Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 00:00
Some not-for-profits in the city really experiencing a perfect storm of circumstances this holiday season: an increased demand for services, decreased donations and the impact of inflation. So because of all these factors, some not-for-profits are really struggling right now, a recent survey from the not-for-profit Brooklyn Community Foundation found that if donations do not increase the outlook for next year, could be even worse. Joining us now is Jocelynne Rainey. She is the President and the CEO of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Great to have you with us this morning. We wish it was under better circumstances. First, let's talk about more about this survey. So basically, what you found is that many not-for-profits in Brooklyn, the gap between their financial resources and the needs of the communities that they serve, really is widening right now.
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 00:45
Yep, we found it really important for us to hear from our nonprofits that are our partners in Brooklyn. What we were hearing anecdotally was that so many nonprofits are struggling because of increased costs and goods and services, while they have so many more vulnerable people to serve. So it was really important for us to hear from them.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 01:06
Yeah. And Brooklyn Community Foundation, by the way, helps fund a lot of not-for-profits in Brooklyn. So what does this mean for you right now?
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 01:15
What that means is that we have to really hear from our nonprofits, what their funding needs are, and think about how we can support them, and also how we can advocate for them. Understanding that so many of them are finding it difficult to serve the many vulnerable New Yorkers that are needing the services that they offer.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 01:36
And Jocelynne, what are you hearing right now, donations are dropping, people just don't have the money to donate like they did last year or years prior? They are facing a financial crunch as well. What are you hearing and seeing?
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 01:50
What we're hearing is that so this, Giving Tuesday, it was many nonprofits saw an uptick in donors. But there are many small nonprofits that are in communities that need the services that are the lifelines to communities that did not receive donations and did not receive an uptick in donations. And what that means is that they're actually afraid that they're going to have to turn people away. So we have nonprofits like Muslims Give Back that responded to our survey that are focusing on food insecurity, feeding hundreds of families a week that are afraid that they're not going to be able to feed those families this year. We also have many nonprofits that are serving families who need housing, who are afraid that they're not going to be able to serve as many families this year, because they're seeing an increase in costs. And I mean, an increase in costs and an increase in need.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 02:47
And Jocelynne, so we should point out, this is all happening while you were still a lot of not-for-profits, still trying to recover from the increased demand during the height of the pandemic. So you're still seeing families impacted by the pandemic.
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 03:00
Absolutely one of our nonprofit leaders said to me, you know, many people think because the masks came off, the needs have decreased, when in fact, the needs have increased. There's still many people who are struggling with unemployment, who are struggling with finding housing, the housing market is far more expensive right now. There are people that are struggling with food insecurity, and with all this increase in needs that were brought on by the pandemic, we're also seeing that people are unable to receive the services that they need.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 03:31
This makes your fundraiser all the more important, #BrooklynGives is a fundraiser to help Brooklyn not-for-profits. So talk to us more about that. How can our fellow New Yorkers get involved and help out?
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 03:44
Great, so you know, many New Yorkers can go to our BrooklynGives.org website and find nonprofits. They can search our website for nonprofits, looking for location, the type of issues that they're that they're working on. And they can also just give to the Brooklyn Community Foundation, which is always which is also on that website. And we give to over 100 nonprofits a year. Small nonprofits that have budgets under $2 million, nonprofits that are BIPOC-led, where we know that they don't receive as many donations. It's a great way to make sure that you're giving to those nonprofits that are really deeply rooted in community and are the lifelines to these communities.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 04:31
And Jocelynne, you know, even though this is tough right now, are you hopeful, you know, our fellow New Yorkers do come through always when needed? Are you hopeful right now that things will be okay, or?
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 04:41
You know, Rocco, what we found is that New Yorkers are the most philanthropic, giving group of people, our donors are amazing. And when they understand that there's a need, they show up. And so we want to make sure that we're here talking about what the communities and the nonprofits that serve them need, because we know that New Yorkers will show up.
Rocco Vertuccio, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 05:04
Well said Jocelynne. BrooklynGives.org again, the website to help out so many of the not-for-profits in Brooklyn going through a tough time really trying to help as many people and families as possible. Jocelynne, thank you again.
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation 05:17
Thank you, Rocco.