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Attention Brooklyn Nonprofits: $100,000 Spark Prize Application Opens April 10th!

Today we are proud to announce the return of our annual $100,000 Spark Prize

Eligible Brooklyn nonprofits are invited to apply Monday, April 10th - Friday, May 12th at

Once again, 5 Brooklyn-based organizations will receive the “no strings attached” $100,000 Spark Prize, chosen through a competitive selection process by a committee of distinguished Brooklyn civic, business, and neighborhood leaders. Applicants will be narrowed to 20 finalists in October, and the five award recipients will be announced in January 2018. 

“We are so excited for the second year of the Spark Prize, as we deepen our commitment to Brooklyn’s nonprofit sector with this one-of-a-kind award. Brooklyn is a renowned hub for innovation and social enterprise—and through the Spark Prize, we get to bring even greater attention to the outstanding work of local nonprofits and drive much-needed support their way.”

- Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke

Pictured: Spark Prize recipient Make the Road New York at the 2017 Spark Prize Celebration with actor Jamie Hector

We launched the Spark Prize last year as the only honor of its kind celebrating the excellence and impact of Brooklyn’s thriving nonprofit sector. The inaugural Spark Prize awards went to The Audre Lorde Project, Common Justice, Make the Road New York, MoCADA Museum, and Neighbors Together. See the full list of last year's finalists.

The Spark Prize recognizes nonprofits with a deep history of service to Brooklyn’s communities as well as strong organizational values, and a dynamic vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond. The Prize also supports our vision for a fair and just Brooklyn by lifting up organizations advancing equity and racial justice

In addition to the five $100,000 Spark Prize recipients, we will donate up to $5,000 in matching funds to each of the 20 finalists through the Brooklyn Gives campaign on Giving Tuesday—the national day of giving observed the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Last year’s finalists collectively raised over $270,000 with the added support of Brooklyn Industries and other local businesses. 

How to Apply 

Any Brooklyn nonprofit organization with an annual operating budget over $350,000 and a minimum of five years in operation is invited to apply at starting Monday, April 10th. The Spark Prize is open to organizations of all backgrounds and focus areas, from arts and culture to human services, education and youth development to community development, environmental causes, and beyond.

Organizations who applied for the Spark Prize last year are encouraged to apply again, including finalists—last year’s winners are not eligible. Applicants do not need to be previous grantees of the Foundation.

Detailed application criteria and guidelines are available at The deadline to apply is Friday, May 12th at noon.

Application Clinics

Interested nonprofits are invited to join us for one of two Application Clinics at our offices at 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights, on Monday, April 10th from 10-11:30AM and on Thursday, April 20th from 2-3:30PM. Space is limited and registration is required. RSVP here

A Brooklyn Partnership 

The Spark Prize is presented in partnership with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams:

“Brooklyn’s nonprofit organizations partake in some of the borough’s most vital advocacy and grassroots community work, ranging from environmental protection to social justice issues. I’m proud to continue our work with  Brooklyn Community Foundation to direct much-needed funding to these critical groups through the Spark Prize. This initiative continues the wonderful spirit of giving back to the community and unifying our diverse borough under One Brooklyn.” 

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Andrew Hoan:

“Caring about others is the Brooklyn way, and no one does that better than the borough’s nonprofit sector. Thank you to Brooklyn Community Foundation for recognizing and rewarding these organizations for the important, tireless work they do every day to assist the residents and businesses of Brooklyn.”


Liane Stegmaier

Chief of Staff (She/Her/Hers)
The Spark Prize recognizes nonprofits with a deep history of service to Brooklyn’s communities as well as strong organizational values, and a dynamic vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond.