New York Common Pantry
Impact Rating

New York Common Pantry

Top Hunger Nonprofit

Impact: $0.80 provides a meal to a person in need.

Choice Pantry and Nourish meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit's cost per meal is less than 75% of the local meal cost.

Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of New York Common Pantry.

Methodology

Governance: Passes checks

Mission

New York Common Pantry is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.

Cause

Hunger

Rated Program

Choice Pantry and Nourish

Location

New York, NY

Donations processed by the nonprofit.

Cause

Hunger

Rated Program

Choice Pantry and Nourish

Location

New York, NY

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Rated Program

Program

Choice Pantry and Nourish

Activities

New York Common Pantry provides groceries to beneficiaries.

Program Type

Food Distribution

Beneficiaries Served

People living in poverty

Geography

New York, NY

Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.

Outcomes

Outcome Metric

A meal provided to a person in need

To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.

Data Source

Outcome data collected during the program. New York Common Pantry publicly reports the amount of food it provides.

Time Period of Data

July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

We assume that the distribution of a meal from one nonprofit's food distribution program does not diminish the amount of food distributed by any other (neighboring) food distribution program. This “counterfactual” assumption about the amount of food distributed in the absence of New York Common Pantry’s food distribution program implies that the benefit of a meal to a beneficiary in need constitutes a net gain; the gain is not offset by reductions in food provided to other beneficiaries in need. We therefore set the counterfactual to zero.

We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g. a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e. counterfactual outcomes).

Cost

Data Source

Cost data reported by New York Common Pantry and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.

Cost Calculation

$3,789,139 program costs + $1,864,439 partner costs + $0 beneficiary costs = $5,653,578 total costs

After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners. In-kind donations, of labor or supplies, are not counted.

Impact

Impact Calculation

$5,653,578 total costs / 6,736,730 meals provided = roughly $0.80 provides a meal to a person in need.

Numbers may not divide precisely due to rounding and time discounting.

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.

Rating

Benchmark for Rating

Impact ratings of food distribution programs are based on the cost of a meal relative to the cost that a food-secure person incurs to buy a meal in that county. Programs receive 5 stars if they are less than 75% the cost of a meal and 4 stars if they are less than 125%. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.

Determination

The nonprofit's cost per meal is less than 75% of the local meal cost.

Why We Could Be Wrong

We welcome your suggestions for improving our methodology. Our methodology section includes explanations of how we mitigate these issues.

  • The outcome could oversimplify total impact. Using "meals provided to a person in need” as the metric of analysis may obscure differences in, for instance, the nutritional quality of meals.
  • There could be multiple important outcomes not captured in our analysis.
  • New York Common Pantry may be spending additional money in order to serve harder-to-reach and/or particularly valuable populations.
  • In the absence of better data, we assume uniform counterfactual rates for programs, at the risk of masking variation across nonprofits.
  • Our estimates rely on data made public by New York Common Pantry on its website, annual reports, financial statements and Form 990s.
  • We only analyze programs that meet our criteria. As a result, this report may not fully reflect the impact of New York Common Pantry.
  • We do not assess what explains the nonprofit's cost-effectiveness.

We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:

  • There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.

  • After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.

    We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.

  • The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

  • The rated program is cost-effective.

  • The rated program is highly cost-effective.

Read More

Nonprofit Comment

Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for New York Common Pantry or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.

Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.


Analysis Details

Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

An ImpactMatters analyst searched the Form 990s, annual reports, audited financials and the website of New York Common Pantry to calculate impact and rate cost-effectiveness. A second analyst conducted quality control.

We welcome corrections. If you are interested in exploring applications of ImpactMatters data, contact us at partnerships@impactmatters.org.

Governance Check

New York Common Pantry passes our governance check.

Conducted a financial audit

Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)

Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory

New York Common Pantry itself has not reported any material diversions of assets

New York Common Pantry itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions

Source: New York Common Pantry Form 990 and Charity Navigator

How We Calculate Impact

This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Choice Pantry and Nourish relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.

For Donors

A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.

For Nonprofits

Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.

For Researchers

Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.

Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.