How to Apply

Spark Prize 2021-2022 Timeline

  • Friday, May 21, 2021: Online Application Opens
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021: Application Clinic
  • Friday, June 25, 2021: Applications Due at 5PM
  • June 2021: Spark Prize Committee Announced
  • July – October 2021: Applications Reviewed by Committee
  • October 2021: 20 Finalists Announced
  • November 8 – December 3, 2021: Finalists Interviews with Committee
  • November 30, 2021: #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday
  • January 2022: Five $100,000 Spark Prize Winners Announced
  • February 2022: Spark Breakfast 

Funding Criteria and Priorities

Finalists and Prize Winners will embody the following:

  • Born in Brooklyn: Organizations that have a deep history in Brooklyn and continued commitment to serving the borough.  
  • Commitment to Equity: Organizations that address systemic challenges and are working toward racial and social justice for all Brooklynites.
  • Values Driven: Organizations that have strong, articulated values that permeate all aspects of their work.
  • Vision for Future: Organizations that have a strong vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond.

Eligibility

To be eligible, organizations must meet each of the following requirements:

  • Serve people and communities of Brooklyn
  • Be in operation for longer than five years
  • Can show a minimum organizational budget of $250,000 for most recent fiscal year
  • Have a 501c3 letter or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) from a fiscal sponsor
  • Have an active governing body (ie. Board of Trustees, Advisory Board, etc.)

We especially encourage organizations that are not current Brooklyn Community Foundation grantees to apply. 

Organizations that applied for the Spark Prize in previous years are encouraged to apply again, including finalists—former winners are not eligible to apply. Current Foundation grantees are also eligible to apply. 


Application

The online application includes:

  • Brief organizational description
  • 1000-word essay addressing the Spark Prize criteria
  • Attaching the following documents:
    • IRS 501c3 Determination Letter
    • Fiscal Sponsor MOU (if applicable)
    • Most recently completed audited financial statement and/or 990 Form
    • Bios of three key personnel

Online applications are due at 5PM on Friday, June 25, 2021. Late submissions will not be considered.


Application Clinic & FAQs

If you have any questions about these guidelines or the online application, please visit our FAQ page or reach out to us at spark@bcfny.org.