Highlighted Projects

The primary aim of the Heckscher Foundation’s grant-making is to “level the playing field” for underserved youth by providing access to education and the varied experiences that make for a richer, forward-reaching life. Our goal is to foster venture philanthropy using three principal funding strategies: catalytic giving, strategic partnerships and targeted problem solving. In all of our giving, we honor the generosity of spirit and dedication of our leaders through the years; their commitment and foresight make it possible for us to continue making a difference for youth in New York City. Here, we feature our Signature Initiatives, projects that we have supported in prior years that demonstrate our catalytic vision, as well as our Selected 2016 Projects, which reflect current mission-aligned programs that we are proud to support.

Signature Initiatives

Heckscher Scholars Program

Heckscher Scholars are public high school students from some of the poorest areas of New … Read More

NYC High School Application Guide

As Seen In: The Wall Street Journal,  DNAinfo NY, Chalkbeat NY Rise & Shine, amNY, NY Metro … Read More

Charter Schools

The foundation has been a leader in funding alternative education initiatives, including charter schools. Independently, … Read More


The foundation provided the largest early funding to KickinNutrition.TV (KNTV), an interactive, digital educational program … Read More

Program Replications to New York

The foundation seeks strategic opportunities to support the expansion of promising out-of-state programs to New … Read More

Public Parks

The Heckscher Foundation is increasingly invested in creating and maintaining livable public parks and public … Read More

SingleStop USA – Community College Initiative

More than half of low-income students begin their postsecondary education at a community college, and … Read More

Summer Meals

The New York Summer Meals Program, which provides free breakfast and lunch to qualified public … Read More

Take the Field

A quarter century of budget cuts had resulted in the acute deterioration of physical education … Read More

Selected 2016 Projects

Education and Academic Support

We fund programs in superior public, private, parochial and alternative schools, as well as those that prepare students for success as they transition from one school or level to another. We do not endorse a particular educational model but rather support organizations that insist on student achievement using tools such as extended time schooling and enrichment activities tied to curriculum.

Arts Education

The Heckscher Foundation believes that the primary arena for excellent arts education is the classroom, and that arts organizations should work consistently and strategically in schools and with teachers, understanding the demands of existing curricula and financial standards.

Health, Recreation and Social Services

The Heckscher Foundation’s mission to “level the playing field” for needy youth is based on the premise that many young people lack the fundamental resources that more fortunate youth take for granted. The programs we sup- port combine an emphasis on so skills (resilience, independence, problem-solving) with hard skills acquisition. We look for our grantees to assess their outcomes in both areas, with a relentless focus on demonstrable outcomes toward a better life.

Workforce Development

We have one primary requirement for assessing initiatives in the career and employment readiness area: proposed interventions must demonstrate concrete outcomes of improved readiness for, and performance in, the world of work.

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance

The Heckscher Foundation provides support for organizations to meet challenges of infrastructure, board issues and strategic direction through partnerships with expert consultants specializing in helping high-potential organizations improve the services they provide to children in need. Capacity building and technical assistance includes hands-on support where needed, working with a variety of stakeholders for collaboration and exploring the complex needs of organizations seeking to move beyond the seed phase to fully scaled programming and infrastructure.

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Highlighted Projects

As part of its venture philanthropy approach, the Heckscher Foundation supports Arbor Brothers, which identifies, funds, … Read More

The Heckscher Foundation is increasingly invested in creating and maintaining livable public parks and public … Read More

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