Fighting Poverty with Cookies

A huge part of what makes my job so awesome is the incredible people who work here. It is inspiring to be part of an orgnaization that is full of intelligent, high achieving people, who have left fields like consulting, banking, and real estate management to come and work at a non-profit. The need to do something “meaningful” became greater than the desire to make a lot of money or “prestigious” career. And while Robin Hood is certainly “best-in-class” when it comes to fundraising and grant making, few people outside of the New York financial community have ever heard of it. But trust me, it is an awesome place to work.

If you don’t believe me, just read the email exchange I just had with my colleague. If this doesn’t show you just how incredible this place is, I don’t know what will.

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From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:55 PM
To: Laura  

Want to get a chocolate chip cookie at paradise :)

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

 Of course I do.  I was going to leave for my meeting at 2:30, want to go down in 15 and I’ll just leave from there?

From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:57 PM
To: Laura
Subject: RE:

Perfect. I love that I can always count on you to partake in a mid-afternoon cookie break. It is really a big part of what makes you so great.

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:58 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

A really big part of what makes you so great is that you request mid-afternoon cookie breaks.

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I am so happy that I have finally found a place of employment where people really “get” me. It took a few years, but I am here. And there are cookies!

(via)

Be Robin Hood

I blogged earlier 2011 is going to be an amazing year. Matt and I are getting married, I am committed to making the most out of living in New York, my sister will lead her OWN swim team during conference and the national championships, and hopefully the Patriots continue their latest string of successes with a Super Bowl win. But most importantly, in 2011, I will get to be Robin Hood.

Last week I blogged about some exciting career news that I had to share. And now I can finally announce that, as of today, I am a proud member of the Robin Hood Foundation. An opportunity presented itself for me to leave my previous position and join this amazing organization. And while this position will undoubtably come with many challenges, longer hours than I am used to and a lot of work, I believe that it will be worth it. For the past two years, I have been thirsting for a bigger challenge, a more meaningful mission, and to be part of an organization that is proud of its work. After spending one day in their office, I know I have found all of these things.

I have blogged about Robin Hood before, but for those of you that are unfamiliar with it, Robin Hood is a charitable organization that fights poverty in New York City. Currently, 1.8 million New Yorkers are living in poverty. Together, they could populate the fifth largest city in the United States–larger than Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco combined. These people struggle with the rising costs of food and housing, and fewer opportunities for adequate health care, quality education and secure employment exist.

Robin Hood is changing the fates and saving the lives of these people by applying investment principles to charitable giving. They find, fund and create the most effective programs and schools serving families in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods.

Robin Hood follows an extensive due diligence process to ensure that every dollar invested generates results. Before investing in a program, Robin Hood reviews its strategy, scrutinizes its financial statements, evaluates its management teams, and conducts multiple visits.

And the support doesn’t stop there. Robin Hood protects and leverages its charitable investments with top-notch management and technical assistance. Their in-house management experts help programs with their strategic and financial planning, recruiting and legal concerns, organizational issues and capital needs…with whatever they require. And if they don’t have the expertise in-house, they get it elsewhere. They have access to the top people and firms in New York to get the job done pro bono.

And because Robin Hood’s board of directors pays all administrative, fundraising and evaluation costs, 100% of donations goes directly to organizations helping impoverished New Yorkers build better lives.

So… for those of you wondering what it is like to work at Robin Hood… I can now tell you. I started my first day with an all staff meeting that felt more like a really interesting college seminar on business analytics coupled with a high school pep rally. The obvious intelligence in the room was almost as much as the pride and honor the employees felt for their organization and for each other. The meeting culminated with the presentation of a cake depicting a scene from the movie Robin Hood, which was created, by who other than Buddy, the Cake Boss.

Not a bad way to start the year.