Invest in Youth Grant Program

The Invest in Youth Grantmaking Program will support Brooklyn-serving nonprofit organizations that are working with young people, ages 16-24, toward enabling young people’s social and economic success by:

  • Expanding opportunities for positive youth development and leadership

  • Increasing educational and economic opportunities for court-involved youth

  • Reducing school suspensions and youth arrests

  • Increasing access to resources and services that empower immigrant families

In our view, young people are most likely to achieve success if they have opportunities to complete their education, do not become part of the criminal justice system, and if they are encouraged to serve their communities and develop leadership skills.

2015-16 Grantees

View the 54 organizations that received over $1.54 million in support.

Our Process

Step 1: Eligibility Guidelines

Download the Invest in Youth Grant Guidelines (PDF). Thoroughly read all sections to ensure your organization is eligible for consideration before you submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). 

Step 2: Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

The deadline for Letters of Inquiry was June 30, 2015. Thanks to all who submitted! 

Step 3: Online Application

Selected organizations have been invited to complete the Invest in Youth Online Application. Applications will be due by September 15, 2015Site visits may be conducted at select organizations following application submission. 

Step 4: Grant Selection

Grants will be awarded in November 2015.  


Frequently Asked Questions

If our organization is not based in Brooklyn, can I apply?
Although priority will be given to organizations based in Brooklyn, we will also consider organizations based elsewhere that serve Brooklyn residents. To be eligible, your organization must have either a physical office or a regular physical presence in Brooklyn. This qualification will be reviewed by our staff on a case by case basis.

What makes our organization eligible for your grant?
Invest in Youth guidelines detail the eligibility requirements for organizations. Please be sure to read the guidelines carefully to make sure you are eligible to apply.

Our organization does not have a 501 (c) (3). Can we apply?
Yes, but your organization will have to apply under the auspices of an authorized fiscal agent serving as your fiscal sponsor.

What is a fiscal sponsor?
A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that extends its nonprofit status to a group project that does not have its own tax-exempt status. Grants are made to the fiscal sponsor, who in turn provides the grant funds to the group. The group that is sponsored usually pays a fee to the sponsor for its services.

My organization works in more than one of your focus areas. Can I submit multiple funding requests?
No, please submit only one LOI on behalf of your organization. We recognize that many organizations do work across our focus areas. Your request should highlight all of the ways your organization meets our criteria.

Our organization has not done youth work before. Would this deter us from receiving funding?
We will prioritize community-based organizations that have a history or a demonstrated track record of working with young people. We encourage applications from organizations doing advocacy, organizing, and policy work with/and on behalf of young people. If you are applying for a new youth program, be sure to address why your organization is best positioned/experienced do this work.

Will this be a multi-year grant? 
Where possible, we would like to provide multi-year grants. The determination of multi-year grants will be based on individual applications and contingent upon the grantee’s satisfactory completion of the grant agreement in the first year.

How does the Foundation define racial justice?
Brooklyn Community Foundation defines “racial justice” as the systemic distribution of power, opportunities and access for people of all races resulting in equitable outcomes for all. Racial justice means that all people are equally seen, valued, and respected.

We use a Racial Justice Lens to ensure that we consider race as we analyze problems, look for solutions, and define success in our grantmaking, governance, and advocacy.

Could you elaborate what you mean by “directly affected” communities?
As part of our commitment to racial justice, we want to support organizations whose leadership represents communities that are marginalized due to race, immigration status, class, gender, and sexual orientation.

We also prioritize organizations whose leadership (ie: staff, membership, and board) is composed of those most impacted by the issues the organization addresses.

How will you determine whether we receive general operating support or designated program support?
Where possible, we will provide general operating support. Designated program support will depend on the individual request. Grant terms will be negotiated with each recipient. LOI form asks you to indicate the kind of support you are requesting.

What are examples of advocacy work that you will support?
Some examples of advocacy work that we will consider funding include:

  • Public education campaigns around a particular policy issue
  • Organizing campaigns seeking to maximize legislative impact
  • Media and communications campaign around a particular policy issue
  • Organizing constituents to advocate for the passage of a bill or a law
  • Organizing constituents to increase participation in and ensure enforcement of federal, state, and local benefits, services, and rights available to people in Brooklyn.

Can we get an extension on the LOI deadline?
No. All LOI must be received by 5pm on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

When will we be notified whether we have been selected to submit a full proposal?
All applicants who submit an LOI will be notified by August 15, 2015 regarding whether or not they will be invited to submit a full proposal. The deadline to submit a full proposal through our online application portal is September 15, 2015.