As part of its venture philanthropy approach, the Heckscher Foundation supports Arbor Brothers, which identifies, funds, and assists promising education and workforce development nonprofits in New York. Through this funding, Heckscher grantees have received both funding and critical capacity-building support. Heckscher Foundation grants to Arbor Brothers have funded the creation of management tools and strategic plans for nonprofits meeting the foundation’s mission. Nonprofits served include the Future Project, a leadership and college access program, and several Heckscher grantees: Exalt Youth, a program providing career and education programs in the juvenile justice area; Bottom Line, a college readiness program; and Row New York, a specialized rowing and college readiness model.
In 2016, the foundation provided capacity-building project support to Arbor Brothers to expand its portfolio of youth-serving organizations to nine grantees. Arbor Brothers aims for its portfolio organizations to develop an outcomes-focused culture to support a leader who can manage by systems rather than feel. Over the last five years, Arbor Brothers grantees have had an 83 percent success rate securing support from deep-vetting “signature funders” including the Robin Hood Foundation, New Profit, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Additionally, the median Arbor Brothers grantee has more than doubled the number of young people they serve as well as their revenue.