Nov 02, 2021

Robin Hood’s Annual Benefit Returns

$77.5 Million was raised to fight poverty in New York City.

By Lindsay Carroll, Managing Director | Events & Production and Grace Dixon, Manager | Events

Robin Hood's Annual Benefit

Robin Hood’s annual benefit (finally!) returned to New York City with a star-studded evening that raised $77.5 million toward the fight against poverty. The event brought together the biggest names in entertainment, business, and philanthropy with the shared mission to raise critical funding for New Yorkers living in poverty, and to lead the way for New York City’s next great comeback.

This event also signified the strong return of live events. Robin Hood was committed to creating a safe environment at the Javits Center. The health and safety of guests, crew, working staff, and talent was paramount.

Hosted by Cecily Strong, the event featured a show-stopping concert by the Jonas Brothers and inspirational tributes and performances by Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and more. To further underscore the meaning of the evening, the benefit took place on the 20th anniversary of the historic Concert for New York City, which raised over $35 million for Robin Hood’s Relief Fund for the survivors and families of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001.

Among the other special highlights of the evening:
  • As part of Robin Hood’s partnership with the MTA and through the generosity of The Gray Foundation, guests entered through “Turnstiles Gateway to Opportunity,” a tunnel of 10,000 MetroCards, each with a $33 value which will be distributed to Robin Hood community partners to provide 120,000 rides to get New Yorkers back to work.
  • Stephen Colbert’s voice rang out in the venue as he served as Voice of God throughout the night.
  • Bruce Springsteen delivered a charismatic acoustic performance of hit songs “Working on The Highway,” “Dancing in The Dark,” and “Thunder Road.”
  • Benefit Co-Chair John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia, led a heart-warming tribute to Paul McCartney which included a performance of The Beatles hit “Let It Be” by Alicia Keys.
  • Paul McCartney was awarded Robin Hood’s prestigious Silver Archer Award for his two-decade long partnership with the organization — including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy relief — which has helped to raise over $200 million for New Yorkers in need. He was then joined on stage by a group of New York City firefighters, in addition to Nick Jonas, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, and John Sykes. He remarked that the moment was especially touching for him because his own father was a firefighter.
  • Diane Sawyer and Jon Batiste lent their voices to the Robin Hood produced films.
  • With the help of Roger Goodell, Eli Manning, and Justin Tuck, Robin Hood paid tribute to New York sports and their fans by inviting the winner from Robin Hood’s Rise Up New York! Omaze fundraiser on stage to present her with a New York Giants jersey. Through Omaze, she won a once in a lifetime experience: her very own Super Bowl ring and a game of touch football with Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, Phil Simms, and Justin Tuck.
  • Richard R. Buery, Jr. introduced a video of remarkable New Yorkers who benefited from Robin Hood’s nonprofit partners — including the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, CommonLit, iMentor, and Pursuit — to share their personal stories and showcase the impact of Robin Hood’s support. After the video, those in attendance joined Buery on stage and received a standing ovation.
  • Paul Tudor Jones took the stage to remind New Yorkers about how far we’ve come in the fight against poverty and underscored the urgency of continuing to support efforts to alleviate poverty as we rebuild from the pandemic.
  • SNL’s Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang cheerfully announced the final amount of money raised throughout the evening — an astounding $77.5 million dollars.
  • The Empire State Building lit up in Robin Hood Green in celebration of bringing New Yorkers back together once again.
  • The Jonas Brothers ended the night with a lively concert featuring hit after hit.
100% of the funds raised at the benefit will be invested in the most impactful poverty-fighting programs across all five boroughs specifically aimed at three critical goals:
  • Getting families back on their feet by partnering with the public sector and nonprofit organizations to shore up basic needs like access to food and shelter;
  • Getting kids back on track by investing in targeted education programs, while responding to students’ increased social and emotional needs; and
  • Getting New Yorkers back to work by training and placing workers in high-quality, high-growth job sectors like technology, healthcare, and construction.

This year’s benefit was co-chaired by Alexis Ohanian, John Sykes, Neil and Rachel Blumenthal, and Audrey and Danny Meyer. The night was supported by generous sponsors including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Casa Dragones, Empire State Building, New York or Nowhere, Warby Parker, Winged Keel Group, and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.