opportunity builds the capacity of these organizations, and sets UWNYC up for more effective relationships with essential partners in all five boroughs. The investment is worth more than $700,000.

Change Capital Fund, a collaborative of funders, fights poverty by investing in the development of new, data-driven strategies created by sophisticated community organizations. United Way of New York City is one of the founding organizations. Change Capital Fund provides four nonprofit organizations (Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Fifth Avenue Committee, New Settlement Apartments, and St. Nick’s Alliance) with $1 million each and technical assistance over four years to develop new strategies and prove that they work. The organizations’ strategies integrate services that focus on people and place and use data to increase impact.

All

ReadNYC

ReadNYC is United Way of New York City's collective impact initiative to improve grade-level reading by third grade for children living in some of our City’s most-challenged communities.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

94 Kindergarten–2nd grade students participated in a five-week summer program in partnership with East Side House Settlement and Read Alliance (95% increased their reading level, 43% by at least one academic year, and 35% read at or above grade level by the end of the five-week program).

316 Kindergarten–2nd grade students received literacy tutoring from Read Alliance during the 2014–15 school year (97% increased their reading level, 55% by at least one academic year, and 25% read at or above grade level by the end of the program).

100% engagement from six ReadNYC school principals in the Instructional Leadership Professional Learning Community in partnership with Safir & Associates.

758 Pre-Kindergarten–5th grade students received dental screenings in partnership with Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures—every student was screened by a dental professional and any student with severe or emergency dental problems received follow-up services with a dental provider.

14 parents completed a six-week English as a Second Language program in partnership with Mercy Center (93% of parents who finished the program made language gains).

825 ReadNYC families, Mott Haven residents, and 16 community-based organizations, received direct services or capacity building support to increase financial empowerment. Services included tax preparation assistance, benefits screening, and financial counseling conducted in partnership with the Financial Clinic, Ariva, and BronxWorks.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 825 returns were filed for households with an average income of $16,000 / year
  • $589,379 in total refunds
  • 224 participants received an Earned Income Tax Credit, totaling $499,139
  • 49 staff were trained as coaches

English Language Arts Results for Mott Haven ReadNYC Schools

ReadNYC Chart

Our ReadNYC schools in Mott Haven have made significant progress. These English Language Arts (ELA) results speak to UWNYC’s instructional leadership work across the six schools.

Our coaching work, which began in the 2014–15 school year, has positively impacted this student achievement growth and improved teacher and school leadership capacity. Our work has supported the school leaders’ focus on the achievement gap and on strengthening their instructional leadership skills.

Of importance, we have worked with school leaders and their teacher leadership teams to define equity, to define and implement a solution to an equity challenge, and to focus on improving rigor in classroom teaching and learning practices through participation in professional learning communities.

In NYC, 8 out of 10 low-income children can’t read on grade-level. In 2013–14, UWNYC launched ReadNYC, our signature collective impact campaign for grade-level reading, to address this critical issue. Our first target community was Mott Haven in the South Bronx. With our anchor-partner East Side House Settlement and 28 other local organizations, we defined our goals for improving early-childhood literacy in that community. We also launched Once Upon a Summer, a summer reading initiative, and boosted parent engagement through Read and Rise, a bilingual parent-literacy program.
In response to the NYC high school dropout crisis, Graduate, Prepare, Succeed (GPS-NYC) served more than 5,500 students during the school year. This initiative that we developed in partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and community-d partners helped students improve their attendance by providing academic interventions, attendance services and family outreach.
The Child Care and Early Education Fund supports policy and systems’ change efforts that impact the entire city. It strengthens and provides supports to public systems (governmental services) that serve children ages 0-5 in all five boroughs.
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FeedNYC

FeedNYC is UWNYC’s strategy to strengthen the capacity of emergency food providers to distribute healthy food to underserved neighborhoods in New York City.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

Emergency Food Programs (EFP): Each EFP receives funding to purchase nutritious foods, in alignment with state nutrition standards, and is required to spend 15% of their food grant on fresh produce. FeedNYC provided over $6.7 million in food support grants to 330 emergency food programs (EFPs) in FY15. These funds contributed to more than 55 million meals served to in-need New Yorkers across the City.

Annually, UWNYC runs 12-15 workshops that train over 250 representatives from emergency food program sites in food protection, pantry management, and cooking with fresh produce to improve the health and nutrition status of people needing food assistance.

Local Produce Link: In partnership with Just Food, FeedNYC operates Local Produce Link, a farm to food pantry program. In FY15, 8 small-scale farmers received $414,168 and delivered approximately 280,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to 48 food pantries across NYC serving over 242,950 people across the city.

Operations Support Grants: Grants cover program operating costs such as rent, utilities, staff, paper goods, and transportation. The average grant size is approximately $2,500 per EFP. For FY15, $950,000 in operation support grants was issued to 334 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 2,466 people per month.

Capital Equipment Grants: FeedNYC provides capital equipment grants to purchase refrigerators, freezers, shelving and other equipment to ensure funded programs are able to store and distribute food safely. Approximately $110,335 worth of equipment was purchased in FY15 for 66 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 2,424 people per month.

Client Choice: FeedNYC provides assistance for food pantries that want to transition to a system of food pantry distribution that allows guests to select their own food instead of receiving a pre-packed bag of food. Approximately $33,000 worth of equipment was purchased in FY15 for 10 EFPs. These EFPs each provide emergency food assistance to approximately 1,300 people per month.

Seed Grants for Urban Farming: Seed Grant funds are targeted at urban farming initiative in NYC to transform unused land to vital, food producing spaces. In FY15, United Community Center received $30,000 to develop an urban farm at the Pink Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development located in East New York, Brooklyn. 500 pounds of produce were grown and distributed to neighborhood residents with over 350 community members engaging in farming through volunteerism and attendance at nutrition workshops.

UWNYC’s emergency food grants ensured 379 emergency food program sites received high-quality, wholesome foods that met nutritional standards across fiber, sodium and fat. These program sites reported serving approximately 59 million meals.
Local Produce Link (LPL), a farm-to-food pantry program gets fresh produce to low-income communities. Last year, area farmers delivered 280,868 pounds (75% organic) of harvested produce to 49 participating pantries.
Annually, UWNYC runs 12–15 workshops that train over 250 representatives from emergency food program sites in food protection, pantry management and cooking with fresh produce to improve the health and nutrition status of people needing food assistance.
Operation support funding, including capital equipment, is key to the success of our emergency food program partners. Last year, this funding supplied vital resources such as food service paper and disposable products, transportation, staff cost, utilities and space, as well as staple kitchen equipment, including freezers, refrigerators and stoves.

EducateNYC

EducateNYC, now in its second year, is UWNYC’s community schools initiative. The strategy brings supports and services that are needed to remove barriers and help students succeed in school.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

UWNYC’s community schools initiative recently completed its launch year of serving elementary, middle, and high school students and their families. Key areas of implementation included:

  • Pre-Implementation: Designed and lead the process for selecting and matching community-based organizations to our partner schools
  • Implementation: Programmatic oversight, creation of governance structure, completion of asset and needs assessments, fiscal management, and security clearance

Attendance is a key component of EducateNYC that helps students stay on track and succeed in school. Within the first six months of the community schools initiative, average daily attendance increased for 6,882 elementary students attending 13 schools, improving students more time for learning during the critical early years.

In its first year, the initiative served over 20,000 students at 45 schools and engaged the services of 26 community-based partner organizations. Services were provided in:

  • 14 elementary schools, serving over 6,300 students
  • 12 middle schools, serving over 4,000 students
  • 19 high schools, serving over 9,500 students

All 45 schools received the following services and assistance:

  • Asset and needs assessments
  • Bi-yearly capacity-building workshops, site visits, webinars, and coaching
  • Institutionalized shared leadership and decision-making through a special strategy leadership team made up of the principal, community school director, United Federation of Teachers representative, parent representative, and students
  • Creation of communication structures to address priorities
  • Co-created work plans that addressed school and community needs and assets
  • Budget and report submissions that are aligned to the work plan and vision
  • Newly established communication and approval structures
  • End-of-year Community School Forums for ongoing collaboration with members of the community, including parent leaders, school-based organizations, and partnering organizations.
In partnership with New York State and seven community-d organizations, FSC provides resources for individuals and families to get screened for and enroll in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Last year, FSC distributed over $1.4 million to New Yorkers living in food-insecure households. SNAP has generated more than $276 million in economic activity for New York City’s under-resourced communities.
EFSP supplements the work of pantries, kitchens and shelters assisting New York City residents who are facing economic emergency. In 2013–14, EFSP directly funded 183 agencies that aided 300 emergency food and shelter programs. Of this funding, nearly $800,000 in emergency rent, mortgage and utility assistance helped families and individuals prevent homelessness.
Designed as a unified pilot initiative across four markets in the Tri-State Region, UWNYC launched CollegePath in July 2013 to provide a lifeline to low-to-moderate income (LMI) families to help them afford their child's college education. CollegePath employed a coordinated data-driven strategy that gave LMI families the asset-building and money-management skills needed to meet the financial demands of college educations. CollegePath especially served families enrolled in our GPS-NYC program.
UWNYC awarded the Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement (WCECA) $75,000 to develop the Self-Sufficiency Standard Report, which examined how much income NYC households of diverse composition and location need to make ends meet. UWNYC sat influentially on the report’s steering committee to drive and shape the analysis and policy recommendations.

WorkNYC

WorkNYC connects families with critical resources essential to self-sufficiency, including benefits access, financial empowerment, and workforce development opportunities.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) provides supplemental funds to existing emergency food and shelter programs to assist low-income New Yorkers to prevent hunger, preserve housing, provide shelter, and support their basic energy needs. EFSP organizations are required to have 15% of their food allotment of fresh and/or frozen vegetables.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 169 organizations supported
  • 3,850 individuals received emergency rental assistance totaling $1,360,652
  • 607 individuals received utility assistance totaling $30,991
  • 14,198 individuals were provided emergency hotline referrals throughout the five boroughs

Food Support Connections (FSC) is a community-based Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) aimed at providing screening, application, and enrollment assistance services for the hardest to reach low-income individuals and families across all five boroughs of New York City. UWNYC received a total of $900,000 in funding from Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 42,744 individuals screened for SNAP benefits
  • 30,485 individuals filed for SNAP applications
  • 11,134 individuals enrolled in SNAP benefits

Financial Empowerment is a joint collaboration with The Financial Clinic, Ariva, and BronxWorks. The pilot offered financial stability services, including: tax preparation, financial coaching, and banking assistance, as well as organizational capacity building, to nonprofits and residents of the South Bronx.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 825 residents of Mott Haven and Hunts Point served (229% above target)
  • Average increase of $827 in savings for participants (275% above target)
Through placement support, customized coaching sessions and training workshops, UWNYC placed 78 new boards members onto 58 nonprofit boards, strengthened board governance practices for 92 boards and 247 board members, and educated 193 potential board candidates. These efforts impacted the organizational infrastructure of 133 NYC nonprofits.
As an active member of the Change Capital Fund collaborative, UWNYC’s $75,000 contribution assisted five community development organizations upgrade their strategies and develop new business models to address persistent poverty more effectively. Additional Technical Assistance helped each initiative identify the tracking systems they would need to better understand and demonstrate their results.

StrengthenNYC

StrengthenNYC is UWNYC’s capacity building strategy, providing resources and expertise that deliver high-quality outcomes, ensuring the success of partner community-based organizations.

IMPACT INSIGHTS

United Way of New York City’s BoardServeNYC Program trains individuals to become effective board members and connects them to local nonprofits interested in strengthening their boards.

RESULTS INCLUDE:

  • 64 board members, including executive directors, received customized coaching
  • 14 people were accepted into the BoardServeNYC program
  • 146 board candidates—primarily from the corporate world—received training
  • 67 nonprofit boards trained in good governance
  • 2 newly-trained board members placed. We have also increased the number of trained board members through day-long trainings for candidates

Leadership Development: In partnership with American Express and the Center for Creative Leadership, UWNYC sent a New York City-based cohort of 88 community-based organizations and partners to an intensive week-long leadership development training with the American Express Leadership Academy. This opportunity builds the capacity of these organizations, and sets UWNYC up for more effective relationships with essential partners in all five boroughs. The investment is worth more than $700,000.

Change Capital Fund, a collaborative of funders, fights poverty by investing in the development of new, data-driven strategies created by sophisticated community organizations. United Way of New York City is one of the founding organizations. Change Capital Fund provides four nonprofit organizations (Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Fifth Avenue Committee, New Settlement Apartments, and St. Nick’s Alliance) with $1 million each and technical assistance over four years to develop new strategies and prove that they work. The organizations’ strategies integrate services that focus on people and place and use data to increase impact.

Our work pyramid