Partner Spotlight: Cushman & Wakefield

From the start, the relationship between Cushman & Wakefield and Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-Greater New York) has been a strong one, built on a mutual dedication to serving the communities in which we live and work.

Cushman & Wakefield was one of the first global real estate services companies to fully appreciate the unique needs of the non-profit sector and create a team dedicated to this field. More importantly, they recognize the value of nonprofit providers – like VOA-Greater New York – and consider equally, the bricks and mortar aspects of a real estate transaction as well as the nonprofit’s mission.

“The way that we try to help people is through organizations that are better at it than we are, like Volunteers of America-Greater New York,” explains Lou D’Avanzo, Managing Principal and Vice Chairman, NY Tri-State Region at Cushman & Wakefield. “[We] say, ‘How can we help you with the things that we know best?’”

That expertise was put into practice when a team from Cushman & Wakefield, under the leadership of David Lebenstein, Executive Managing Director and Co-Chair of the Not-for-Profit Advisory Group, NY Tri-State Region, helped us navigate the very complex process of selling our longtime headquarters on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Their team’s calm and persistent “can do” attitude was instrumental in the successful transition to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters that housed more staff and inspired greater collaboration.

But Cushman & Wakefield’s support of VOA-Greater New York goes beyond real estate transactions. 

They are a dedicated supporter of Operation Backpack®, VOA-Greater New York’s well-known back to school campaign that ensures every child living in a homeless and domestic violence shelter in New York City has a backpack and school supplies for the year ahead. In 2018, Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) financially “adopted” the entire supply of wide-rule spiral notebooks. This past year, nearly 90 staff spent a day at our warehouse preparing for Sort Week – the culmination of the drive, when thousands of volunteers prepare backpacks for delivery to the children. It was one of the largest corporate teams we've ever hosted.

Cushman & Wakefield also regularly participates in the Holiday Gifts of the Heart drives, collecting toys and gifts for children and adults in our programs who are at risk of being alone during the holiday season, as well as our Valentines for Veterans drive, to show the veterans that they are not forgotten.

From the highest levels of leadership, to the experienced teams working on the ground, giving back is at the heart of all that Cushman & Wakefield does.

This past December, in recognition of their devotion to the work of VOA-Greater New York, Cushman & Wakefield received the Spirit of the Founders Award at our 24th annual fundraising gala at The Plaza. This award is given each year to a partner who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in community involvement. Lou D’Avanzo accepted the award on behalf of the organization. “We’re happy to step up and do what we can for Volunteers of America-Greater New York,” says Lou, “and we’re grateful for the opportunity to do so.”

Watch the video about Cushman & Wakefield