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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Big Apple Greeter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Business & Industry, Economic Development, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Exchange, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Big Apple Greeter's mission is to enhance New York City's worldwide image and enrich the New York experience by connecting visitors with knowledgable and enthusiastic volunteers. The mission was created to accomplish the following goals: to promote New York City as friendly, inviting, and manageable; to bolster tourism and foster economic development; and to create opportunities for New Yorkers to show pride in their city and give back to their city.

Target demographics: International tourists seeking to explore New York City through the eyes of locals.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Support Big Apple Greeter www.bigapplegreeter.org

Community Stories

284 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

RobertCRoss

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeters provide absolutely free four to five hour introductions to the great city of New York to visitors from all around the world. I have gone on several of their walks, have met many of the Greeters and the support staff that arrange getting the Greeters and their guests together.

Every Greeter has been very knowledgeable, very friendly, and extremely generous with their time. The support staff does a great job.

The five star reviews on the various reviewing sites are invariably outstanding; the one star reviews are almost always complaints that the visitor was not able to obtain a Greet. Several people are working hard on raising funds to greatly increase the number of visits that can be supported every year.

The goal of each Greeter is to make the visit one that will be the best day of the visit to the City, and that goal is almost invariably achieved.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife supported this fine organization for many years before her death -- she loved the idea that they gave visitors a free subway token at the time.

After her death, I decided to become a Greeter, and I specialize in Central Park, the Upper East Side and mid-town, with forays into Brooklyn, the Upper West Side and the Battery.

Greeters are pretty much free to take friends from around the world anywhere on a Greet within the City. We are supported by 40 dedicated staff people, who arrange for us to find the friend we will accompany on their Greets throughout the five boros.

We unfortunately do not have the computer support we need to fill the over-whelming demand. We are working hard on that problem and hope someday to Greet everyone who applies for a Greet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had the most marvelous 'inside greet' with Lester, who took us the length of 57th St explaining the history, architecture and 'gossip' about this important uptown street His knowledge is prodigious, and he is a very entertaining speaker. Our group had lots of fun learning about this famous street and its neighbors. The way the Greeters share their knowledge with one another keeps the program growing and current.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Posting note from visitor L Rossiter, UK:
Myself, my mother and friend met up with Bob Moore today and had a blast! Bob was incredibly kind and informative even before we arrived in the city and couldn't be anymore helpful. He quite literally tailored the day to our needs and interests. We saw so much of the city that we would have missed had we attempted on our own: Cloisters, Eastside, Katz's, Highline, Chelsea Market and World Trade Centre.
I honestly could not recommend this enough. The fact that these people VOLUNTEER their time is incredible.

Thank you again!!
November 15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter NYC connects visitors from around world with New Yorkers who volunteer to show them a slice of authentic New York City, directly through the eyes of a NYC resident. That is a extraordinary experience that only happens in “3D,” and in real time. Community at its best! There’s no better ambassador for NYC than the volunteer Greeters who share their New York with the myriad of visitors everyday.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The one and only Big Apple Greeter program offers visitors to New York the opportunity to see our vibrant City through the eyes and experiences of real New Yorkers. “We got to see New York in a whole new perspective” as shared by a family from Sweden, who has since returned to New York for three more visits. If that doesn’t say it all.

Chantal van S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lovely experience. Our tour of the Harlem area was one to remember, with lots of little interesting facts. Without a greeter we probably would not have visited Harlem whilst there is lots to see.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Got a chance to make a magic moment last Fall. And what a moment it was!! I had the pleasure of showing Nicole and son Luca from Germany around Midtown and Brooklyn for a greet today. In our correspondence, Nicole mentioned that Luca had always wanted to see an NBA game, but was having a difficult time getting tickets. You should have seen the look on Luca’s face when we arrived at the Barclay’s Center, and I told him I was able to get free tickets for the three of us to see the Brooklyn Nets play. The reaction was priceless. He had a smile on his face the moment he heard and throughout the game. He was messaging all of his friends and even his basketball coach back home.

His mom was so thrilled. And me... well, my heart is full. I’ll remember today for sure.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a great tour of the Upper East Side with excellent views of Roosevelt Island. Our Greeter called our Greet a twofer. Betsy

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter provides a terrific way for visitors from around the world to meet New Yorkers and learn first-hand from them about their city and the people who live there - and in turn gives Greeter volunteers an opportunity to learn from our wonderful visitors.

1 Volunteer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Big Apple Greeter for over 15 years. I always seemed to be helping people find their way around the City so when I saw an ad about Big Apple Greeter, I thought this would be a fun thing to do. As a greeter I have met so many lovely people from all over the world. I especially enjoyed showing a solo traveler how to use the subway and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. She was afraid to leave her hotel until we met.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been both a greeter and office volunteer since 2002 and have enjoyed both roles. Meeting people from all over the world and showing them the things I love about the City is a wonderful and rewarding experience. Some visitors were afraid to venture out on their own but once I showed them how to use the subway and walk the streets, they loved New York City. And, being in the office with so many talented and dedicated people is a real blessing. It's a great way to stay connected and help a wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer greeter since 2017. It is so rewarding to see how visitors embrace my city and to think I had a hand in making them feel more comfortable through their knowledge of the city. Big Apple Greeter might have been designed originally for the visitor, but it certainly benefits the volunteer greeter in countless ways.

2 Delphine M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just unbelievable to have a free greet of 4 to 5 hours by a New Yorker who share with you all the anecdotes about the city he loves.

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great non-profit doing wonderful work to support NYC, while making lifelong friends for the city, bridging cultural divides and inspiring kindness....check out video from supporter David Checketts and become involved....

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nearly 7 years ago, I took a couple from Melbourne Australia out for a Big Apple Greet. She was celebrating her 50th birthday and was accompanied by her then boyfriend. Last December, they e-mailed u s and told us they wanted to return to New York to get married and could we (my wife and I), help them. I guess we were friends that they had met in New York, years ago. Rise to the challenge??? You betcha. So we organized a photographer to record the event and the day, acted as witnesses and arranged an impromptu reception with our friends and the bride and groom at a small local restaurant in downtown Manhattan.

3 Viv K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello dear people:
I visited New York in October, 2016. My Big Apple Greater was Peter Schulhof (big hug if he reads this post). We saw the Borough Hall and court area of downtown Brooklyn, and then walked along one of the streets of Brooklyn Heights to a section that includes several Middle Eastern shops and an interesting food shop called Sahadi’s which we visited. Then , we explored some of the pleasant streets of Brooklyn Heights (a designated historic district) including your promenade with its spectacular view of the skyline of the financial district of downtown Manhattan. We also walked a little while in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park along the East River, and see a part of the trendy DUMBO ( Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where we had lunch in a fancy restaurant. After that, Peter also accompanied me to the entrance of the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge for me to walk to Manhattan on the bridge. He also taught me how to use the subway! Appart from helping me with all his guidance and instructions, Peter also made me feel "at home" in that, my first visit to your amazing, lovely, fantastic, and ever loved city. Thanks to all of you for having been there for me.

2 Thomas G.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter is a terrific organization that allows individuals to represent New York City. Visitors coming to our city have an opportunity to walk through our beautiful neighborhoods and learn about its people, architecture and history at no cost.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friendly Big Apple Greeter showed me around in Harlem. A New Yorker showing his view on his home town and sharing what he knows was a special experience. To look at what he sees and what is interesting to him was a wonderful opportunity to delve into the most beautiful sights of this part of the City. I recommend a tour to everybody travelling. It is also an opportunity to not only be a tourist, but „being a New Yorker“ for some time and start to love the place from a personal view. The organization of the meeting was exceptionally good and was very well informed all the time about the procedure.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer greeter with B.A.G. for about six years, I can truly attest to the immensely positive effect of the person-to-person experience of a Greet on visitors when they come to New York. Instead of the very impersonal contact with sales clerks, taxi drivers, head waiters, etc., a Greet with a B.A.G. volunteer presents a unique opportunity for visitors to experience an extended interaction with a New Yorker -- hopefully (and in my experience nearly universally) leaving the visitor with the feeling that this city is a warm and welcoming place and engenders a wish to return often in the future.

A number of the visitors I meet with have done just that.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a one-on-one organization, I know of none more effective then Big Apple Greeters at offering visitors to New York City an opportunity to visit some of the most interesting areas in the company of a New Yorker with nothing to sell and absolutely no ax to grind. As a Greeter, my aim is to showcase the city in a way that leaves my visitors with the feeling that New York is a friendly, welcoming place -- and, hopefully, the wish to come back often.

Read more

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful way to experience New York. Dedicated volunteers make the city understandable and accessible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I serve as a greeter volunteer and find the position truly rewarding. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with visitors from all over the world. It is a lovely way to show visitors our beautiful city, it's architecture, multi ethnic cuisine, the history attached to various neighborhoods, our parks And historic sights. In addition friendships are formed and I wind up maintaing connections with many of our visitors. The Greeter's program is a wonderful way to showcase our magnificent city..

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Volunteer Greeter at Big Apple Greeter. As easy as NYC is to get around in, it can be quite daunting to visitors who are not used to a big city. I once had a visit with a couple from Louisiana and they told me that when they came from the airport and first viewed our beautiful skyline they freaked out. They live 50 miles from the nearest store and couldn't imagine wondering around the canyons of NYC. If I had not met them at their hotel lobby to show them how safe and easy NYC is they would never have left their hotel. After our visit they emailed me and told me that they had wonderful adventures around the city and that they would surely return with family members. I've had so many wonderful stories about how visitors lives were changed because of the opportunity to see NYC with a Greeter. Greeters are a major gateway of friendship and kindness to those that visit our great city. Americans as well as foreigners see NYC in a whole new light because of their experiences with us. We need all the support we can get to keep up this important good work.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Apple Greeter has my vote. I have been a volunteer Greeter since its inception. Every one of my visitors has expressed how grateful they are to see NYC with a Greeter and what a difference it has made in their trip.

Some of my visitors have returned a few times and so have their friends and family members because of the wonderful experience they had.

I became a Greeter because people who were never here had misconceptions of our great city. Ever since becoming a Greeter I have had the opportunity to help make a tremendous difference to how people view NYC and Americans in general.

If you care about New York City as much as we do and are aware of how important Big Apple Greeter is we hope you can help keep us going.

Please do not let this valuable organization become a forgotten memory in the eyes of the world.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a big apple greeter for just little over 4 months. I have had many successful visits since I have started in December 2011 one week before the new year. I am NYC born and raised and love showing people the place that I call home. Many of the visitors like seeing NYC through the eyes of an everyday New Yorker and not a tour guide.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at this organization for approximately 10 years and it provides me with one of the most socially satisfying things that I do in the world. It gives me the opportunity, on an almost weekly basis, to accompany many interesting people and show them New York, my city, through my own eyes. I believe that this presents an extraordinary opportunity for many visitors, and likewise enriches the lives of volunteers, such as myself.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Big Apple Greeter for approximately 9 years. During that time, I have done visits with literally hundreds of visitors to New York City, many of them from French speaking countries and do the vast majority of my visits in French.

These visits have given me the opportunity to share many off the beaten track views of New York and have allowed for many cultural exchanges with our visitors. These meetings have helped to show the New York that few tourists see and have helped them to see comparisions with their own cultures and governmental systems.

I have taken visitors to far flung locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn and have shown them areas scarcely covered in guide books such as Victorian Flatbush and Brighton Beach with its Russian ambiance. I have likewise done visits to Clinton, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and lower Manhattan and have both taught and learned a great deal.

This organization provides access that is unmatched for this group of visitors. I believe in and support this organization and average 40 to 50 visits per year.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization. They match visitors to NYC with residents who then take the visitors out on a walking tour of the City. The tour generally covers the Greeters favorite spots, often off the beaten track. It is a great people to people program and humanizes the visitors NYC experience.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A was born and grew up in Brooklyn eventually getting a free education at Stuyvesant HS and an engineering degree at CCNY. I owe much to this great city and giving back by sharing it with visitors has been a true pleasure. Big Apple Greeter connects me to visitors from every corner of the globe. They employ both internet technology and person to person contact to make it all happen. I hope this valuable organization does not fall victim to the cut backs during this recession. It would be a shame.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a Big Apple Greeter. I show people from all over the world some of my favorite spots in NYC. Now that I have a 6 year old daughter, she comes along whenever I have visitors from out of town that have kids. We like to show parents some playground and amenities for their kids; one of my favorites is the playground by the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which also has Jane's Carousel, a beautifully restored 19th century merry go round. We often then walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have lunch in Chinatown or Little Italy. People can't believe how reasonably priced a lunch can be. One visitor from Germany thought our Vietnamese meal would be tapas-style, where we'd have to order multiple plates, since the bowls of noodles, soup and rice were $6-$8, but we all filled our bellies with good protein, veggies and starch! They liked it so much, they went back a second time without us.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Big Apple Greeter since 1996. Initially, my friends thought I was insane for wanting to meet visitors in their hotel lobby, show them around NYC for a few hours and maybe have a snack or a meal with them. Eventually, my friends realized that being a Greeter was a great release for me. I was able to share some of the trivia that I know about NYC with tourists, as opposed to torturing my friends with that knowledge!

I love being a Greeter, as I'm able to share my love and knowledge of New York City with new people. It's a wonderful way to make the world a smaller and better place.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The strength of Big Apple Greeter is in its person-to-person experiences. These flow back and forth from volunteer to visitor. We always like to think we have added something special to a visitor's time in New York but the proof is in being passed along from visitor to visitor's friend, over and over again. It's the joy of having repeat visits from the same family and watching their children grow up; it's also the sadness of watching that same family go through the illnesses that afflict people everywhere. We come to know these people remarkably well just during a day out together because it's a non-stop conversation. It's a really great experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were in NYC twice the last couple of years and on both occasions a BAG showed us around and told us all we wanted to know and more. It was really great! We would like to recommend BAG to everyone who is going to visit the BA. These volunteers know their city and the stuff they can tell you is not in the tourist guidebooks. And furthermore, they are nice people. Please continue your servives and we will definitely return tp NYC another time.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a former BAG volunteer. This program allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people. Many of the visitors that I helped were most grateful indeed. BAG Program is something that helps NYC in many ways. It builds awareness and it shows the capabilities that New Yorkers have as World citizens.
Please contribute to this great organization and make a viable alternative to potential visitors to the Big Apple.
Long Live Big Apple Greeter and it's amazing staff.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been in nyc at january 2011. I'm french. I've had a wonderful experience with a greeter who showed me some brooklyn neighborhoods. A very informative visit with someone who has a wide knowledge of his borough and knows how to let tourists like me get interested on them. An experience who should be tried by all those who are interested in nyc.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered to photograph some of the tours Big Apple Greeter has given tourists here in New York. I go with the Greeter and the few tourists on their trip and photograph the tour.
While I am not the client served, I have found these tours to be just great. They have gone to neighborhoods I have never seen and the guide has taken us around the neighborhood with enthusiasm and a continuing talk and anecdotes about the neighborhood. The Greeters are "natives' to the neighborhoods they show and really love where they live. I find them fascinating and see how the clients do, too. What's more, they give the clients, often from overseas, a chance to spend half a day with a real New Yorker

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

On my first visit to the US last year, I had just over a day in New York. As a travel writer, I was keen to veer off the usual tourist route, for an insight into this high energy metropolis. I could achieve my objective, thanks to a Big Apple volunteer.
She was punctual and greeted me at my hotel, with an apple - most apt for the brand. But for her, i wouldnot have got delightful a tour of Greenwich village and a combined lesson on its history, geography and philosophy.
More importantly, talking to her human to human, i could largely realise my objective of understanding the concerns, motivation and attitude of average New Yorkers - something a professional guide with his practiced script and monetary motive wouldnot have delivered.
She had the metro tickets for both of us, but politely declined my natural gesture of paying for her lunch, and a book as a tocken of my gratefulness!
Big Apple Greeters is a great idea!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

soy turista ,vivo en argentia y los servicios que brindan en NY son excelentes .
los guias son personas maravillos y muy atentos.
en resumen todo 10PUNTOS ,MUY SOBRESALIENTE.
VAMOS A GANAR ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We are a family of 5 from Australia. We arranged our B.A.G and were not disappointed. He was on time at 9.30am and did not leave us until 4.00pm. He showed us around the Financial District, gave up tips on the best use of the metrocard for the subway, took us into buildings that you would not otherwise have bothered to go into. Had a great lunch at the South Street Seaport and we arranged tickets for Broadway at the TKTS booth at the Seaport. Very knowledgeable about NYC and it was fantastic to meet someone who lives and worked in NYC. Would highly recommend this organization to family, friends and acquaintances.

Review from Guidestar

1 Belinda P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We spent 5 days in New York in mid January and had the absolute privilege of meeting up with one of your greeters. The experience was exactly what I had hoped for and more!
Great to see the city and surrounds from a local's perspective and to get an 'insider's view' on places and events in New York.
Our greeter also spent way more time with us than is expected which was fantastic.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are from Australia and in October 2010 my husband, son & I stayed in New York for 3 days and had the priviege of having a volunteer from Big Apple Greeter show us around New York. This experience far exceeded my expectations and we got to see a lot of New York that we otherwise would not have seen. The volunteer was very knowledgable and we learnt heaps of stuff about New York which we otherwise would not have known if we were on our own. Also got to see some different residential areas when we side-tracked off the normal tourist path.

It certainly was the best way to see New York from a locals perspective

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with this wonderful organization for two years. It helps new visitors navigate the city, gets many of their questions and concerns answered, and gives them a very positive view of New York (great for future tourism in the city) and Americans. They also realize that they don't have to be multi-millionaires to enjoy the city, as they learn about the many reasonably-priced assets to enjoy. Most of the time I take them to Brooklyn, and that is a real eye-opener for most guests --they often look at the borough as a dangerous place, and then are amazed at the beautiful residential areas, great restaurants and shops, and friendly people. Often, other New Yorkers on the subways, for example, will hear me talking to the visitors, and chime in with more information and help. I think it helps to spread good will in the world view of Americans.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an office volunteer doing graphic design with Big Apple Greeter for over 6 years. As a lifelong New Yorker, this experience has given me the opportunity to take part in an organization that truly expresses the love I have for New York.

Every member of Big Apple Greeter has an enormous love of this great city (and all its boroughs) and a desire to share "their New York" and all it has to offer with visitors from near and far. Almost every member is a volunteer, and — unlike most NY tour companies — every tour is free and personal.

These personal tours give visitors more reason to come back to visit New York again and again. This is why it's so important to keep this organization alive.

In addition, Big Apple Greeter was the inspiration for Greeter programs worldwide, thus forming the Global Greeter Network. This reiterates the effect B.A.G. has had on people across the world, bringing our large world closer together by forming wonderful lasting memories and experiences.

I recently went abroad and took a tour with Paris Greeter, a sister organization. The volunteer on that tour expressed how much he enjoyed his own Big Apple Greeter tour when he visited New York, and what a large inspiration it has been to the whole greeter network.

Review from Guidestar