Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


$2.3 Million to Nonprofits Serving Borough’s Youth

Today, we are pleased to announce the latest round of grants through our cornerstone Invest in Youth initiative. The grants total $1,915,000, bringing the Foundation’s total funding for youth-serving nonprofits in Brooklyn to $2.3 million in 2016.

We launched Invest in Youth in 2015 as a 10-year, $25 million commitment to improving social and economic opportunities and outcomes for 16- to 24-year-olds, particularly young people of color. Brooklyn is home to more than 100,000 youth living in poverty, the vast majority of whom are growing up in communities of color. One in four incarcerated youth in New York City come from just six Brooklyn neighborhoods. And more and more Brooklyn youth are from immigrant families, which account for one third of all New York City households.

2016 Invest in Youth Grant Highlights

The Invest in Youth grant program supports community-based nonprofits that transform the lives of young people of color and create solutions for dismantling the cycle of poverty, unemployment, incarceration, and disconnection confronting this generation. This year, 43 nonprofits are receiving renewed funding, and 17 organizations are receiving Invest in Youth grants for the first time. Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000 and are deployed under three strategic investment areas:

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: $960,000 to 32 Nonprofits

Grants support community-based organizations that position youth as long-term leaders in their communities. Focus areas and sample grantee partners include:

  • Economic Opportunity: Red Hook Initiative and Green City Force
  • Youth Arts: Groundswell and Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
  • Girls of Color: Girls for Gender Equity and Black Women’s Blueprint
  • Safety and Healing: The Center for Anti-Violence Education and Kings Against Violence Initiative

YOUTH JUSTICE: $595,000 to 18 Nonprofits

Grants support both advocacy and direct-service organizations that address the far-reaching effects of young people’s encounters with the criminal justice system. Focus areas and sample grantee partners include:

  • Diversion Programs: Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Center for Nu Leadership
  • Enrichment opportunities: Young New Yorkers and Center for Community Alternatives
  • Job training and employment programs: Drive Change and Reconnect Brooklyn
  • School discipline reform: Teachers Unite and Urban Youth Collaborative

IMMIGRANT YOUTH: $360,000 to 10 Nonprofits  

Grants support organizations that help immigrant youth in Brooklyn build their leadership capacity in order to advocate for themselves and organize for change in their communities. Focus areas and sample grantee partners include:

  • Legal and social services: Atlas:DIY and Safe Passage Project
  • Leadership and advocacy: Arab American Association of New York and Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Advancing Racial Justice through Grantmaking

The Invest in Youth grantmaking program is the Foundation’s largest annual competitive grant distribution, prioritizing general operating support for community-based organizations led by community members. The Foundation uses a Racial Justice Lens to ensure that its grantmaking advances equity for people of color and community-led approaches:

  • Over half of grantees’ executive directors identify as people of color
  • 75% of grantees are headquartered in Brooklyn, and half are grassroots organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $1 million
  • 60% of grantees are receiving multi-year general operating support, guaranteeing funding over the next three years
  • One in four grants addresses neighborhood-specific challenges and over a third support youth-led advocacy and organizing efforts

Additional Invest in Youth grants this year include $400,000 to support the Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project, which aims to develop a sustainable and racially just alternative school disciplinary model for the New York City school system through pilot programs at four Brooklyn schools—a four-year pilot partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate and Discipline.

See the full list of 2016 Invest in Youth grantees here.

Liane Stegmaier

Vice President of Communications and Strategy (She/Her/Hers)
This year, 43 nonprofits are receiving renewed funding, and 17 organizations are receiving Invest in Youth grants for the first time.