Executive Director's Letter

In November 2016, America selected a new president and the new administration began in January 2017. In the year since, we and many of our colleagues have been watching and preparing as best we can for changes at the federal, state, and local level that are having, and will continue to have, significant impact on the work our grantees do and on the populations they--and through them, we--serve.

The Altman Foundation funds in the areas of education, health, strengthening communities, and the arts. We work only within the five boroughs of New York City, where more than 170 languages are spoken in the public schools; a vibrant cultural sector is as essential as breathing; world-class medical facilities are available to those with access to them; and economic opportunities, healthy parks and open spaces, and housing options exist, again for those who have access to them. Attacks on immigrants; policies that undermine educational goals, the cultural sector, affordable housing, and/or the nation’s most extensive health safety net for the poor; and funding and taxation decisions that reduce the ability of the public sector, and its service partners in the nonprofit world, to help low-income families and individuals move out of poverty are diametrically opposed to what the Altman Foundation has worked for over the past one-hundred-plus years.

This is not a matter of politics. It is about taking the long view and about fundamental human decency. We are all in this together, and we rise or sink together. Within the limits of our available resources, the Altman Foundation will continue to look for ways to help build communities and the common good here in New York. We will continue to support strong organizations delivering superior results and we will use a range of grant approaches, including funding service delivery, capacity building, applied research, advocacy, and, in some cases, program-related investments, to achieve these ends. We will continue to partner with our funding colleagues, whether through pooled funds or in less formal collaborations, to multiply the impact of our dollars and our collective efforts. Through our fifth, overarching program area, Services to Not-for-Profits, we will continue to help sustain a vibrant and dedicated nonprofit sector. We will help our grantees explore collaborative efforts to deepen services for communities particularly affected by changes in the current environment. And we will include in this program area support for nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative journalism in New York City, which we see as undergirding the work of our grantee partners by bringing the issues and challenges they face to light.

As always, we will keep our founder Benjamin Altman, who was himself the child of immigrants, as our touchstone, ensuring that his interests in the power of the arts and of education, in the importance of access to healthcare, and in the well-being of the most vulnerable among us, remain at the forefront of our work. We remain deeply grateful for our funding colleagues, both public and private, and for the amazing grantees we are so proud to support.

Vice President Signature

Karen L. Rosa
Vice President & Executive Director

February 2018

Karen L. Rosa Karen L. Rosa