Frequently Asked Questions - General

Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities created by the people of a particular community to benefit the people of that particular community. Strong community foundations are led and staffed by people who know their communities, its needs and its leaders, and can collaborate with all to solve the local challenges.



No.  The first community foundation in the United States was established in 1914, and within five years, a movement started. Today, there are more than 700 community foundations nationwide, there has never been a community foundation focused exclusively on Brooklyn.

We are a philanthropic, responsive, creative and community-oriented organization devoted to helping nonprofit groups realize their visions. Our mission is to improve the lives of people in Brooklyn by strengthening communities though local giving, grantmaking and community service. Learn more.

The Brooklyn Community Foundation has long-standing history in the borough, thanks to its transition from Independence Community Foundation and its historic connection to the former Independence Community Bank, a local corporation which seized an opportunity to help Brooklyn in a major way. Learn more.

Brooklyn Community Foundation raises funds from individuals, corporations, other foundations and government agencies that want to be philanthropic and work collaboratively at the local level. Learn more about ways to give.

We aim to stimulate, broaden and diversify giving in the borough. We understand the borough and its needs: our grants reflect the community’s ongoing and ever-changing issues. We are committed to fairness and transparency. As a donor, you become part of a community, learning about the issues and meeting the people who address them.


Yes. We have established donor-advised funds to enable Brooklynites to focus their giving. Learn more.  

Yes, Brooklyn Community Foundation is a registered 501(c )(3) nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.