Here in Brooklyn, we tend to pride ourselves on being local experts—we know where to find the best slice of pizza, emerging local artists, and the perfect picnic spot in Prospect Park.
But how well do we really know the people and organizations who are lifelines and changemakers in our communities?
When I became President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation almost six years ago, I thought I knew Brooklyn pretty well. But thanks to the invaluable lens and access the Foundation provides, I quickly learned I knew just a fraction of our large and equally complex borough.
So I’ve made it a goal to not only commit myself to continually learning about Brooklyn but also to make that a central tenet of the Foundation’s work.
Advancing this goal has become an essential part of who we are—our DNA if you will. We center the voices, ideas, and insights of community experts as we work toward our vision for a fair and just Brooklyn.
And in this process of learning and working toward impact, we are able to build critical connections across our communities.
Each year, through our Spark Prize, we receive over 125 applications from exciting and interesting nonprofits, and we work alongside our Spark Prize Committee to review those organizations. Not only do we build the Foundation’s expertise on Brooklyn, but we also share that learning with dozens of community leaders, who then share it with their networks, and so on.
It’s creating these types of unique partnerships and ways of working that have been foundational to our success and made 2018 a record year for us, both in terms of contributions—$16.5 million!—and of grants distributed—$7 million—to our communities.
We hope you value the connections you make as a member of our community. Whether you discover an organization taking on vital work right in your own backyard, or you meet an inspiring emerging leader shaping a new future for Brooklyn, we want you to think of Brooklyn Community Foundation as a go-to resource for both INSIGHTS and IMPACT.
Thank you for your partnership and generosity, as together, we spark change.
President & CEO