2015 Annual Report



A Letter from Our Leaders


Dear Friends,

We are proud to report that 2015 marked another year of continued growth for New York Cares. A record 63,000 New Yorkers expanded the impact of our volunteer-led programs at 1,350 nonprofits and public schools citywide. These caring individuals ensured that the life-saving and life-enriching services our programs offer are delivered daily to New Yorkers living at or below the poverty line.

Thanks to the generous support we received from people like you, our volunteers accomplished a great deal, including:


  • reinforcing reading and math skills in 22,000 elementary school students
  • tutoring more than 1,000 high school juniors for their SATs 
  • preparing 20,000 adults for the workforce

Immediate needs:

  • serving 550,000 meals to the hungry (+10% vs. the prior year)
  • collecting 100,000 warm winter coats–a record number not seen since Hurricane Sandy
  • helping 19,000 seniors avoid the debilitating effects of social isolation

Revitalization of public spaces:

  • cleaning, greening and painting more than 170 parks, community gardens and schools

We are equally proud of the enormous progress made in serving the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn and Central Queens through our Focus Zone initiative. Over the last two years, we have increased the number of volunteers in these areas by 57% with a corresponding increase in the number of programs serving these communities.

Finally, in 2015, we launched an ambitious plan to expand our work in education. Over the next five years, we will increase the number of public school students we serve by 80%.

We invite you to learn more about the work of New York Cares in the following pages and we thank you—our friends, partners and supporters—for continuing to believe in the power of volunteers to make New York City a better place for everyone to live.


Paul J. Taubman Board President

Paul J. Taubman

Board President

Gary Bagley Executive Director

Gary Bagley

Executive Director






Volunteer positions filled by New York Cares


New Yorkers served by New York Cares’ programs

2015 Annual Events

100,000 coats collected and distributed, totaling 1.8 million coats collected since 1989

43,000 gifts distributed to children, teens, and seniors

3,900 volunteers repaired and restored 71 parks and gardens

4,200 volunteers brightened learning spaces at 68 schools


The Power of Volunteers

New York Cares serves as a strategic partner to schools and fellow nonprofits by developing and managing volunteer-led programs to help these organizations serve more people. With 20% of New Yorkers living below the poverty line according to recent Census data, nearly two million people rely on these vital services. In 2015, New York Cares managed an average of 1,600 projects per month – many requiring long-term commitments from volunteers – at 1,350 organizations. These projects focus on three main issue areas:


SAT Prep, Financial Aid Counseling, College Entrance Prep, Academic Tutoring, Lego Robotics, Math Foundations, Financial Literacy, Job Readiness, Nutrition Education, and More

Immediate Needs

Coat Drive, Meal Prep & Delivery, Socializing with Seniors, Disaster Response, Holiday Gifts, Health and Wellness Activities, Assembling Hygiene Kits, and More

Public Spaces

Planting Trees & Flowers, Removing Invasive Species, Mural Painting, Erosion Control, Composting, Restoring Playgrounds, Painting School Buildings & Classrooms, and More


In New York City, only 30% of fourth graders are proficient in both math and reading, and 23,000 students drop out of high school every year. Unemployment in certain areas of the city continues to hover near 10%, nearly double the citywide average. Improving academic outcomes for NYC’s youth and training adults to compete in the current economy are critical to moving the city forward.

What We Do

SAT Prep, Financial Aid Counseling, College Entrance Prep, Academic Tutoring, Lego Robotics, Math Foundations, Financial Literacy, Job Readiness, Nutrition Education, and More

What We Accomplished

New York Cares has worked to establish strong relationships with hundreds of public schools and social service agencies, and developed an ability to deploy trained volunteers to address multiple gaps in the education system, changing the lives of children and adults alike.

The New York Cares School Success Initiative is a holistic partnership with our city’s public schools. We engage students, parents, and community members in volunteer-led educational programming that reached 800 children and their parents last year. 

As part of our College Access offerings, we provided SAT Prep courses to 1,050 high schoolers last year, helping them increase their scores by an average of 200 points from initial practice test to actual exam. 

In the fall of 2015, we launched a partnership with The City University of New York (CUNY) to provide college students with service learning opportunities with the ultimate goal of improving student performance and retention.

Our education programs serving adults help vulnerable men and women build stronger careers for themselves, and, thus, brighter futures for their children. This past year, New York Cares volunteers served 31,000 adults through projects focused on job readiness, tax preparation services, English language practice, computer skills, and financial literacy.

In all, we filled nearly 61,000 volunteer positions within our education programs in 2015, working in more than 300 public schools and nonprofits. Demand for these services remains high and, in the next year, New York Cares plans to focus resources on expanding educational offerings accordingly.


A Day for Public Schools

On New York Cares Day Fall 2015, held on October 16th, 4,200 volunteers devoted an entire day to painting and cleaning 68 NYC public schools. Volunteers also raised money throughout September and October in support of New York Cares’ year-round education programming. In total, volunteers created 110 murals, organized 28 libraries and storage rooms, and raised over $100,000 to allow us to grow programs focused on improving educational results for 22,000 kids.

Expansion Powered by Sidley Austin
In 2014, in recognition of the firm’s centennial in New York City, the Sidley Austin Foundation made a generous gift of $500,000 to New York Cares. Sidley’s leadership gift enabled New York Cares to launch a five-year expansion of our education programming, with a goal to serve 80% more students annually by the end of 2019 than we did in the 2013-14 school year, and engage more than 2,000 volunteers.

Meeting Immediate Needs

In New York City, more than 1.7 million people live in poverty. Over 1.3 million are food insecure and lack access to enough food for a healthy life for family members. Considering these factors and with homelessness reaching a level last seen during the Great Depression, human service agencies and municipal authorities charged with supporting this vulnerable population are stretched thin, relying on New York Cares and the power of volunteers to meet many basic necessities.

What We Do

Coat Drive, Meal Prep & Delivery, Socializing with Seniors, Disaster Response, Holiday Gifts, Health and Wellness Activities, Assembling Hygiene Kits, and More

What We Accomplished


In 2015, New York Cares volunteers served over 650,000 meals to clients of God's Love We Deliver, City Harvest, Coalition for the Homeless, and many other agencies focused on homeless and low-income populations. Without New York Cares, the capacity of these nonprofits to serve their clients would be greatly diminished and much of the work to fight hunger in NYC would not be possible.

We also received a grant from New York State via the Volunteer Generation Fund to provide partner organizations with customized projects designed to make the greatest difference possible in the lives of the people these agencies serve. So far, we have been able to provide and install more efficient kitchen equipment, donate and distribute new clothing, and assemble hygiene kits.


One million New Yorkers are over the age of 65 and many spend their days in nursing homes, where some don’t receive regular visitors. The negative health effects of loneliness can be significant and the benefits of regular interaction can be enormous. For example, recent research at Harvard’s School of Public Health showed that an active social life decreases the rate of memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. 

Last year, New York Cares managed 345 projects and mobilized more than 5,000 volunteers at 200 agencies serving senior citizens. In all, volunteers engaged 19,000 seniors, including 400 at Cobble Hill Health Center, an organization at the forefront of Alzheimer’s treatment.


Give a Gift.
Grant a Wish.

December can be one of the most difficult months for those in need. Every year, however, thousands of generous volunteers show struggling New Yorkers that they haven’t been forgotten. Through our Winter Wishes program, NYC residents answered 43,000 letters from kids, teens, and seniors, to deliver gifts and much appreciated holiday cheer during the cold winter months.

Winter Wishes is generously sponsored
by Robert Pohly and Julie Turaj.

NYC Donates 100,000 Coats
New York Cares collected an astounding 100,000 coats during the 27th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive. Individuals and community-minded corporations stepped up in a big way through a mix of coat donations, financial support, pro bono consulting, and a multitude of in-kind services.

Revitalizing Public Spaces

The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation oversees 59,000 acres of public green space, the largest urban park system in the world, but funding for parks makes up less than 1% of the city’s budget.

NYC public schools make up the biggest district in the U.S., serving one million students, and the vast majority of expenditures go, rightly, toward educating children. Limited resources remain for the upkeep of school buildings.

What We Do

Planting Trees & Flowers, Removing Invasive Species, Mural Painting, Erosion Control, Composting, Restoring Playgrounds, Painting School Buildings & Classrooms, and More

What We Accomplished

New York Cares’ revitalization projects address urgent aesthetic needs as well as important environmental concerns. In 2015, volunteers participated in projects that restored local ecosystems, repaired damaged coastline, cleaned community parks, and made New York City a more beautiful and sustainable place to live and work.

Parks & Gardens

Over the past year, at Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York Cares volunteers installed over two miles of organic anti-erosion fabric along the shoreline of the park to ensure that the grounds stay safe and intact as well as to keep debris from washing into the river and affecting fish populations. Volunteers also worked in more than 50 community gardens, rebuilding raised gardening beds and turning compost, which prepared the spaces for summer programming, farmers’ markets, and community activities.


New York Cares also focused its revitalization efforts on improving the physical plant of under-resourced schools. In 2015, volunteers installed hundreds of murals and painted thousands of square feet of classrooms and hallways, giving a fresh coat of paint to spaces where kids spend much of their days studying and playing.

New York City is a densely populated and bustling place, requiring extensive care to successfully maintain its green spaces and public schools. These assets provide a place to escape the city's hectic pace, and bright spaces to learn, all making this metropolis more livable. New York Cares and our network of volunteers are committed to preserving these spaces and the opportunities they provide for all NYC residents.


A Day for Parks

On New York Cares Day Spring 2015, held on April 19th, 3,900 volunteers weeded, cleaned, reseeded, removed invasive species, and painted benches at 71 different parks and gardens across all five boroughs. The event was sponsored by HSBC for the ninth consecutive year, with 200 of its employees installing erosion control measures and testing water quality at Riverside Park.

Presented by HSBC.

“I have to thank New York Cares volunteers for consistently
giving one of my most worn out properties, Raymond O’Connor Field, a great facelift. The group weeded planting beds, pruned shrubs, spread woodchips, painted every bench, light pole, swingset, fire hydrant, flag pole, wrought iron fence, brick column, and door in the park as well as raked and removed old leaves. We couldn’t get the park in this kind of shape without their help.”
— Joe Block, Queens Outreach Coordinator, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Community Partners 2015

Through hands-on, volunteer-led programs at 1,350 partner nonprofits, schools, and city agencies, New York Cares improves educational outcomes for thousands of children and adults, meets immediate needs, and revitalizes public spaces.

New York Cares also conducts a variety of volunteer management training programs aimed at building capacity for our partners.

Growing Nonprofit Capacity

Building on our 29 years of volunteer management experience, the New York Cares Volunteer Impact Program (VIP) trains local nonprofits to successfully and strategically scale their operations by leveraging the power of volunteers. In 2015, 53 New York City nonprofit organizations completed the eight-week VIP course, made possible in part through support from NYC Service.


Financial Supporters 2015

Thanks to the generosity of our corporate, foundation, and individual supporters, New York Cares is able to improve the lives of more than 400,000 New Yorkers every year. We are sincerely grateful to our donors of all levels – our work would not be possible without them.

Financial Statement 2015


Paul J. Taubman

Founder, PJT Partners, LP

Vice President
William Cohen

President, KiwiTech

Vice President - President Emeritus
Gail B. Harris

Retired Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Vice President
David A. Lehman

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

Vice President
Jeanne Straus

President, Straus News, Our Town, West Side Spirit, Our Town Downtown

Vice President
Janet Zagorin

Client Service Officer, Sidley Austin LLP

Joyce Frost

Partner, Riverside Risk Advisors LLC

John B. Ehrenkranz

Chief Investment Officer, Ehrenkranz Partners L.P.


Board Members

James L. Amine, CEO Investment Banking and Capital Markets, Member of the Executive Board, Credit Suisse

Kathy Behrens, President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs, National Basketball Association

Rene Brinkley, Brand Marketing Manager, CNBC

K. Don Cornwell, Partner, PJT Partners, LP

Neil K. Dhar, Partner - Deals Capital Markets Leader, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

Frances Ferguson, Managing Director & Chief Administrative Officer, BNY Mellon

Michael Graham, Senior Managing Director & Country Head - USA, OMERS Private Equity USA

Julie Turaj

Robert Walsh, Chief Financial Officer, Evercore Partners

Howard Wolfson, Senior Advisor to Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Honorary Board Members

Edward Adler, Partner, RLM Finsbury

Richard Bilotti, Head of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Research, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management

Cheryl Cohen Effron

Ken Giddon, President, Rothman's Union Square

Sheldon Hirshon, ESQ, SIH Enterprises, a Division of MC Acquisitions LLC

Robert Levitan, Chief Executive Officer, Pando Networks, Inc.

David Rabin, Partner, The Lambs Club and Double Seven

Michael Schlein, President and CEO, Accion International



Gary Bagley
Executive Director

Megwin Finegan
Senior Director
Communications and Constituent Relations

Ed Lada
Senior Director
Finance and Operations

Michelle LeMay Santiago
Senior Director

Wes Moe
Senior Director


Sarah Abebe

Amy Abramson

Amber Adam

Brittany Agne

Steven Alihonou

Raymond Ampil

Irina Anilovich

Emily Bailey

Drew Barham *

Samara Berger

Maggie Bernhard

Amy Blelloch

Gregory Brown

Bryanna Buchanan

Carol Chang

Danielle Chery

Hazel Chico

Christine Chin

Christina Chiolo

Veronica Cho

Michael Cortez *

Susan Craine

Kasseopia Davis

Jaime Denniston-Merced

Diana Deoki

Savannah Eaves-Kohlbrenner

Kathy Edouard

Glenn Eisenberg

Selma Erey

Alisha Freeman

Mary Gaffney

Michael Gamber

Rosalie Gethins

Matthew Gragnano

Philip Grantham *

Kate Hampton

Elizabeth Hensler

Hannah Jones

Saye-Chantl Joseph *

Katherine Kienitz

Rose Kim *

Maureen Lacey

Priscilla Lam

Adam Lebowitz

Mia Lee

Lisa Lo

Erica Lockwood

Julia Loehle

Marie LoGiudice

Jess Lopez

Claire Marinello

Victor Mendoza

Tammy Mesic

Rebecca Moramarco

Samantha Newman

Avi Nocella

Sarah Nylund

Eivor Pedersen

Andrew Perricone-Dazzo

Christine Peters

Mel Peterson

Erica Plofsky

Jessica Presedo

Grace Ryan

Agnieszka Rybak

Shelby Schebilski

Lizzie Shipley

Ashley Soderstrom

Adenikke Soremekun *

Stephen Streicher

Nicole Thomas

Andy Tsai

Sarah Ushay

Sandra Velez

Dakota West

Heather Wilson *

Nya Wilson

Joshua Winata

Michael Wise

Emma Wolk

Christina Zaferiou

Natalie Zuckerman


As of 12/31/15
*    New York Cares is proud to count NYC Civic Corps and AmeriCorps members among our staff.