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About Us

Founded in 2010, Arbor Rising is a NYC-based grantmaking nonprofit and a 501c3 organization.  We provide unrestricted multi-year funding and high-dosage capacity-strengthening support to a portfolio of promising nonprofits focused on building pathways out of poverty. 

"Arbor Rising has played a fundamental role in helping Hopeworks develop the strategy, systems and leadership skills necessary for us to scale our impact."

Dan Rhoton

Executive Director, Hopeworks


Sammy Politziner and Scott Thomas met as freshmen at the University of Michigan and built a friendship around adventure travel, Michigan sports, and a passion for social justice. After serving as educators through Teach for America, they managed to navigate graduate school and careers in finance while preserving a tradition of annual pilgrimages back to Ann Arbor.

On one such trip, in 2008, they realized they both yearned to be a “part of the solution” to the challenges they saw in their adoptive home of New York City.  After two years of tackling pilot projects on nights and weekends, they quit their jobs and launched Arbor Brothers in 2010.

Arbor Brothers became Arbor Rising in 2022.

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Our donors

We are extraordinarily grateful to the people who power our work: our donors.


This generous group of families and foundations has rallied around the belief that life circumstances should not dictate access to opportunity. Their investments in Arbor Rising have helped build and sustain organizations working every day to transform the lives of young people in our community. Each year, about 95% of donors renew their support, a powerful testament to their commitment.​

To learn more about supporting this work, visit our Donate page.  Arbor Rising and its grantees are 501c3 public charities, so all contributions are fully tax-deductible.

Where to find us

Arbor Rising

270 W 39th St., Fl 20 (Suite 2000)

New York, NY 10018

General inquiries:

© 2024 by ARBOR RISING

Site designed by Courtney Tran

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