Introducing the Spark Prize: Honoring Nonprofit Changemakers in Brooklyn
Today, we are pleased to announce Brooklyn Community Foundation's inaugural Spark Prize for Brooklyn nonprofits.
This year’s Spark Prize will recognize 5 Brooklyn nonprofits with $100,000 each in general operating support. Winners will be selected through a competitive application process by a diverse committee of distinguished civic, business, and neighborhood leaders all hailing from Brooklyn.
In addition, the 20 finalists will each receive up to $5,000 on Giving Tuesday—the annual national day of giving observed the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—to match contributions from local donors. We will announce the finalists in October and winners in January.
Sparking Change in Brooklyn
The Spark Prize is named for our mission to spark lasting social change in Brooklyn and is the signature program of our Brooklyn Accelerator, a hub for building capacity and resources in Brooklyn’s nonprofit community.
Brooklyn is home to nearly 2,000 nonprofits, yet they collectively receive less than 5% of funds distributed by New York City foundations, according to a Foundation Center study.
We created the Spark Prize to drive support to Brooklyn’s nonprofit sector and showcase community-led solutions to challenges in the borough. The Prize also advances our vision for a fair and just Brooklyn by lifting up organizations working for greater equity and racial justice in the borough.
“As Brooklyn’s community foundation, we want to shine the spotlight on outstanding organizations that are building equity and strength in our communities,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke. “Just as Brooklyn is home to some of the most creative businesses and brands in the world, it’s also a hotbed for exciting nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. We hope that The Spark Prize will be a valuable ‘seal of approval’ for organizations that embody Brooklyn’s ingenuity, strong values, and bold leadership.”
A Brooklyn Partnership
The Spark Prize is presented in partnership with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“The spirit of generosity that animates the people of this borough defines us as One Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Since 2009, Brooklyn Community Foundation has been an integral part of our nonprofit community, directing resources to some of the most innovative social service organizations in Brooklyn. I'm proud to partner on this prize that will continue this valuable legacy and showcase our thriving nonprofit sector to the world.”
“Brooklyn nonprofits do incredible work to assist residents and improve local neighborhoods throughout the borough, and the Spark Prize is a terrific way to assist them in furthering their efforts,” added Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura “Thank you to the Brooklyn Community Foundation for supporting the nonprofit community in Brooklyn, and I know the eventual winners will put these awards to good use.”
How to Apply
Brooklyn nonprofit organizations with annual operating budgets over $350,000 and a minimum of five years in operation are invited to apply starting Monday, May 2 through Friday, June 3 at www.SparkPrize.org.
Organizations do not need to be previous grantees of Brooklyn Community Foundation to be eligible. View application criteria and guidelines here.
Organizations interested in applying are invited to attend an application clinic. Sessions will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday, May 9 from 5-6:30PM and Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Bedford Stuyvesant on Tuesday, May 17 from 10-11:30AM. RSVP here.