Contact Us: 212-901-9919
George McDonald has dedicated his life to serving New York City and the people who call it home. Through a nearly 30-year career that exemplifies the power of combining business experience and public service, McDonald has helped to transform the streets of New York and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands.
After two successful decades as an apparel industry executive, he has spent the last 27 years employing innovative business models to create jobs and economic opportunities for low-income New Yorkers. As Founder and President of The Doe Fund, one of the country’s most celebrated nonprofit organizations, McDonald has proven that providing paid work opportunities to individuals can transform their lives for the better.
What began as a dream at the kitchen table with his wife, Harriet Karr-McDonald, The Doe Fund grew from a $1.5 million operation serving 70 individuals a day in 1990 to a $50 million organization serving 1,000 individuals each day. For more than 20 years, The Doe Fund’s nationally acclaimed paid work and training program, Ready, Willing & Able, has strategically addressed the ever-changing face of homelessness in New York, expanding to meet the needs of ex-offenders, homeless military veterans, fathers, and young adults. Fueled by McDonald’s belief that “work works,” The Doe Fund and Ready, Willing & Able have helped more than 18,000 individuals transform their lives and the lives of the people they touch.
McDonald has utilized his passion, business savvy, and private sector experience to launch additional innovative social enterprises that provide paid jobs and vocational training, offer valuable services to the community, and generate substantial revenue to support program operations.
Since 1989, The Doe Fund has raised nearly $700 million from a diverse, mixed-market revenue structure; and has generated over $260 million in direct community and government benefits, including more than $100 million in work stipends paid directly to Ready, Willing & Able participants.
A champion of bipartisan criminal justice reform efforts that use employment-based strategies to reduce recidivism and the collateral costs of crime and incarceration, McDonald chaired New York State’s Independent Committee on Reentry and Employment in 2005. He currently sits on Governor Cuomo’s Work for Success Executive Committee, part of a statewide, cross-sector partnership working to increase employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.
McDonald has received numerous individual accolades, including the Manhattan Institute’s William E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Entrepreneurship, a New York Post Liberty Medal, St. John’s University’s Spirit of Service Award, and an Honorary degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Through his entrepreneurial spirit, tireless advocacy, and effective leadership, McDonald has helped transform thousands of lives, creating meaningful opportunities for upward economic mobility, improving local communities, and generating tangible social and financial outcomes for the benefit of all New Yorkers.