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2020 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

295 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 4

Last September (2010), my brother, his wife, my wife and I had a great time in New York City thanks to the company and help of a wonderful Big Apple Greeter volunteer. He was a pretty gentle man who guided us to some unforgettable places and gave us valorous information about the city and how to enjoy our stay as much as possible. Thank you very much indeed BAG.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It was a few years ago that I was in NYC by myself. I arranged before I left home for a greeter to meet me & she was even more delightful &
knowledgable than I'd expected. We visited the bombsite & walked the
Brooklyn Bridge, all the while talking about things I was interested in knowing about NYC. At the end of our meeting she put me on a subway
train to return to my hotel - my first ride on a subway. I was very much
impressed by her & by the concept of "Big Apple Greeters" in general.
It's a wonderful service for visitors & creates positive views of your great city.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first visit to New York and I was lucky to have a Big Apple Greeter on my first day. My lovely guide came to the hotel to take me to see the Brooklyn Bridge and to a wonderful view of the Bridge and the Skyline of Manhattan from Brooklyn. We also went to China Town and Little Italy. It was so nice to have somebody to show you around, also how to use the metro. And she gave much information on the history of the places we visited and the fun places to visit later on.
The tour lasted the entire morning and it did gave me a good feeling of New York and the confidence to go and see more of the city on my own.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

August 2001- A family of Belgian tourists: my husband, our youngest son and myself, enjoyed the extraordinary possibility of visiting New York guided by a volunteer of Big Apple Greeter. We had discovered this opportunity thanks to a guidebook mentioning this fantastic service. Thank you "Big Apple Greeters" for letting us see your stunning city through your eyes and your heart. We felt how much you loved your city and we couldn't help being contaminated by your enthusiasm. Since then, we've recommended your organization to many friends visiting Big Apple. If we ever go back to New York, we will certainly meet you again.
Yours sincerely, Nicole, André and Simon

Client Served

Rating: 5

Although having to New York a few times in the past, 'my' Big Apple Greeter showed my points, things and landmarks I had never seen before. It was a great experience that I enjoyed a lot

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Everyone who comes to New York should see all the wonderful and high profile venues it has to offer. But if they also want to experience the Big Apple from a real New Yorker's point of view, they should take a neighborhood tour from a Big Apple Greeter (BAG) volunteer. BAG is a magical and unrivaled New York "happening" that takes you behind the scenes in places you would never get to visit otherwise. BAG leaves you with an emotional attachment to the widely varied and unique neighborhoods that make up a City where over 106 languages are spoken each day. Big Apple Greeter doesn't sugar coat New York, but will nonetheless leave a visitor with sweet memories!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother, sister and I spent a wonderful afternoon with our New York City Greeter. We were able to experience riding the subway, Central Park without the worry of the big city. Our greeter knew the city, told us the features of the city and made us fall in love with it! We walked the park, sat on the benches, spoke to people in the park, rode the subway-several different lines with his guidance. The big scary city turned into feeling like we were a home and comfortable with it. We are looking forward to our next visit real soon and will use them again. We have told friends to take advanage of this wonderful experience.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having twice been hosted by an NYC greeter, the volunteers were helpful, congenial and informative. I love their personal stories about the areas they guided us through and truly see this program as a gift to anyone open to taking the road less traveled with a seasoned New Yorker!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I have on 3 occasions when we have visited NY city have requested the services of Big Apple Greeter. There help showing us around the city made our trip special. Each one on the guides were friendly and very helpful. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoy the experience. I am from the Mid West and I have many times heard folks say that New Yorkers and not friendly. Of course many of them have not visited the city. My experience has just been the opposite. I found the people from New York City very friendly. When you meet these people who volunteer for Big Apple Greeters your doubls about the city will change quickly.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was researching information on line for a trip to New York City, I looked at many sites. We had not been to NYC for a long time and I was anxious about finding our way around the city. I came across the site for Big Apple Greeters and was amazed to see that it was free! I assumed we would "get what we paid for" but how wrong I was. Our escort, Peter Drew, was delightful, knowledgeable, and passionate about his love for NYC. Through his tutorage, we quickly learned how to get about the city via the subway, learned the history and background of the burroughs and set the tone for a wonderful stay. What an amazing service this is!!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we visited NYC in 2008, we contacted Big Apple Greeters to set up a guide. We gave them information about our group (my 2 daughters and me) and our guide, Cecelia, decided that we women would like to go to the jewelry district. She could not have picked a better day if she had known us!! She took us to the hidden stores that we would never have found on our own and we had a lovely day together. She even refused to allow us to pay for her lunch. The day we spent with her was among the highlights of our trip and my daughters still talk about it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

For our second trip to New York City in April 2010, we decided to send a request to Big Apple Greeter. Big Apple Greeter is a non-profit organization that helps visitors discover NYC by intoducing them to a local volunteer greeter. No two visits are the same - ours was supposed to last 2-4 hours, but our amazing guide Chafin took us on a much longer tour of Brooklyn and Harlem, the two neighborhoods we had expressed an interest in. Chafin is not a professional tour guide, but having spent over 10 years volunteering with Big Apple Greeter, he definitely knows how to entertain visitors. He showed us several sites we would never have found on our own, and by sharing many stories with us (he grew up in Harlem and eventually moved to Brooklyn with his wife Ethel), he truly helped us understand what it's like to live in the New York City area. He made us feel much more comfortable about getting around the city on our own and going beyond popular Manhattan spots. New York City will never be the same for us thanks to this one-of-a-kind experience!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Aloha! Mys husband and I visited New York City for the first time in February, 2007. I had read about Big Apple Greeters in Pauline Frommer's New York City. What a great recommendation! We contacted them through their easy-to-use website and were set up with a great volunteer guide. Since we are from Kauai, one of the smaller, more rural islands of Hawaii, I had never been exposed to mass transit. I asked to tour Central Park and learn how to ride the subway. Since we were there in February, it snowed. Our guide showed us how to walk in the snow so we wouldn't fall down. He showed us how to read the bus and subway schedules and presented us with our very first MetroCard! We went on both subway and bus rides with our guide and had a nice tour of Central Park. Of course , most of the concessions were closed because of the snow, but he was still able to show us a great time! He spent about 4 hours with us. It was an experience we will never forget. New Yorkers often get a bad rap, but just everyone we came in contact with was great. Everyone should visit New York City and contact Big Apple Greeters when they do. I can't think of a more deserving organization than Big Apple Greeters. Please give them this donation!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have proudly been a Big Apple Greeter since 2008, and I have shown more than 100 people our great city of New York! Big Apple Greeter improves the image of New York City in the eyes of visitors, by giving visitors an intimate view of the city through the eyes of a native New Yorker. These visitors in turn, collectively spend billions of dollars in the city eating at local restaurants, shopping, and supporting businesses such as local mom & pop stores. Big Apple Greeter is an organization worthy of support, as it helped to make New York City one of the number one tourist destinations, not only in the country, but in the world!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I stumbled across Big Apple Greeter's in a local newspaper article several months before my daughter and I headed to New York City for the Christmas holidays. I was skeptical, but willing to give them a shot. They turned out to be worth their weight in gold. Our trip got off to a disastrous start with a massive snowstorm in our hometown. After nearly 24 hours of delays, closed airports, and rerouted flights we made it to New York -- minus our luggage. I called our greeter when I arrived and she adjusted our meet time so my daugther and I could get some much needed sleep. She also brought us winter coats to borrow, since ours were in the lost luggage. She then led us on a fantastic tour of the city she obviously adored. I recommend Big Apple Greeters to anyone visiting the city -- what a treasure!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I decided that we ought to spend a week in New York a couple of years ago and having searched for things to do I stumbled upon the Big Apple Greeter program so asked if we might participate. we were greeted in our hotel reception at 9am the morning after arriving by a life long New York resident who entertained us for a full day and introduced us to so many travel tips, where to walk what to see and where to eat. When we parted in the late afternoon we had amassed so much information that we could not adequately do justice to New York in our weeks stay that we have vowed to return again. We were extremely grateful to have been afforded the time of this extremely knowledgeable greeter who refuse any kind of payment save to say that I was allowed to pay for what must have been the cheapest possible lunch in Manhattan. Big Apple Greeter program are a wonderful non-profit organisation that I have recommended to many in England,

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family visited New York City back in October 2004. We arranged to have a tour with Big Apple Greeter and it was fantastic. The greeter met us at our hotel, provided us with transit passes for the tour and took us to parts of Manhattan that we would not have seen otherwise. The greeter's knowledge of the history of the areas we were taken through was amazing and their personal vignettes really added to the tour. I highly recommend this service to anyone wanting a more personal New York experience.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It began with a phone call to my home in France for a first interwiew and continued with some emails to focus on our wishes. We then met our guide in NYC and discovered a part of the City, Brooklyn with him for a day trip. A very knowledgeable guy, very kind and helpful (1st journey in Metro), many stories and tips about the city and a very special to remember.
After this trip to NYc, we are still in touch with our volunteer and are really pleased! It seems that he is not the only guy in this organisation to give time to promote his city and I highly recommend my friends to contact bigapplegreeter for their next trip to NYC.
Thanks for all, see you next time

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing experience. An absolute treat. This is a unique opportunity to really get to know New york. Those little nooks and crannies that arent on the tourist map. Those gems of informations that only real locals know. Our greeter made us feel totally at ease and took us on a 4 hour tour of down town and Greenwich village. We were met at reception dead on time and we were asked if we would prefer to walk or ride. we visited buildings, old theatres and land marks, got talks on the history of famous buildings and amazing pieces of architecture, we went down side streets to see old and historic restaurants, shops etc. We took the subway to greenwich Village and walked the gorgeous streets stopping at famous residence and tiny bistros being treated to insites from past and present. I wouldnt have missed it for the world and it really made our holiday.Our greeter kindly dropped us at a wonderful little xmas market making sure we new our way back. If you get a chance make sure you make a booking and I would do this well in advance. let this be the first thing you book.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Travelled to NYC on CHristmas Eve 2010. We were met by our Greeter, Donald, who quickly oriented us to the city's transport systems, showed us important landmarks, and gave us important tips as to how to get along.

Going above and beyond the call of duty, our greeter acted on a passing comment I made about the World Trade Centre, and took us to the site, and St Paul's Chapel. After doing this, and acting on another comment that I needed to find a church near our hotel for CHristmas, our greeter promptly showed us a church near the UN.

We cannot speak highly enough about this service. It got us ready for a week of sightseeing and made us feel like we belonged.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My best friend and I visited NYC in June of 2010. We signed up for a tour with a Big Apple Greeter guide. His name is Doug and he was wonderful. He knew everything there was to know about Manhattan and he shared his enthusiasm and knowledge openly and without rushing us. We three spent three and half hours together exploring. I'd like to thank Big Apple Greeter for arranging such a service for out-of-towners like us. Having the Big Apple Greeter organization is a HUGE benefit to NYC. It really brings out the best in people and makes NYC more welcoming. We have communicated with Doug through email and shared photos of our trip. We recommend using the Big Apple Greeter to anyone contemplating traveling to NYC in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Four of us (plus our 1.5 year old) visited New York in 2008 for my 40th Birthday.
Our Big Apple greeter was a wonderful woman who showed us how to negotiate the underground (subway) with a buggy (stroller). She was very knowledgeable and courteous. We will be visiting again this year (2011) and look forward to meeting another greeter!
Excellent service everyone who visits New York should arrange for a greeter as it sets you up for what to expect and how the city works.

Review from Guidestar

Sascha L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great time in N.Y. at Oktober 2009. It was a very good organisation from the big apple greater. It starts with a call to GERMANY for the contacs from the greeter and it ends with a wonderful day in Manhattan. THX - Sascha - GERMANY

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My best friend and I visited New York for the first time in August of 2009. Our Big Apple Greeter was a wonderful woman from Brooklyn Heights and she showed us a side of New York that we would have otherwise not seen. Her friendliness and knowledge added another layer to our New York experience. I look forward to returning to New York in the future with my husband and I'm hoping we will have the opportunity to meet another Big Apple Greeter.

Review from Guidestar