We partner with donors, nonprofits, and community leaders to design strategic grantmaking and special initiatives that advance racial justice and address critical issues facing Brooklyn's communities.
Seeded by two endowed Funds held at Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Brooklyn Elders Fund is the first of its kind to tackle issues affecting aging Brooklynites. The fund brings together older adults, policymakers, and community-based nonprofits to support both proven strategies and innovative approaches to providing the care and support that our aging population needs. Led by a council of Brooklynites 55+, grants support three areas of focus: Aging in Place, Promoting Elders’ Rights, and Access to Benefits and Entitlements.
Created by Foundation donors shortly after the 2016 Presidential Election, the Fund has deployed nearly $2 million to local immigrant rights organizations for immediate and long-term needs, from legal assistance, community safety, social services, and advocacy. Its current iteration, conducted in partnership with an advisory council of immigrant and first-generation Brooklynites, provides support to expand legal rights for immigrants, expand benefits and entitlements for immigrants, and direct services and navigation support for immigrants whose primary language is not one of the 10 designated citywide languages.
The Foundation’s primary grantmaking and community leadership initiative focuses on creating better opportunities and a stronger future for Brooklyn’s next generation—particularly young leaders of color. Grants support youth leadership and development, youth justice programs and reforms, and immigrant youth and families. Each year, in partnership with an advisory council of youth aged 16-24, we award $2.5 million in grants to 50+ youth-serving nonprofits across Brooklyn.
The Spark Prize provides over $600,000 total each year to organizations with a strong track record of addressing critical challenges and opportunities in Brooklyn. We aim to celebrate organizations that demonstrate a commitment to equity and racial justice, creativity and impact, strong institutional values, and a dynamic vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond.
In addition to our strategic Grantmaking Initiatives, the Foundation takes on special initiatives to respond to unique challenges and partnership opportunities across Brooklyn. Recent efforts include the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, The Just Brooklyn Prize, The Wellness and Recovery Fund and the Fishman Family Fund for Economic Opportunity.