Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces $2.3 Million in New Support for Brooklyn Nonprofits

Brooklyn Community Foundation, the largest public philanthropy in the borough, has awarded its first round of 2011 grants totaling $2.3 million to 118 nonprofits working in five strategic areas of focus: Education and Youth Achievement, Arts for All, Caring Neighbors, Community Development, and Green Communities. Since its launch as a Brooklyn’s first community foundation in 2009, it has awarded more than $10 million to Brooklyn’s most effective nonprofit organizations.

View the full list of 2011 Cycle 1 grants.

“Brooklyn is New York City’s largest borough, yet philanthropic giving to Brooklyn lags far behind giving to Manhattan based organizations,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. “Our role is to narrow that gap by attracting new donors to Brooklyn to help address the borough’s critical needs. We can improve the lives of Brooklynites now and in the future by investing in the people and organizations that understand local needs and can provide the best and most effective approaches to serving their communities.”

Reaching Far through Five Giving Areas

The Foundation has developed five Field of Interest Funds to address the array of issues affecting the lives of Brooklynites:

- EDUCATION AND YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT - $635,500 to 29 nonprofits to ensure that children and adults have access to superior educational opportunities that encourage career interests, mentoring relationships and development of leadership skills.

- ARTS FOR ALL - $535,000 to 31 nonprofits that provide access, enlightenment and enjoyment for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities—through programs in schools, local theaters, museums, institutes and public spaces.

CARING NEIGHBORS - $400,000 to 21 nonprofits that help families, seniors, the disabled and others who face immediate or longer-term threats of hunger, homelessness, isolation, or unmet health needs.

- COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - $400,000 to 14 nonprofits working to boost neighborhoods through affordable housing and workforce development programs, while encouraging urban planning and historic preservation initiatives.

- GREEN COMMUNITIES - $260,500 to 12 nonprofits to increase and sustain open space and waterfront access, encourage green practices and healthy food initiatives, and help create green job opportunities.

Neighborhood-Focused Giving

As one of the most culturally diverse and economically mixed areas in the United States, Brooklyn’s 70 neighborhoods present many challenges for potential donors. The Foundation’s neighborhood-oriented approach has demonstrated that through patient but targeted grantmaking, substantial and lasting impact can be made.

This cycle includes 30 grants targeted towards Central Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Brownsville communities, which rank among the highest in the city’s poverty and infant mortality rates—and lowest in graduation and employment rates. These grants come from across the Foundation’s five giving areas, offering a holistic view of community improvement, and include:

- a $25,000 Education and Youth Achievement grant to Groundwork, Inc to provide college prep and workforce development for high school students;

- a $50,000 Arts for All grant to the Weeksville Heritage Center for programs at its new Education & Cultural Arts Building on the site of the first free African-American community in New York state;

- a $15,000 Caring Neighbors grant to the Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger to support the food pantry’s annual distribution of 1.1 million meals;

- a $25,000 Community Development grant to Pratt Area Community Council for economic initiatives like the “Rolling Up the Gates” storefront stroll on Fulton Street;

- And a $5,500 Green Communities grant to the Hattie Carthan Community Garden for a food justice training series.

Other neighborhoods of focus in this grantmaking cycle include Red Hook, East New York, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Bushwick/Williamsburg, and Flatbush/East Flatbush.

Small Grants, Big Possibilities

The Brooklyn Community Foundation nurtures new ideas for addressing community needs not only financially, but through access to community leaders and links to peer groups, to help organizations grow intelligently and be ripe for greater investment over time.

In 2002, Brooklynite Aaron Zimmerman set out to create a setting where typically “voiceless” members of society—residents of public housing, at-risk youth, seniors and the formerly incarcerated—could put their stories to paper. Starting with just a few volunteers, Aaron established the New York Writers Coalition (NYWC). The program was an instant success, yet had no funding to grow. A $500 micro grant from the Brooklyn Community Foundation (then known as the private Independence Community Foundation) in 2003 was the first grant NYWC received, and commenced a partnership that has flourished in the years since. The Foundation has greatly increased its annual support—granting $10,000 in this cycle to its free Brooklyn writing programs—as well as connected NYWC with other funders, and steered the group toward a permanent space at the 80 Arts Building in Fort Greene. Now one of the nation’s largest writing communities, NYWC serves 1,000 New Yorkers annually, providing free and low-cost workshops, producing dynamic community events, and publishing nearly 40 collections of its writers’ work.

Carrying on this approach, eleven of the 2011 grants are under $5,000 and will help launch enterprises like Actionplay at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for children with autism, the burgeoning Lefferts Community Food Cooperative, and Sustainable Flatbush’s Church Avenue Communal Garden.

Grantmaking to Increase Giving

To entice more people to give in Brooklyn, the Foundation has designated 17 grants as “challenges,” which encourage grantee partners to leverage their awards into additional funding from donors and supporters—thereby potentially doubling the initial grant’s impact. Among the challenge grant partners are Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Coney Island, USA, New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Prospect Park Alliance.

“We encourage all Brooklynites to join us and ‘Do Good Right Here,’ by giving and serving in their communities," added Gelber. “Together, we will make New York City’s best borough better for everyone.”

Brooklyn Community Foundation is now accepting letters of inquiry for its Cycle 2 grants through July 31, with awards to be announced in December. Eligible nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply at


2011 Cycle 1 Grants Organized by Strategic
Field of Interest Fund

(*indicates Challenge Grant)

EDUCATION AND YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT - $635,500 to 29 nonprofits

Grantmaking strategy: Ensure that Brooklynites from childhood to adulthood have access to superior educational and extracurricular opportunities that encourage career interests, mentoring relationships and development of leadership skills.

Capacity Building and General Operating Support

• $25,000 to Lutheran Family Health Centers to create the Sunset Park Promise Neighborhood database. Sunset Park

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Public Library for purchase of library materials at 60 locations.

Mentoring, Youth Development, College Access, and After School Programs

• $50,000 to Red Hook Initiative to strengthen the staffing infrastructure to better serve residents of Red Hook public housing. Red Hook

• $40,000 to Partnership with Children, Inc. to promote social and emotional learning for at-risk middle school students. Bedford Stuyvesant; Fort Greene

• $35,000 to Sadie Nash Leadership Project to support leadership training for young women.

• $25,000 to University Settlement Society of New York to support academic and enrichment programs for middle school youth at the Ingersoll Community Center. Fort Greene

• $25,000 to Groundwork, Inc. to provide college preparation, workforce and leadership development for high school students. Bedford Stuyvesant; East New York

• $25,000 to Center for Court Innovation to support the Brownsville Community Justice Center for youth arrested for delinquency and low-level criminal offenses. Brownsville; Ocean Hill

• $25,000 to Exalt Youth to support an educational internship program targeting court-involved youth. Bedford Stuyvesant; East New York; Flatbush

• $25,000 to iMentor to support mentoring relationships at Catherine McAuley High School. Bensonhurst; Crown Heights; East Flatbush

• $20,000 to Girls Write Now for writing programs for young women partnered with professional writers and editors.

• $20,000 to Stoked Mentoring for mentoring, after school and community service activities that incorporate action sports culture & skill building curriculum.

• $20,000 to Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York, Inc. to support leadership and training for girls living in NYCHA complexes, homeless shelters and detention centers.

• $20,000 to Girls Incorporated of New York City to support the Brooklyn Girls Collaborative.

• $20,000 to Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health’s Health Science Academy, a three year science education and career preparation program for middle school and high school students.

• $20,000 to Brooklyn College - School of Education for partnership with East NY Family Academy. East New York

• $20,000 to Brooklyn College Community Partnership for after school programs and campus visits by local schools that promote college attendance.

• $20,000 to Citizen Schools to support out of school time programming. Clinton Hill; Cobble Hill; Gowanus

• $20,000 to P.S. 15 The Patrick F. Daly School to expand aftercare program and to encourage families to support the school. Red Hook

• $15,500 to Good Shepherd Services for a literacy program serving elementary students at the Beacon program at PS 15. Red Hook

• $15,000 to Sponsors for Educational Opportunity for a college/SAT prep program.

• $15,000 to the Center for Anti-Violence Education for violence prevention and education programs serving over 1000 youth.

• $15,000 to Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls to support music education afterschool/summer camp program for girls.

• $10,000 to Brooklyn Friends School for an academic enrichment program in partnership with local public schools. Fort Greene

• $10,000 to Coro New York Leadership Center for leadership program targeting 100 students at four public high schools. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick; Crown Heights

• $5,000 to P.S. 261 to develop a recess program to promote inclusive play, teamwork and academic performance. Boerum Hill; Carroll Gardens; Cobble Hill

• $5,000 to P.S. 39 for enrichment program, and funding for Story Pirates. Park Slope; Sunset Park; Windsor Terrace


• $25,000 to Maura Clarke - Ita Ford Center to support GED and ESL programs for adults. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick; East New York

• $25,000 to Settlement Housing Fund, Inc. for educational and vocational program. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; East New York

• $20,000 to Brooklyn Kindergarten Society to support preschool education program. Bedford Stuyvesant; Brownsville; Crown Heights

• $10,000 to SCO Family of Services to support home-based, early literacy program. Bedford Stuyvesant; Brownsville; East New York

ARTS FOR ALL - $535, 000 to 31 nonprofits

Grantmaking strategy: Invest in Brooklyn’s cultural organizations, which provide access, enlightenment, and enjoyment for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities—through programs in schools, local theaters, museums, institutes and public spaces.

Capacity Building and General Operating Support

• $50,000 to Weeksville Heritage Center over a 2 year period to sustain programming and expansion to the new Education & Cultural Arts Building. Crown Heights; Bedford Stuyvesant

• $25,000 to BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn to enhance the organization's marketing, communication and fundraising efforts.

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation* to jumpstart the membership program for BLDG 92, the Navy Yard's visitor's center to open Fall 2011.

• $25,000 to Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Center for Arts & Culture. Bedford Stuyvesant

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Children's Museum for community engagement efforts in Brooklyn and beyond. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Park Slope

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Historical Society for education programs and materials for teachers and students that use primary source materials to interpret the history of Brooklyn.

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Museum for activities that help address its mission to serve diverse audiences as a center for learning through the visual arts.

• $20,000 to Brooklyn Arts Council to enhance the functionality of website and databases, and better support Brooklyn artists, arts groups, and residents.

• $20,000 to Irondale Ensemble Project for subsidized theater rental and tech support to help local companies mount their productions. Fort Greene

• $20,000 to Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts for exhibition, education, economic development, and public programs. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Fort Greene

• $10,000 to 651 ARTS for a series of unique public performances, events, and residencies for adult and student audiences. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Fort Greene

• $10,000 to Coney Island USA* to encourage members to increase their financial giving.

Community Engagement

• $25,000 to Mark Morris Dance Group for community outreach programs including the Dance, Music & Literacy Project, Dance for Parkinson’s Disease, and NYC Housing Authority Partnership.

• $20,000 to Cool Culture* to provide underserved families ongoing access to cultural institutions.

• $20,000 to Heart of Brooklyn Cultural Institutions to study the issues that both promote and deter six of Brooklyn's premier cultural institutions from community collaboration.

• $10,000 to NY Writers Coalition for free creative writing programs. Bay Ridge; Bedford Stuyvesant; Clinton Hill

• $7,500 to Best of Brooklyn to support the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Bookend Events in community settings throughout Brooklyn.

• $7,500 to Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition to support five annual exhibits that serve 500 artists and attract audiences of over 15,000.

• $7,500 to Haiti Cultural Exchange to fund arts, youth development, and community building programming.

• $7,500 to Regina Opera Company for its season of three fully-staged operas, Sunday pops concerts, and free concerts in community settings.

• $5,000 to Brave New World Repertory Theatre* for community-based productions in local venues.

• $5,000 to Evidence for Summer Dance Workshop Series at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School and partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation's Youth Arts Academy. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Fort Greene

Mentoring, Youth Arts Mastery and Youth Development

• $20,000 to Reel Works Teen Filmmaking to engage Brooklyn teens from at-risk and diverse backgrounds in an experiential media arts curriculum.

• $15,000 to Groundswell Community Mural Project*’s community programs, in which Brooklyn youth create civically engaging public art.

• $15,000 to Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy to create access to music education and performance opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds.

• $15,000 to Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music* to provide conservatory scholarships to students identified in BQCM’s public school programs.

• $15,000 to Harmony Program for daily afterschool and Saturday instruction at PS 152 by students and alumni of Brooklyn College Conservatory. Midwood

• $15,000 to The Noel Pointer Foundation for scholarships for Saturday Strings and Summer Strings music instruction programs at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights

• $10,000 to Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s* Youth Arts Project, which offers teens free and low-cost access to pre-professional training in dance and theater.

• $10,000 to Brooklyn Ballet for residencies at public schools in NYCHA communities and conservatory scholarships for outstanding students identified through the residencies.

• $10,000 to Dance Theatre Etcetera for the “Arts for At Risk Youth: In-School and After-School” residences at three transfer high schools. Bedford Stuyvesant; Canarsie; Red Hook

• $5,000 to Brighton Ballet Theater for the Boy's Dance and Fitness program. Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island

• $5,000 to Cypress Hills Community School/PS89 for collaboration with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music to offer an afterschool band program. Cypress Hills; East New York

Special Needs

• $15,000 to Manhattan New Music Project to create an arts-based professional development program for paraprofessionals in three District 75 special needs schools in Brooklyn.

• $10,000 to New York Transit Museum* to support weekly out-of-school program for Autism Spectrum Disorder youth.

• $5,000 to Actionplay to develop a series of arts workshops for children with autism and developmental disabilities in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum’s education staff.

CARING NEIGHBORS - $400,000 to 21 nonprofits

Grantmaking strategy: Support organizations that help families, seniors, the disabled and others who face immediate or longer-term threats of hunger, homelessness, isolation, or unmet health needs.

Capacity Building

• $25,000 to Heights and Hills to build a sustainable fundraising program. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Fort Greene; Brooklyn Heights

Emergency Food / Food Access

• $20,000 to Neighbors Together to facilitate soup kitchen's comprehensive programs addressing hunger and poverty. Bedford Stuyvesant; Brownsville; Ocean Hill

• $15,000 to Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger to support "super pantry's" annual distribution of 1.1 million meals. Bedford Stuyvesant; Brownsville; Ocean Hill

• $5,000 to Lefferts Community Food Cooperative for outreach materials to build membership. Crown Heights; Flatbush; Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Family Stability

• $32,500 to Lutheran Social Services of Metropolitan New York for legal services program for the Haitian Community. Flatbush; East Flatbush

• $27,500 to Haitian Family Resource Center to guide 900-plus Haitian earthquake evacuee families in Brooklyn towards permanency and stability. Flatbush; East Flatbush

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Community Services* for Preventive Services Program, which stabilizes at-risk families and prevents foster care placements. Bedford Stuyvesant; East New York

• $25,000 to Diaspora Community Services for the Haitian American Empowerment Program’s case management services. Crown Heights; East Flatbush; Flatbush

• $25,000 to Housing + Solutions for supportive services at 9 group homes for homeless women and their children. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick; East New York

• $20,000 to Flatbush Development Corporation for outreach at senior centers and food pantries for case management and tenants rights education. East Flatbush; Flatbush

• $20,000 to OHEL Children's Home & Family Services' Foster Care Medical Needs Program.

• $20,000 to Partnership for the Homeless to support clients at risk of losing their homes. East New York

• $15,000 to The Arab-American Family Support Center for social services to the Arab American community. Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Bay Ridge

• $10,000 to The Bridge Fund of New York to provide working poor families at risk of eviction or foreclosure with services, loans and grants, and intensive financial counseling.

Senior Independence

• $25,000 to Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island* for Medicare Part D Help Center.

• $20,000 to Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City to expand the Bill Payer Program in Brooklyn.

• $15,000 to Park Slope Geriatric Day Center* for temporary scholarships for dementia day program while new participants wait for Medicaid applications to be processed.

• $15,000 to Self-help Community Services for chore assistance program to allow mobility or self-care impaired Brooklynites remain in their homes and communities. Kensington

• $10,000 to Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter for free family caregiver workshops. Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Bensonhurst

Special Needs

• $10,000 to GALLOPNYC* to enable low-income children and adults with disabilities to experience the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding.

• $10,000 to Rainbow Heights Club for therapeutic Evening Meals Program for low-income LGBT mental health consumers.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - $400,000 to 14 nonprofits

Grantmaking strategy: Boost neighborhoods through affordable housing and workforce development programs, while encouraging urban planning and historic preservation initiatives.

Capacity Building and Civic Engagement

• $30,000 to Myrtle Avenue Commercial Revitalization and Development Project Local Development Corporation to support community planning initiative to improve Park Avenue and the area under the BQE. Clinton Hill; Fort Greene; Navy Yard

• $25,000 to Bridge Street Development Corporation to implement fundraising plan and build individual donor base. Bedford Stuyvesant; Clinton Hill

• $25,000 to Common Ground to support the Brownsville Partnership, a place-based homelessness prevention and community redevelopment initiative. Brownsville

• $20,000 to Citizens Committee for New York City for co-branded partnership to launch the first Neighborhood Leadership Institute in Brooklyn.

• $15,000 to Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) to promote a more sustainable and equitable community that builds bridges between old and new residents. Williamsburg


• $50,000 to Partnership To Preserve Affordable Housing to preserve affordability, combat predatory equity and rehabilitate distressed HUD-assisted housing.

• $25,000 to St. Nicks Alliance to preserve long term viability and affordability of limited equity co-op units. Bushwick; Greenpoint; Williamsburg

Economic and Workforce Development

• $50,000 to New York City Financial Network Action Consortium to support the 2011 VITA program and expand access to free tax preparation. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick

• $25,000 to East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation to support Plan Ahead Brooklyn program for long term growth and job development. Greenpoint; Sunset Park; Williamsburg

• $25,000 to Pratt Area Community Council to support economic development initiatives serving business owners on Fulton Street. Bedford Stuyvesant; Clinton Hill; Crown Heights

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Workforce Innovations for workforce development programs that help unemployed obtain training, certification and job placement. Bedford Stuyvesant; Crown Heights; Red Hook

• $25,000 to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens* for Caritas Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Training.

• $25,000 to St. Nicks Alliance* to sustain Workforce Development division and ensure maximum impact and outcomes. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick; Williamsburg; Greenpoint

• $25,000 to The HOPE Program* to provide work readiness, job placement and retention services to some of Brooklyn's most vulnerable residents.

• $10,000 to Nontraditional Employment for Women to expand construction union apprenticeship employment opportunities for graduates in Brooklyn and around the new Sunset Park training center.

GREEN COMMUNITIES - $260,500 to 12 nonprofits

Grantmaking strategy: Increase and sustain open space and waterfront access, encourage green practices and healthy food initiatives, and help create green job opportunities.

Open Space

• $40,000 to Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to support the completion of a master plan for the creation of a 14-mile greenway along the Brooklyn waterfront.

• $40,000 to Green Guerillas for Harvest for Neighborhoods Campaign and Brooklyn Community Garden Fund.

• $25,000 to Prospect Park Alliance* for Park's restoration, maintenance, and operations including environmental education and youth employment programs.

• $15,000 to New York Restoration Project for capital improvements and community outreach activities in 21 community gardens. Bedford Stuyvesant; Bushwick; East New York

• $10,000 to Old Stone House of Brooklyn* to maintain surrounding park's green spaces and for environmental, history, and arts programs.

• $5,500 to Hattie Carthan Community Garden for advocacy training series for youth and adults interested in learning more about food justice and the food system. Bedford Stuyvesant

• $5,000 to Sustainable Flatbush for the Church Avenue Communal Garden, a partnership between Sustainable Flatbush and the Flatbush Reformed Church. Flatbush

• $2,500 to Promenade Partnership for volunteer activities to design, install and maintain the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, as well environmental education afterschool program at PS 8. Brooklyn Heights

Food Access

• $25,000 to Just Food to support creation & expansion of CSAs, partnerships between emergency food providers and community gardens, and community-based farmers markets.

• $20,000 to Brooklyn Food Coalition for outreach in 12 neighborhoods to educate residents about food justice issues.
Environmental Education and Career Development

• $35,000 to United Community Centers to support ESL, after school, GED, and job readiness programs and a dynamic urban agriculture program for high school students. East New York

• $25,000 to Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy for hands on environmental education programs that promote sustainability, recycling, aquatic ecology and scientific observation.

• $10,000 to Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Garden Apprentice Program for Brooklyn teens from diverse backgrounds to work with BBG professionals and assist garden visitors.

• $10,000 to Wildlife Conservation Society’s Teens in Conservation youth docent program at the New York Aquarium, which promotes leadership, learning, and career opportunities.

• $2,500 to Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush to help residents incorporate green practices as part of homeownership and maintenance. East Flatbush; Flatbush; Remsen Village