Above: Staff and supporters of The HOPE Program in the Brooklyn Half Marathon.
Brooklyn’s nonprofit sector is booming: in 1995, 906 nonprofit organizations were based in Brooklyn; today, there are over 3,000.
Brooklyn’s renaissance—both in terms of economic growth as well as population—has meant that more and more residents are bringing their new ideas to life through nonprofit work.
Yet the reality is that it takes much more than creative vision to make a difference. It takes tenacity, energy, optimism, and, importantly, financial support.
With this exponential increase, the question is clear: where do the resources come from to meet demand?
This year, we received the largest number of funding requests in our grantmaking history. Everywhere, nonprofits—both long-established institutions and start-up organizations—are being asked to do more with less. The need for new, untapped funding sources is critical.
At the Brooklyn Community Foundation, we’re committed to getting more Brooklynites to invest in great nonprofit work in their communities, to help provide essential resources and enhance the life-improving efforts of our borough’s charities.
And we recognize that often, through our grantmaking, we can provide the fertile bed of support from which organizations can seed new supporters and resources, so their effective, innovative work prospers and reaches more residents each year.
Last year, through an “encouragement” grant to The Hope Program, a provider of job skills readiness and training for Brooklynites in need, their staff revved up fundraising efforts, engaged local businesses, and formed teams for running and cycling events.
“Brooklyn Community Foundation’s innovative partnership model has not only provided HOPE with essential resources, but has empowered us to expand our network and engage hundreds more Brooklyn residents in getting our neighbors back to work,” says HOPE’s Development Director Irene Camp. “Through our challenge grant last year, we brought in thousands of dollars and hundreds of new donors. And we launched a new holiday campaign to bring together the business community and their customers to support HOPE and build a stronger Brooklyn.”
Dozens of our 2012 grants continue this strategy designed to help organizations cultivate greater support from their local communities, clientele, and leadership.
In Bensonhurst, Homecrest Community Services will be eligible for a $15,000 “challenge grant” to be matched by the senior center’s board of directors and outreach to the Chinese-American community. Last year, they used our grant to raise over $31,000, and increased overall giving by $75,000!
We’ve also pledged $20,000 to Heights and Hills, to encourage them to match it and have $40,000 to provide additional services to help our older neighbors age on their own terms, independently, and with dignity.
Good ideas are growing in Brooklyn. With these partnerships, we’re helping to ensure that locally-sourced ideas continue to take root and flourish throughout our communities. We encourage you to nourish that growth. Join us today.
A New Lifeline for Children in Brooklyn
(Pictured): Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber, Board Chairman Alan Fishman, and Board Member Ralph Herzka celebrate a new member of Chai Lifeline’s van fleet with the organization’s Director of Community Development Levi Katlowitz and Support Service Coordinator Hersh Moskovits. Earlier this month, we announced our renewed support for Chai Lifeline's free transportation for families of children with serious illnesses to medical appointments. Each year, Chai Lifeline’s van fleet makes more than 15,000 trips to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Meet a Do Gooder: NY Writers Coalition Volunteer Cait Weiss
Cait is a Youth Workshop Leader in Coney Island, helping teens from the neighborhood find their voice and tell their stories. "We are put on this planet regardless of what we'll do here; why not make the time really count? Volunteering, giving to others, is what gives our time meaning." Read her story and discover your own new experience as a Brooklyn volunteer at DoGoodRightHere.org.
Brooklyn's Epic Ride
This Saturday, more than 600 riders will travel 40 miles from Greenpoint to the Rockaways in support of the efforts our Green Communities Fund grantee the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to create a 14-mile protected pathway along Brooklyn's waterfront. Learn more here and cheer the riders on along the route!