Our Strategy

Building on the findings from our initial Brooklyn Insights community engagement project, and operating in alignment with our Racial Justice lens, Brooklyn Community Foundation's core programs promote racial justice in our mission to be a transformative force for Brooklyn.

All of our strategic grantmaking programs are conducted in close partnership with community members through participatory grantmaking models, in which they help us design funding approaches through ongoing Brooklyn Insights processes and bring their lived experience and expertise as decisionmakers on our grantmaking advisory councils.

In addition, we provide unrestricted general operating support wherever possibleto give organizations the flexibility to use our funding where it's needed mostand we strive to reduce the burden on nonprofits through simplified grant application and reporting processes. We also use an Equity Filter to prioritize support for organizations often marginalized by philanthropy, taking into consideration organizational budget size, the racial/ethnic identity of its executive director, the number of board members, and the percentage of individual giving as part of annual fundraising (as an indicator of proximity to wealth). This filter also informs which organizations we showcase in our donor communications, press opportunities, and capacity-building offerings, as this often yields even greater support than our own grants offer.



We have committed over $6.5 million since March 2020 to address urgent needs and invest in long-term structural change in communities of color that have endured unjust impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Foundation’s primary grantmaking and community leadership initiative focuses on creating better opportunities and a stronger future for Brooklyn’s next generation—particularly young leaders of color. Grants and special initiatives support youth development and leadership programs, youth justice reforms, and increased advocacy and services for immigrant youth and families. Each year we award more than $2.5 million in grants to youth-serving nonprofits across Brooklyn. 


A hub for strengthening Brooklyn’s vibrant nonprofit sector. Includes the annual $100,000 Spark Prize for Brooklyn nonprofits, the boroughwide #BrooklynGives campaign, the Incubator Project for startup organizations, racial justice trainings for nonprofit staff, and other capacity building resources.


Immigrant Rights Fund was created by Foundation donors following the 2016 Presidential election to support both the immediate and long-term needs of immigrants in our borough and across New York City. 


Seeded by two endowed Funds held at Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Brooklyn Elders Fund is the first of its kind to tackle issues affecting aging Brooklynites. The fund brings together older adults, policymakers, and community-based nonprofits to support both proven strategies and innovative approaches to providing the care and support that our aging population needs.

Learn more about our Special Initiatives.

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