On Saturday, 3/21, from 10:30am-2pm, give back at Brooklyn Schools painting murals at MS 334 and MS 354 with our community. This day is part of NYCares Love Brooklyn Day. When you register, include Why We Give in how you found out about this project.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Profession: Director, Repair the World NYC
Twitter Handle: @cindyagreenberg
What is your charity of choice?:
We usually give to the places that we are most connected to: our children’s schools and camps, the non-profits where we work, and the places that our friends ask us to give to because it’s important to them.
Who inspires you to give?:
My husband. He make sure that we sit down together every year before the high holidays and choose where we’d like to contribute.
What motivates you to give?:
I know it’s Fundraising 101, but what usually motivates me is being asked. There are so many worthy causes out there that I feel passionately about, and it’s being asked that makes some rise to the top of the list.
How do you give of your time?:
I’m so glad you asked this. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how we link giving time to giving money. What if a campaign asked for both a financial contribution and a volunteer commitment? I think that’s a much stronger ask.
Lately any extra time I have gets put into the work that we are doing to build Repair the World NYC. We mobilize volunteers to meet pressing community needs. I’ve done so much direct service together with our fellows and volunteers, everything from sorting food at a local food pantry to canvassing beauty salons to raise awareness about educational opportunities. I’ve loved every minute of it.
If you could start your own charity, what would it be?:
Launching Repair the World NYC has been a dream come true for me. The work that we are now doing in Brooklyn will actually link young people to opportunities to make change in their communities. It’s what Abraham Joshua Heschel called “praying with my legs.”
What advice do you have for others to consider giving?:
Give both your money and your time. Each will enrich the other.
What do you enjoy most about your job/what is most challenging?:
I have been on a listening tour in Central Brooklyn and have met with more than 200 community leaders — organizers, non profit professionals, clergy, elected officials, and school principals. I’ve loved listening to their stories and challenges and being able to share that the Jewish community cares and wants to partner with them to make change.
What is your proudest accomplishment – perhaps talk about King Day of service?:
Our very first initiative for Repair the World NYC was over MLK Weekend. We had a Shabbat dinner focused on taking action around racial justice and then a day of service at a dozen different institutions across Brooklyn. More than 400 people participated. In our program survey, 90% of people shared that they are inspired to volunteer more frequently.
What would you say to encourage someone to work in the nonprofit field?:
Get started! I learned early on (from Richard Joel) that leadership is vision with an implementation strategy. Make sure to sharpen your skill set around both.
How do you teach your children about philanthropy?:
I think the most important things to teach kids are empathy and that they have the power to make a difference. I take them with me to volunteer whenever I can. My kids spent hours volunteering after Hurricane Sandy when we were making food to send out to people without electricity and supplies. They’ve been to homeless shelters, senior centers, and a center for kids with autism. Just this weekend I took my youngest on a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to commemorate 50 years since Selma. He’s only 4 but we talked about discrimination in a way that he could understand. As they get older, I’m sure our conversations will shift to more seriously include financial giving.