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The 180 Blog Mar 31, 2016

Donor Spotlight: The Robin Hood Foundation


When the Robin Hood Foundation finds something that works, it brings it to scale. New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization found Turnaround for Children when it was seeking to understand the impact of trauma on students and learning in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. In the 15 years since, Robin Hood has helped us scale our team, reflect on our work and strengthen our impact.

2001-Wakeof911Robin Hood’s Managing Director for Education and Relief, Emary Aronson, has been a trusted advisor and champion of Turnaround’s work from the very beginning. In 2002, she visited P.S. 132 in Washington Heights, Turnaround’s first partner school and was excited by what she saw. In its infancy, Turnaround was trying to equip one struggling school filled with children who had experienced abuse, homelessness, loss of a loved one and more with systems and strategies to make the school’s environment physically and emotionally safe for everyone. Aronson recommended that Robin Hood provide an initial gift to help develop our nascent ideas into a program designed to help schools serving high concentrations of children who had experienced trauma and other adversities.

Today, Robin Hood continues to champion Turnaround’s efforts to develop effective student support systems and build strong and sustainable partnerships with community-based mental health providers at our New York City partner schools. “We’ve been proud to support Turnaround as they develop their programming, enhanced by the current research, but always focused on providing services for children in school so that they can be ready to learn,” said Aronson.

Robin Hood brings a laser-like focus on maximizing impact which is informed by rigorous metrics, continuous evaluation and a collaborative approach. As Turnaround’s President and CEO Pamela Cantor, M.D. puts it, “The learnings that have come from our relationship with Robin Hood are about both the substance of the work and the way our own organization has needed to develop in order to achieve its vision and goals.”

Since its founding in 1988, Robin Hood has raised nearly $2 billion in monetary donations, goods and services to support hundreds of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, job-training programs and other vital services that give New York’s neediest citizens tools to build better lives. Robin Hood funds more than 200 poverty-fighting organizations. Turnaround and two of our community-based mental health partners, New York Foundling and Visiting Nurse Service of New York, are fortunate to be among them. We are deeply grateful to Robin Hood for their ongoing support and guidance as we seek to ensure that all children attend schools that prepare them for the lives they choose.