In December 2000, Cleveland E. Dodge Jr. stepped down as president and William Dodge Rueckert, vice-president and great-grandson of the Founder, was appointed president of the Foundation. Shortly thereafter, on September 11th, 2001, the catastrophic events at the World Trade Center occurred. The Foundation stepped in with two emergency grants to help victims, their families, and rescue workers. These grants continued the Foundation’s tradition of helping in times of great need. Also aligned with its legacy, the Foundation made an unprecedented $2 million grant to the YMCA of Greater New York to help renovate and expand all branches. The focus was consistent, i.e., to assist agencies that are working to transform the lives of disadvantaged people throughout the New York City area. The end of the decade coincided with a global financial crisis and with it a 35% decrease in the value of the endowment. The Board navigated the period by decreasing grant levels while continuing support of its beneficiaries throughout this difficult period.

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