Sharing My Gratitude and Excitement For What Lies Ahead
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
First, I hope you and your families are well as we navigate this challenging time. The past few weeks have echoed the uncertainty and isolation of the early days of the pandemic, but I know that our communities are resilient and we will get through this together.
As President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation, I am honored to steward an organization that has meant so much to so many over the past few years, including me and my family. As I enter this new chapter, leading the Foundation’s next phase, I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every member of our community who has made this work possible.
Brooklyn Community Foundation is well on its way to realizing the vision of our founders over a decade ago. Building a public foundation to serve New York City’s largest borough has been an incredible undertaking—and while there is still much to be done to reach our fullest potential—Brooklyn Community Foundation is exceeding even our own expectations.
Today, the Foundation manages over $125 million in assets—more than doubling our initial $58 million corpus. Moreover, half of our assets are held in nearly 100 Donor Advised Funds, signaling the community's belief in our unique value and service in this growing area of philanthropy. We have also increased the annual drawdown from our endowment to move even more resources to communities in pursuit of racial justice and lasting social change.
And, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we set a new grantmaking record last year, ensuring that grassroots nonprofits have the resources they need to respond to the most urgent issues of our day. This included continued support from our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, through which we have swiftly and effectively awarded over $6.5 million to nonprofits since the height of the pandemic, allowing them to provide direct relief and trusted assistance to their communities.
These accomplishments are a credit to my predecessor Cecilia Clarke, whose inspiring commitment to developing this institution yielded extraordinary results. I also want to thank Sarah Shannon, the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, who expertly guided the organization during the period between Cecilia’s departure and my start. And above all, I must recognize the Foundation’s staff who have put so much passion, thought, and care into their work on behalf of Brooklyn’s communities. For all of you, I am so grateful.
As I enter my 8th week on the job, I am getting to know and learn from so many champions for Brooklyn. I have never been prouder to call this wonderful borough my home.
For our community partners, the nonprofits that make Brooklyn strong and vibrant, we are honored to help make your work possible—THANK YOU.
For our donors, whose investments power the racial justice programs, movements, and policies pushing our vision forward—THANK YOU.
For our Donor Advisers, whose partnership and shared values are driving our Foundation to the next level—THANK YOU.
There is much to learn and much to do. And as I look to the opportunities and challenges ahead, I could not be more excited to roll up my sleeves and lead this iconic Brooklyn organization through its next chapter.
Thank you all for being part of the beautiful community we call Brooklyn Community Foundation. I’m excited to connect with you, hear your ideas, and share my own for the future as we chart the way forward. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.