Foundations based in New York City dispensed nearly $10.7 billion in grants in 2014 (the latest year for which statistics are available), according to the Foundation Center. But who cuts the checks and how do they make their decisions?
The 10 leaders of charitable organizations featured here come from wealth, poverty and the middle class. Some went straight into the nonprofit sector after college, and others had earlier careers: teaching, working on Wall Street, in journalism or even—in the case of Edward P. Henry of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation—as a dancer. Some focus on one cause, like poverty, while others try to cover a vast ground.