Asha Cannon, owner of 2LC Bakery, a small business raising loan capital from the crowd. Photo courtesy of Honeycomb Credit.

FJC Enables Philanthropy To Participate in Crowdsourced Lending to Small Businesses

FJC has applied its customizable operational platform to a new use case: facilitating foundation microloans to underserved small businesses that are taking advantage of a crowd-sourced lending program. This Loan Participation Fund vehicle was designed by FJC in partnership with Upstart Co-Lab, a non-profit that is disrupting how creativity is funded, and Honeycomb Credit, a first-of-its kind loan crowdfunding platform.

[Update: This initiative has been featured in Forbes: “Novel Approach Helps Foundations Make Crowdfunding Loans To Creative Economy Businesses” (May 31, 2022)]

Through the Loan Participation Fund, three foundations — the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the A.L. Mailman Foundation, and Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership — will invest $600,000 with Honeycomb Credit. The capital will be used to provide loans to small businesses in across the U.S. that have been underserved by traditional financial institutions. The foundations will participate alongside “the crowd”—small, local investors including family, friends, customers and other stakeholders.

The three investments have specific areas of focus. The capital from Souls Grown Deep and the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation will be invested in Black-owned businesses in nine southern states. The investment from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will be directed toward entrepreneurs in seven Northeast Florida counties, prioritizing borrowers who are low-income, women or people of color.

“It’s great to work with a partner [like Honeycomb Credit] that can put our capabilities to work at the intersection of philanthropy, small business lending, and impact investing.”

Sam Marks, CEO, FJC

As of 2022, the average loan size on the Honeycomb Credit platform is $70,000. About half of the businesses on the platform were previously unable to access credit or were referred by a lender who declined to provide them a loan. To date, 46 percent of businesses financed through Honeycomb Credit have been in low-to-moderate income communities, 49 percent were woman-owned, and 24 percent were BIPOC-owned.

In the early stages of this initiative, all of the foundations had expressed concern about operational challenges about participating. The foundations agreed that providing loan capital to underserved small businesses fit their missions, but none of the foundations were set up to efficiently disburse loan capital in small $5,000 to $10,000 increments (as well as receive loan repayments). Upstart Co-Lab and Honeycomb Credit invited FJC to arrange Loan Participation Funds, a customized solution that provides efficient financial intermediation for any foundations participating in the initiative.

“We were thrilled to work with Honeycomb Credit to create fiduciary accounts that could make it easy for foundations to implement Loan Participation Funds,” said Sam Marks, CEO of FJC.  “Our scaled operational platform has so many potential applications, and it’s great to work with a partner that can put our capabilities to work at the intersection of philanthropy, small business lending, and impact investing.”

“Large foundations tend to design their infrastructure around deploying capital in hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars at a time — which is much more than any one small business needs,” said George Cook, CEO and co-founder of Honeycomb Credit. “The Loan Participation Fund bridges that gap, allowing foundations to write large checks but allocate the money to small businesses with the help of an intermediary. This way, big foundations can invest alongside the crowd at the scale that makes sense for helping local entrepreneurs grow their businesses.” 

“We know how difficult it is for low-wealth entrepreneurs, especially those in under-invested communities, to access affordable loans. We are excited about promoting innovative online lending technology locally to unlock equitable and affordable capital.”

Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Since 2017, Honeycomb Credit has channeled $11.3 million through more than 180 loan campaigns to businesses in 23 states and Washington, D.C. 80 percent of the businesses that have raised capital through the Honeycomb Credit platform are creative economy businesses such as local cafés, breweries, and fashion brands that create jobs and contribute to vibrant economic activity in their communities. After raising capital via a Honeycomb Credit campaign, businesses experienced an average 60 percent increase in revenue — in part thanks to the engagement that a Honeycomb campaign encourages by galvanizing local investors around businesses in their areas.

Small businesses with crowd-funding campaigns eligible for loan disbursements through the Loan Participation Funds include:

“We know how difficult it is for low-wealth entrepreneurs, especially those in under-invested communities, to access affordable loans – capital that allows them to grow and create sustainable wealth that raises up the entire community,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “We are excited about promoting innovative online lending technology locally to unlock equitable and affordable capital for Northeast Florida businesspeople who are currently only able to access high-interest lenders.”

“Since 2019, Souls Grown Deep has committed 100% of our endowment to impact investments, mobilizing our capital towards meaningful and mission-aligned opportunities in the arts and to fund Black-owned businesses, especially those in the southern United States. This new financial vehicle allows us to invest at scale in a substantial way for relevant small businesses, broadening our distributions while continuing to deepen our impact,” said Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, president, Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership.

The three participating foundations are part of Upstart Co-Lab’s community of impact investors with an interest in supporting the creative economy.

“We’ve been working with Honeycomb Credit to bring this new impact investment vehicle to the foundations we advise since the fall of 2020,” said Laura Callanan, founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab. “We’re thrilled to see this collaboration bear fruit, both in expanding what’s possible in the world of impact investing and in bringing much-needed financing to businesses in creative industries, which play a vital role in every thriving local economy.”

Donors Respond to the Ukraine Crisis

A 32-year-old organization fiscally sponsored by FJC has found a new calling in responding to the urgent humanitarian crisis caused by the millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine. 

The Jewish Community of Poland Fund was founded by Rabbi Michael Schudrich in 2000 to help families in Poland reconnect with their Jewish culture and roots, after decades of Communist rule, through lectures, retreats, and educational programs. 

In responding to the Ukraine crisis in recent weeks, the Jewish Community of Poland Fund’s scope has dramatically and tragically shifted.  The organization has mobilized volunteers at the Polish border, connecting Ukrainian refugees of all backgrounds and cultures to transportation and services like housing, food, medical care, legal advice, and psychological counseling.

Rabbi Schudrich, who acts as the Chief Rabbi of Poland, notes the universal nature of this work, which is rooted in his organization’s long history of human services.   “When refugees finally get across the Polish border, they’re confronted by questions of: What do I do now? Where am I? Who am I? What am I supposed to do?’” the Rabbi explains.  “Our mission has not changed; it has been enhanced and taken to another level.”

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, the Jewish Community of Poland Fund has seen a dramatic increase in donations, receiving over $534,000 in donations, a figure that exceeds its fundraising over the entire prior year. “People have been incredibly generous,” Rabbi Schudrich remarks. “We can’t help everyone. So, the goal is always to help one more person.”

Over the last several weeks FJC donors have also responded rapidly, recommending over $1.5 million in grants to organizations providing emergency support.  Organizations receiving significant grant funding (over $100,000 in aggregate from multiple donors) include Razom, United Help Ukraine, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, International Rescue Committee, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and World Central Kitchen.

Special thanks to Rachel Goldman, Program Assistant, for additional reporting for this story.

Crisis in Ukraine

Many of our donors have reached out in recent days to ask about how to support humanitarian efforts underway in the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.

Below are some eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are active in the region. 

Note for our donors: FJC has recently upgraded its donor portal, so you will need to update your password this first time you use it.   Please use the EIN numbers provided to search for these organizations in the donor portal.


Razom for Ukraine (EIN 46-4604398) was founded on purely volunteering efforts of Ukrainian Americans in NYC during the 2013-14 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.  Razom has maintained an open Emergency Response project since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 where they mobilized to procure medical and tactical supplies to the eastern front.  They picked up this project again in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to fundraise for, procure, and deliver medical supplies across covid hot spots in Ukraine.  Since 2014, the Emergency Response fund has always remained open for donors so that they were in a position to act swiftly in support of Ukrainians in crisis situations.

United Help Ukraine (EIN 47-1837509) is working to provide life-saving individual first aid kits (IFAKs) containing blood-stopping bandages and tourniquets and other emergency medical supplies to the front lines and is cooperating with other emergency response organizations to prepare humanitarian aid to civilians that might be directly affected by Russia’s attack.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) (EIN 13-6219868) has developed a relief fund to support  provision of vital humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.  UCCA is a non-profit, non-partisan community-based organization that has represented the interests of Ukrainians in the United States since 1940.  With a National Office in New York City, a bureau in Washington, D.C. and dozens of local grassroots chapters throughout the United States, UCCA’s staff and a nationwide network of volunteers advocate in the name of over 1.5 million Americans of Ukrainian descent.

The International Rescue Committee (EIN 13-5660870 is launching an emergency appeal to help support displaced families in Ukraine with critical aid.  Since the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was first founded at the request of Albert Einstein in 1933, our global team of more than 17,000 staff have helped people upended by conflict and crisis to survive, recover, and regain control of their lives.

HIAS (EIN 13-5633307) is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries and is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance to those who are displaced.  HIAS team members are on the ground right now in Poland and Moldova to assess the humanitarian situation and determine the appropriate next steps. Closer to home, HIAS is advocating in the US for appropriations to fund the humanitarian response, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians..

UJA-Federation of New York (EIN 51-0172429) hosted a webinar on March 1, 2022 featuring nonprofit practitioners who will provide real-time information on the Ukraine Jewish community.  The webinar will feature two organizations active in Ukraine: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) (EIN 13-1656634) and the Jewish Agency (JAFI) (EIN 23-0053483).  The webinar is available here.

Webinar Recap: Developing a Strategy for Your Giving

Donors large and small can amplify their impact with more intentional, strategic approaches to their philanthropy.  This was the major takeaway from a recent webinar with Lauren Katzowitz Shenfield, founder and principal of Philanthropy Advisors, LLC.  The webinar was moderated and hosted by Sam Marks, Chief Executive Officer of FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds.

The webinar is first in a series in which FJC, a boutique foundation of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) and other philanthropic accounts, provides access to expertise from seasoned philanthropic consultants.  As a commitment to making philanthropic dollars more effective and meaningful, FJC allows its donors to pay for limited engagements with philanthropic consultants using funds in their Donor Advised Fund (DAF) accounts.

“The conversation always starts with values, because that underlies the entire practice of philanthropy.”  

Lauren Katzowitz Shenfield, Founder & Principal, Philanthropy Advisors, LLC

Ms. Shenfield’s consultancy works with individuals, families, and private foundations at the intersection of personal, family, and philanthropic goals.  “The conversation always starts with values,” she explains, “because that underlies the entire practice of philanthropy.”  This is true whether she is working with donors who want to begin their philanthropic journey or with long-time donors who have amassed significant assets, the conversations always start with values.

The webinar presented some case studies of client relationships that resulted in more meaningful and effective philanthropy.  These included a family with multiple siblings who needed support aligning their priorities in the wake of a patriarch’s passing, and an individual who benefited from both focus and skill-building in developing a strategy.

Mr. Marks spoke of the way Ms. Shenfield’s practice complements the resources and expertise at FJC.  “Our staff and our board members are always happy to brainstorm and bring our expertise and relationships to our donors,” observed Mr. Marks, “but sometimes donors need a more sustained, strategic engagement, and that’s where you really can add some value.”  

“[We] are always happy to brainstorm and bring our expertise and relationships to our donors, but sometimes donors need a more sustained, strategic engagement.”

Sam Marks, CEO, FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds

In terms of advice that donors can use to start their journey immediately, Ms. Shenfield suggested that donors:

  • Seek truth – about yourself, your family and others who might be involved.
  • Prioritize – make your plan important in your life, and don’t let it sink to the bottom of your to-do list.
  • Avoid Distraction – engage in a giving practice that draws on your skills and expertise.

Finally, building on her early career as a journalist, Ms. Shenfield recommends that donors start with the “5 W’s”: Who should be involved your giving? What do you care about? When do you want to make grants, in your lifetime or do you want them to last in perpetuity? Where do you want to have an impact?  And why?

Ms. Shenfield’s long history working with FJC includes customized philanthropic solutions for clients.  In consultation with Ms. Shenfield, FJC hosted for several years an awards program on behalf of Anonymous Was a Woman, which provides grants that enable women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work.  FJC also acted as the fiscal sponsor for Toby Perl Freilich,producer of “Inventing Our Life,” a documentary film about the kibbutz movement.

For more, view the full webinar here.  The recording includes the full Q&A session that covered topics such as: the use of DAFs compared with private foundations, impact investing, the mechanics of succession for DAFs, and more.

F.Y. Eye's recent campaign features portraits by Sol Aramandi of Project Luz, inspiring New Yorkers to vote in the November general election.

Inspiring Voter Participation Through Arts and Media

When the City of New York launched DemocracyNYC, a nonpartisan initiative to increase voter participation and civic engagement, they turned to the city’s vibrant nonprofit and arts community for inspiration.  Among the civic partners that responded to the urgent call to action was F.Y. Eye, a nonprofit media agency that builds campaigns that call people to take action, donate, share, advocate and move their causes forward. “F.Y. Eye was created to democratize the town square,” said Jessica Toledano, Executive Director. “Too often in expensive media markets like New York City, the most important community voices are never heard. F.Y. Eye was created to change that fact.”  

Founded and initially funded by FJC donors, F.Y. Eye has tackled numerous issues including nutrition and food insecurity, workers’ rights, voting, immigrant health services, and participation in the U.S. Census.  Its strategies include creative services to design campaigns, paired with media planning and buying to strategically place its messages in high-traffic locations.

“Too often in expensive media markets like New York City, the most important community voices are never heard. F.Y. Eye was created to change that fact.”

Jessica Toledano, Executive Director, F.Y. Eye

Voter turnout is a particularly daunting challenge.  New York consistently ranks as one of the states with the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. In the 2016 general election, New York State ranked 41st in the country for voter turnout. In the 2018 midterm election, voter turnout increased, but still, less than 50% of all eligible voters participated. 

There was no shortage of voter engagement advertising leading up to the 2020 election. However, most of the ads in high circulation were partisan in nature or offered simplistic motivational messages from big name nonprofits aimed at the general population. F.Y. Eye identified a need for more nuanced campaigns that both provided specifics on how to vote safely during the pandemic, and came from trusted community messengers targeting voters of all backgrounds.

F.Y. Eye’s most recent campaigns have engaged artists and designers who are particularly rooted in immigrant communities.     

In advance of the general election this November, F.Y. Eye engaged Sol Aramandi to build a bi-lingual, portrait-based campaign, encouraging New Yorkers to cast their votes based on issues that affect their communities. Ms. Aramandi’s advertisements have been placed in community newspapers such as El Diario, Bronx Free Press and Brooklyn Times, as well as traditional media spaces around the city such as bus shelters and LinkNYC. Sourced through F.Y. Eye’s Impact Artist Network, Sol Aramandi is a celebrated photographer and activist specializing in portraying immigrant communities. Ms. Aramandi works as a solo artist and the principal of Project Luz, which empowers new immigrant New Yorkers with photography as a tool to explore the city and tell its stories, as well as their own.

“It’s important to us to hire artists for our campaigns that have an organic connection to the communities we’re representing,” explains Calder Zwicky, Programs and Creative Director of F.Y. Eye. “Sol’s portraits express her love and organic connection within this community.”

This most recent campaign builds on work F.Y. Eye launched during the June 2021 primaries to educate all New Yorkers about Ranked Choice voting, through guerilla building projections, diverse artist partnerships and community events. New York City had its highest voter turnout for a primary election in 3 decades during this year’s primary election.

Photo courtesy of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Donor Legacy Supports Transformation of NYC’s Response to Mental Health Crises

In life, Helen Rehr led a distinguished, trailblazing career in social work.  She was known for revolutionizing and standardizing the field of social work, and her long career at Mt Sinai, where she retired in her role as Chair of the Division of Social Work in 1986.  Ms. Rehr was also a longtime donor at FJC.  Since her death in 2013, FJC has honored her philanthropic legacy by honoring her wishes through a Board-advised Fund, “to identify worthwhile projects determined by FJC to be used for social services, research or training projects all to enhance health and mental health care for vulnerable populations within the State of Israel and the City of New York.”

This year FJC issued a Request for Proposals that put a timely focus on her programmatic wishes: “organizations engaged in social work research and/or training projects focused on developing alternatives to the current police response when encountering the mentally ill in NY.” Each year, the New York Police Department (NYPD) responds to nearly 200,000 calls regarding individuals experiencing mental health crises.  In the past five years alone, notwithstanding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s implementation of crisis intervention training for police officers, 18 individuals were fatally shot by police when experiencing a mental health crisis, and 15 of those 18 individuals were Black or Brown.

“It is high time to transform the way New York responds to mental health crises an ensure that all New Yorkers are provided the services they need and are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

Ruth Lowenkron, Director, Disability Justice Program, NYLPI

The winning response to the RFP came from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), working in coordination with program partner Community Access.  The $100,000 grant will fund the two organizations to advocate for New York City to establish a non-police response to mental health crises, which will consist of trained peers (those with lived mental health experience) and independent emergency medical technicians whose aim is to de-escalate violence and administer proper assistance through a non-police mental healthcare response. 

Recognizing that creating an alternate response to mental health crises means doing as much as possible to ensure crises never happen in the first place, NYLPI will also develop a training geared to such frontline workers as social workers to de-escalate crises, building on a Community Access training module that seeks to equip workers with the knowledge and de-escalation skills to make compassionate connections with people in crisis.

“We could not be more grateful for the FJC’s generous support of this critical work,” said Ruth Lowenkron, Director of NYLPI’s Disability Justice Program who spearheads NYLPI’s work in this area.  “For far too long, our citizens who experience mental health crises have been neglected and worse.  It is high time to transform the way New York responds to mental health crises an ensure that all New Yorkers are provided the services they need and are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

NYLPI will leverage the grant from the Helen Rehr fund as a match for their #MentalHealthCareNotPolice campaign, which NYLPI and its coalition partners will be highlighting throughout the year in a series of events in public parks.  Visit NYLPI’s website for more information.

A public space revitalized by Doh Eain, a social enterprise active in Yangon, Myanmar.

Webinar Recap: Promising Models of Heritage Investing

April 21, 2021 (New York, NY) – FJC hosted a webinar to highlight its strategic partner the Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance (CHiFA), a new initiative that promotes heritage-led regeneration through collaborative and innovative financing solutions.   The event was moderated by Sam Marks, FJC’s Chief Executive Officer and highlighted two promising examples of organizations that embody CHiFA intends to support: Doh Eain and Turquoise Mountain.

A full recording of the webinar is available at this link.

“Our goal is to bring the public sector and private sector together in joint initiatives.”

Bonnie Burnham, Co-Founder, CHiFA

Mr. Marks kicked off the event by explaining FJC’s role providing operational and fiscal support to CHiFA.  As a foundation of philanthropic funds that brings economies of scale to philanthropists (by sponsoring Donor Advised Funds) and organizations (through fiscal sponsorship), FJC will provide operational and administrative support, including servicing CHiFA’s loan fund.  CHiFA is currently raising $3 million to provide catalytic, early stage capital to heritage regeneration projects around the world.  With FJC administering the loan fund, CHiFA will be able to stay lean and focused on mission.

CHiFA Co-Founder Bonnie Burnham described how CHiFA evolved out of her many decades of experience at the World Monuments Fund.   Her previous work was largely focused on revitalizing individual sites, using philanthropy to leverage public sector.  Her work at CHiFA has a more intentionally broader economic and social impact in mind, through nonprofit partners that facilitate investments in enterprises and the urban fabric.  “We’re trying to create a methodology that can be widely applied,” Ms. Burnham explained.  “Our goal is to bring the public sector and private sector together in joint initiatives.”

Aurora Kazi Bassett, the Director of Outreach & Policy for Doh Eain described a promising model of the type CHiFA has in mind: her organization’s work in Yangon, Myanmar.  Doh Eain is a social enterprise that uses private investment (and some grants) to restore and maintain small and medium sized, privately owned historic residential buildings, and also improve public spaces that can be used by the community.  “These are not the big, beautiful palaces that we go to visit on holiday, but the shops, houses, and office buildings that have been used by normal people’s homes.” Doh Eain’s model does not purchase the properties outright, but takes on the risks of revitalization during a discrete leasehold period and returns ownership back to the original owner-residents.

Shoshana Stewart, CEO of Turquoise Mountain, presented another model of heritage-led regeneration.  After describing some of the organization’s successes in the Old City of Kabul, Afgahnistan, Ms. Stewart described their vision for Umm Qais in Jordan, a unique architectural site at the crossroads of the Middle East, adjoining Syria, Lebanon and Israel.   With layers of architectural and cultural assets, including Roman ruins, Byzantine period mosaics, and a ruined Ottoman period village, Turquoise Mountain intends to leverage tourism, which a cornerstone of country’s economy. “Typically when international tourists come, they come to the big sites: Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum.  In the north of Jordan you’ve got a number of sites, but there is nowhere to stay.  If we can get the accommodations right, we have the potential for both international and domestic tourists. There’s significant potential.”

Common across the Doh Eain and Turquoise Mountain examples is an enterprise model that combines some philanthropic grant resources with more conventional investments that offer a return to investors.   In Doh Eain’s case, rental income from the residential and commercial, properties covers the cost of the physical revitalization, and also provides an income stream to the building owners and a return to impact investors.  Doh Eain uses some of the profits, along with grants, to implement public space work that is more purely subsidized.  Turquoise Mountain will seek investment capital to develop the ruined Ottoman village into accommodation (which will ultimately generate revenue).  Simultaneously, they work with a range of grantmaking partners, including development agencies and philanthropy, for the pieces of the project that are critical to its ultimate success but not expected to generate revenue.

In advance of their capital raise, CHiFA has documented the emergence of heritage regeneration NGOs with investable business models in their recently published white paper Impact and Identity, Investing in Heritage for Sustainable Development. Says Ms. Burnham, “We have to convince impact investors that heritage is a missing link in the circular economy strategy, bringing human environments into compliance with meeting our goals for sustainable development.  This is where there’s a tremendous opportunity.”

Photo courtesy of Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance

CHiFA Issues White Paper on Heritage-Led Regeneration and Sustainable Development

FJC celebrates the release of partner organization The Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance (CHiFA)’s report Impact and Identity, Investing in Heritage for Sustainable Development.  The white paper makes the case for historic resources as investable assets for the comprehensive and sustainable revitalization of many at-risk and culturally significant communities throughout the world. Particularly timely, the report reflects on successful models to define a path forward that is an antidote to environmental degradation, civic erosion, the loss of irreplaceable cultural treasures and the displacement of local populations.

The report presents studies of six examples from across the world where heritage investment has restored vibrancy to historic urban centers that had been in economic and cultural decline.  A housing investment company in Amsterdam, a World Bank loan in Fez, a visionary private investor in Mexico City, entrepreneurial businesses in Panama City and Yangon, and a government-supported loan program in the UK succeeded in catalyzing more than a billion USD in leveraged capital. 

Dynamic success requires a complement of NGO engagement, private investment and mission-motivated entrepreneurs who together can advance heritage preservation at the urban and district levels.

FJC formed a strategic partnership with CHiFA last year as loan servicer and finance administrator.  As CHiFA raises philanthropic loan capital to invest in sites globally, FJC’s role will be to manage the operations of aggregating and deploying these funds, including servicing for its international project loan fund. This arrangement will allow CHiFA to remain lean and focused on mission, with FJC leveraging its scaled operational platform to deliver back office support and ancillary services. FJC will also manage payments for most of CHiFA’s day to day expenses.

The Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance (CHiFA) was founded in 2019 to promote heritage-led regeneration through innovative financing solutions.   Its goal is to position historically and culturally significant built environments as anchors of environmental, social and economic development.  Bonnie Burnham, president and founder of CHiFA and president emerita of the World Monuments Fund, stated: “Preserving heritage is among the targets set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but it is not on the radar screen of investors and institutions who are aligning behind sustainable development.  And yet there are inspiring and highly impactful examples of how it can transform the places we live, for the better.  We want to call attention to these examples so that people around the world can learn from them.”  

Public agencies are responsible for heritage preservation in most countries.  But with an increasing number of sites under protection, decreasing budgets, and low political priority, these agencies face a crisis of inadequate resources.  There is a tendency to focus on landmark structures, whereas the more encompassing urban fabric — where people live and work — offers the greatest potential for impact. While public commitments are necessary, dynamic success requires a complement of NGO engagement, private investment and mission-motivated entrepreneurs who together can advance heritage preservation at the urban and district levels. Currently, no entity exists within the heritage conservation field to facilitate these partnerships and to align capital to bring projects to fruition.

CHiFA’s research, conducted over the course of 2020, has revealed a spectrum of  successful models. The full case study analyses are linked to the appendix, and will be released as a second volume in early April 2021. 

Gary Hattem, a co-founder of CHiFA and former head of Global Social Finance at Deutsche Bank, concluded: “The experiences, ideas, strategies, and plans presented in this paper explore a new frontier: that of how to go about healing our planet and preserving the richness of the world’s cultural assets. CHiFA builds upon lessons learned to identify a financially viable ecosystem capable of validating heritage sites by leveraging their irreplaceable value to the benefit of existing residents.” 

"3-1/2 Feet of Snow" by WSDOT is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Nonprofits Activate for Texas Storm Relief

FJC is offering these recommendations of critical nonprofit organizations providing relief and recovery during the winter storms that are affecting Texas and other southern states unaccustomed to extreme weather.

We invite you to review this Disaster Profile from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, as an excellent primer on the impacts of the storm.  They note, “Unlike many natural disasters, the loss of homes due to Uri and Viola is minimal. However, the impact on infrastructure, especially power grids and water systems, is immense.”


Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) EIN: 45-5257937 has a Disaster Recovery Fund that has a category for U.S. Winter Storms. In addition to awarding grants for specific emergencies, the CDP Disaster Recovery Fund makes strategic investments in research, preparedness, and planning, fully demonstrating the value of a streamlined, long-term approach.

Communities Foundation of Texas – EIN: 75-0964565 – CFT has launched a North Texas Winter Weather Crisis Relief Fund which has a goal of providing emergency assistance and long-term recovery needs related to the weather crisis in North Texas.

Multi-state Nonprofits

American Red Cross – EIN: 53-0196605 – ARC provides emergency disaster relief including shelters, meals and snacks, health and mental health support, clean-up supplies, hygiene kits and more to communities affected by disasters. They have over 150 congregate shelters open (across several states) and are providing feeding and safe shelter.

Salvation Army – EIN: 22-2406433 Provides logistical supply chain management getting food, water and blankets into communities, coordinating deliveries from food banks and operating warming centers.

Food Banks

Southeast Texas Food BankEIN: 76-0338721 (Beaumont area – mostly urban area with significant poverty)

Houston Food BankEIN: 74-2181456 (Greater Houston area – largest food bank and serves as hub for three other smaller, regional food banks)

Central Texas Food BankEIN: 74-2217350 (Austin area)

North Texas Food BankEIN: 75-1785357  (Dallas area)

Local / Grassroots Efforts

CrowdSource Rescue – (EIN: 47-1963607.  Note: make donation to their fiscal sponsor Outdoorsmen in Action and specify “funds are designated for CrowdSource Rescue”) Organizing a quick reaction to senior citizens facing dangerous temperature during the Texas freeze. The operation is two-fold: 1) transport vulnerable populations to a safe place and 2) deliver food, water, and other needed supplies.

RAICES – The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services – EIN: 74-2436920 – Promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Programs include legal services, social programs, bond assistance, and an advocacy team focused on changing the narrative around immigration in this country.

West Street Recovery – EIN: 82-2708194 – Grassroots organization in Houston, TX which was born out of the recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey to build community power. Their driving principle is to work together with community members, not for them, or on their behalf.

Our Vision

All New York City youth and families with children will have a safe and stable place to call home and a community of support.

Our Strategy

The NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness uses its resources and influence to transform our city’s homelessness systems.  Currently, those systems function primarily to manage the crisis of homelessness.  We seek instead to prevent and end that crisis.

To do this, we support innovative, evidence-based, promising approaches that help youth and families facing housing instability keep their homes or move quickly into a new permanent home that is safe, stable, and affordable. In each approach, we seek to leverage and transform major systems so that they operate to promote housing stability as part of their core function (e.g. housing and shelter; education; foster care; child and family welfare; health, including mental and behavioral health; law enforcement and justice).

Shelter offers a place to sleep at night, but the solution to homelessness is a home.  Investing in access to quality, affordable homes is investing in our children’s – and our city’s – future.

Our Values

The Fund’s core values are to advance racial equity, LGTBQ equity, and lived expertise in the design of our housing and homelessness systems and in our own governance and operations.

Contrary to what many believe, people are not homeless simply because they made bad choices or had bad luck.   All of us make bad choices and have bad luck at different points in our lives, but all of us do not become homeless.  Those who do are those of us who do not have the protection of wealth and ownership – either in our own household or in our extended network – to cushion us when we have bad luck or make a mistake. 

Since our society has long excluded people who are Black, indigenous, and people of color from wealth and ownership opportunities (especially those who are also LGBTQ), we have limited the ability of these individuals, households, and communities to build that cushion of net worth.  As a direct result, it is disproportionately people in these communities who face homelessness when something goes wrong.

Moreover, the systems we have built to manage homelessness often reinforce inequity rather than reduce it, all too frequently denying people dignity, autonomy, and control over their own lives.  These systems are often also inefficient, expensive, and counterproductive, offering take-it-or-leave-it, one-size-fits-nobody interventions that don’t help people quickly find a stable home.

Instead, we must build systems founded on principles of equity and dignity that give people the resources they need to design their own solutions and achieve their own goals.

Our Governance

The Fund is committed to centering racial and LGBTQ equity and lived expertise of youth and family homelessness in its governance and operations.  As part of that commitment, the Fund currently reserves four seats on its Steering Committee for the two Co-Coordinators of New York City’s Youth Action Board and the two Housing Policy Fellows of New York City’s Family Homelessness Coalition

These Steering Committee members draw on their own lived expertise in New York City homelessness systems and partner with our philanthropic members to lead the Fund’s strategy, policy, and grantmaking work.  They also currently lead the Fund in developing a longer-term strategy for how to continue to advance equity and lived expertise as core values of what we do and how we do it.

The Fund is currently co-chaired by Beatriz de la Torre, Managing Director of Housing & Homelessness at Trinity Church Wall Street, and Rhonda Jackson, Housing Policy Fellow of the New York City Family Homelessness Coalition.

Our Contributors

The Fund’s current contributors are:

  • Block-Leavitt Foundation
  • Booth Ferris Foundation
  • Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
  • Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Melville Charitable Trust
  • Oak Foundation
  • Pinkerton Foundation
  • Robin Hood Foundation
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation
  • Trinity Church Wall Street
  • van Ameringen Foundation

Special thanks to FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds for hosting the Fund.


For information about contributing to the Fund, applying for grant, or for press inquiries, please contact the Fund’s senior advisor – John Kimble (jgkimble AT gmail DOT com).