new york nonprofits

10 Great New York Nonprofits Transforming Lives and Communities

New York City, with its vibrant culture and diverse population, is supported by an array of organizations dedicated to improving community well-being.

This article shines a spotlight on some great New York nonprofits that are pivotal in transforming lives and communities across the city.

New York Nonprofits Transforming Lives and Communities


1. New York Cares

new york nonprofits

Mission: This leading volunteer network mobilizes thousands to address critical needs across the boroughs.

History: Established in 1987, New York Cares emerged as a response to the growing need for a coordinated approach to volunteerism in New York City, quickly becoming the city’s largest volunteer network.

By connecting caring New Yorkers with opportunities to serve, New York Cares addresses critical social issues across the city, exemplifying the power of community engagement and support.

Impact: As a cornerstone of New York nonprofits, it has significantly enhanced city life, engaging volunteers in education, emergency response, and environmental projects.


2. The Bowery Mission

new york nonprofits

Mission: Known for providing meals, shelter, and rehabilitation, this mission is a key player in New York nonprofits tackling homelessness.

History: Since its founding in the 1870s, The Bowery Mission has been a pillar of support in New York City, providing critical services like meals, shelter, and medical care to the homeless and needy.

Over the decades, it has evolved into a comprehensive service provider, offering programs that not only address immediate needs but also foster long-term recovery and reintegration into society.

Impact: It’s a vital resource, offering life-changing services to New York’s homeless and hungry populations.


3. City Harvest

new york nonprofits

Mission: City Harvest stands at the forefront of food rescue, leading the battle against hunger in New York City.

History: Founded in 1982, City Harvest pioneered the concept of food rescue in New York City, becoming one of the first organizations to collect excess food from restaurants, grocers, and bakeries and deliver it to those in need.

Over the years, it has grown significantly, expanding its network and operations to become a critical component of the city’s efforts to combat hunger and reduce food waste.

Impact: Each year, City Harvest distributes millions of pounds of food, representing a significant force of generosity and support within the community.


4. Robin Hood Foundation

new york nonprofits

Mission: This foundation targets poverty by funding effective initiatives, setting a standard for New York nonprofits in philanthropy.

History: Founded in 1988, the Robin Hood Foundation is renowned for its strategic approach to eradicating poverty.

Impact: With billions in funding directed towards impactful programs and initiatives, this foundation has changed countless lives, establishing itself as a major force for positive change in the community.


5. God’s Love We Deliver

new york nonprofitsMission: Distinguished for its service in delivering nutritious meals, this organization stands out for supporting individuals with serious illnesses through its dedicated meal delivery program.

History: God’s Love We Deliver was founded in 1985 as a response to the AIDS epidemic, initially providing meals to HIV/AIDS patients who were unable to cook for themselves.

It has since expanded its mission to serve individuals living with a wide range of serious illnesses in New York City, becoming a leading provider of nutritious, individually tailored meals delivered directly to clients’ homes.

Impact: Cooking and delivering millions of meals annually, it showcases the compassionate core of New York nonprofits.


6. Girls Who Code

new york nonprofits

Mission: Dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, this organization symbolizes a commitment to advancing education and promoting equality in the tech industry.

History: Girls Who Code was founded in 2012 by Reshma Saujani, with the mission to close the gender gap in technology and computer science fields.

The organization has since grown exponentially, reaching tens of thousands of girls across the United States and beyond with its coding clubs, summer immersion programs, and college loops, empowering a new generation of female tech leaders.

Impact: It has influenced the tech industry’s landscape, proving the transformative power of New York nonprofits in education.


7. Housing Works

new york nonprofits

Mission: This nonprofit plays a crucial role in providing housing, healthcare, and job training for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, demonstrating its commitment to supporting vulnerable communities.

History: Housing Works was founded in 1990 as a grassroots organization dedicated to addressing the twin crises of homelessness and AIDS in New York City.

It has since grown into a comprehensive service provider, offering housing, healthcare, job training, and legal assistance, becoming a leading advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS and working tirelessly to end the dual epidemics through its innovative social enterprise model.

Impact: Its comprehensive services demonstrate how New York nonprofits can create holistic solutions for complex issues.


8. Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City

new york nonprofits

Mission: This mentoring organization is dedicated to nurturing the potential in youth, providing guidance and support to foster positive development and empowerment.

History: Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, established in 1904, is recognized as the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization, setting a precedent for mentoring programs across the United States.

Over the decades, it has fostered transformative relationships between adult volunteers and children, providing guidance, support, and friendship to empower young lives and build stronger communities in New York City.

Impact: By fostering supportive adult-child relationships, it highlights the positive influence New York nonprofits can have on young lives.


9. Safe Horizon

new york nonprofits

Mission: As a leader in victim services, Safe Horizon exemplifies the supportive role organizations play in aiding victims of crime and abuse.

History: Founded in 1978, Safe Horizon has become the nation’s largest victim assistance organization, providing support, advocacy, and services to victims of crime and abuse in New York City.

With a wide range of programs including shelters, legal services, and counseling, Safe Horizon has been pivotal in offering safety and recovery options, helping individuals move from crisis to confidence.

Impact: Assisting hundreds of thousands annually, it underscores the critical safety net provided by New York nonprofits.


10. The New York Public Library (NYPL)

new york nonprofits

Mission: NYPL stands as a testament to the commitment to education in New York City, providing extensive resources and programs to the public.

History: Founded in 1895 through the consolidation of grassroot libraries and the philanthropy of leaders like Andrew Carnegie, The New York Public Library (NYPL) has grown into one of the largest and most influential public libraries in the world.

With its commitment to free access to knowledge and its iconic main branch on Fifth Avenue, NYPL serves millions annually, upholding its legacy as a vital educational and cultural institution in New York City.

Impact: With millions served yearly through its branches, NYPL represents the educational and cultural stronghold of New York nonprofits.

These ten organizations embody the resilience, diversity, and community spirit of New York nonprofits.

Each plays an indispensable role in enhancing the social fabric of New York City, proving that the impact of dedicated collective effort is boundless.


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