New Fund for Nonprofit Leaders Pays Tribute to Cecilia Clarke
Above: Cecilia Clarke (center) with Tené Howard (left), executive director of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project (SNLP), and Chitra Aiyar (right), former executive director of SNLP at the 2020 Spark Celebration. Prior to her time with Brooklyn Community Foundation, Cecilia founded SNLP to support the leadership development of young women and gender-expansive youth of color.
As we near the appointment of a new President and CEO for Brooklyn Community Foundation, we want to pay tribute to the leader who shaped nearly a decade of growth and transformation for our institution—Cecilia Clarke. To honor her extraordinary service, we are proud to announce the Cecilia Clarke Fund for Nonprofit Leaders.
Seeded by over $170,000 (and growing!) in contributions from generous trustees, partners, and friends, this endowed fund at Brooklyn Community Foundation will invest in the development of nonprofit leaders of color in Brooklyn for generations to come.
Annual grants from the Fund will provide capacity building resources, including coaching, training, and skill building, to support executives who face discrimination and barriers to success because of their race and gender.
The Cecilia Clarke Fund for Nonprofit Leaders builds upon Cecilia’s passion for leadership development. One of her many accomplishments at the Foundation is the creation of robust capacity building programs for grassroots nonprofits, which include individual and group coaching sessions for leaders of color, fundraising and management workshops, and smaller cohorts for problem solving and idea sharing. And prior to her time at Brooklyn Community Foundation, Cecilia founded the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, an award-winning nonprofit that supports the leadership development of young women and gender-expansive youth of color in New York City and Newark.
The Fund’s creation—a surprise gift to Cecilia—was formally announced at a small gathering in early October and presented to her by Eliza Rossman, the founder of the ALLINKBLYN women’s philanthropic initiative based at Brooklyn Community Foundation.
“Cecilia’s leadership has meant the world to me, but more importantly it has meant everything to Brooklyn,” said Eliza. “When I approached Cecilia with my idea to run ALLINBKLYN out of the foundation, she had just started her job three weeks prior and yet, thinking for only a second, she said unequivocally, ‘Yes, tell me what you need.’ Because that’s in her DNA: setting people up for success. Cecilia has always been dedicated to furthering the leadership of Brooklyn nonprofits, especially when it comes to leveling the playing field for those who don’t have access to resources. Congratulations Cecilia, your legacy lives on!”
Recipients of the Cecilia Clarke Leadership Fund will be selected from organizations currently funded through Foundation’s strategic grant programs, starting in fall 2022.
If you are interested in donating to the Cecilia Clarke Leadership Fund, contact VP of Donor Engagement Jenny Walski at firstname.lastname@example.org.