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The Robin Hood Foundation announced Leader Link, its initiative to connect experienced financial professionals with nonprofits. The organization is known for its high profile philanthropic activities in New York City to alleviate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. The foundation opened the application period on July 2nd.

The purpose of the program is to funnel financial talent into nonprofit positions where their skills are in high demand. “The last few years, the high-profile financial problems of some high-profile nonprofits have highlighted the need for a competent financial person in these positions,” senior management consultant Deborah Miller said.

Robin Hood seeks to lure experienced professionals in finance to the nonprofit sector to fulfill the more difficult requirements of nonprofit leadership positions, such as reporting, organizational complexity, and the responsibilities that come with high visibility. As government and public scrutiny increases, attracting necessary talent has become a necessity for many nonprofit organizations.

Beginning September 15th, Leader Link will consist of five sessions meant to familiarize participants with the context of nonprofits over the course of a month and a half. Each session will have a different focus, from skill-building to touring local nonprofits. Sessions four and five consist of advice on effective job searches and interviewing, including a one on one practice interview with detailed feedback. Participants will also be paired with a leader of a nonprofit to serve as a mentor throughout and after the program.

The Robin Hood Foundation differentiates itself from other nonprofits by using a system of metrics, called “Relentless Monetization,” which convert different outcomes into monetary worth. These monetary values are used to compare Robin Hood intervention outcomes with what would have otherwise would have happened to the targeted demographic.

Ken Mehlman chairs an advisory board for Robin Hood, joining Jon Stewart, Diane Sawyer, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Eric Schmidt in the organization’s governance. Last year Robin Hood invested $132 million dollars towards fighting poverty.

The Robin Hood Foundation’s annual gala raised over $60 million dollars in donations this month in their ongoing effort towards fighting poverty in America. The organization which is known for its philanthropic activities in public education, food programs, job training, and combatting homelessness, kicked off the event at New York City’s Jacob Javitz Center. The venue can hold more than twice that of any ballroom in the city and was packed with leading figures in the finance and business sectors.
One of the largest charity events in the country (and the largest in New York), the event boasted over four thousand attendees. To kick off the fundraiser a $10 million dollar challenge grant comprised of a $5 million dollar donation by the Pershing Square Foundation and a $5 million dollar anonymous donation was unveiled. The highlight of the evening was the launch of the new Robin Hood Dream Fund – a campaign designed specifically to help immigrants and their families as they transition into life in the United States. The evening’s success has now pushed the foundation’s total charitable contributions to over $1.45 billion dollars since 1988.
In addition to the organization’s board of directors and leadership council the foundation engages with accomplished experts, recruiting them to play important leadership roles in their active campaigns. These board members include influential philanthropists like Jacklyn Bezos of the Bezos Family Foundation and Kenneth Mehlman, Global Head of Public Affairs for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (kkr), who serves on the foundation’s Veterans Advisory Board. Ken Mehlman is one of many volunteers in the non-ideological organization that generously underwrites the administrative coats in addition to actively fund raising for the event.
Since he public ally came out in the Atlantic in 2010, Kenneth Mehlman has been an active advocate for LGBT equality across the country. In addition to his activities with the Robin Hood Foundation he has helped raise over $3 million dollars towards marriage equality in New York, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Washington State. He also serves on the board of directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and the United States Holocaust Museum.