Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


A Record $13 Million For Nonprofits in 2021

Pictured Above: 2021 Immigrant Rights Fund Grantee Mixteca Organization

2021 continued the extraordinary generosity we have seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This enabled us to distribute over $13 million to nonprofits from our Community Fund and Donor Advised Fund programs last year—a new grantmaking record for Brooklyn Community Foundation!

Our Donor Advised Fund holders issued an incredible $8.2 million in grants in 2021—a nearly 60% increase over 2020—with 42% going to Brooklyn-based organizations. 

And donors to our Community Fund helped us provide $4.8 million in essential support for 134 nonprofits advancing racial justice and social change in our borough. 

​“I think of Brooklyn Community Foundation as an investor in the business of racial and social justice. However, investors are not and should not just be day traders. Brooklyn Community Foundation is not a day trader. They embrace organizing, they understand organizing, and they are willing to invest for the long-term.”

- Bertha Lewis, Founder and CEO, The Black Institute
2021 Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund grantee

2021 marked our full transition to participatory grantmaking across all of our Community Fund programs. We are sharing decision-making power with community members who have lived experiences on the issues we're addressing, to review grant proposals, conduct site visits, and award grants. This is a groundbreaking step for our institution, furthering our commitment to racial justice and our belief that those who are closest to the challenges in Brooklyn are closest to the solutions. 

Our funding also prioritized support for grassroots organizations led by people of color traditionally overlooked by philanthropy: In 2021, 87% of grantees were led by people of color, and nearly half had annual budgets under $1 million. Learn more about our strategic grantmaking approach

Grants were made through program areas including:

  • Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund: Over $1 million supported vaccine education and outreach, ongoing urgent needs, and the first year of grants for our new Community-led Social Change cohort to take on root causes of the pandemic’s unequal impacts

  • Invest in Youth: $2.5 million for transformational programs that position young people of color as leaders in their communities

  • Immigrant Rights Fund: $605,000 for immigration and deportation legal aid, social services, and legislative advocacy for immigrants and their families

  • Brooklyn Elders Fund: $585,000 to help older adults age in place, access benefits, and advocate for their rights

Beyond our new record grantmaking total, over 4,000 donors gave $1.4 million directly to 118 nonprofits through our #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday campaign – the highest tally yet and far surpassing last year’s total. 

Thank you for your support of Brooklyn in 2021!

Learn More About Opening a Donor Advised Fund in 2022:

Whether you’re a steadfast supporter of a few organizations or you want to discover new nonprofits, you’ll find that our grantmaking history and strong community relationships make us the go-to Donor Advised Fund partner in Brooklyn.
Learn more

Become a Monthly Supporter in 2022:

Join us as a monthly donor to sustain the incredible work of Brooklyn nonprofits supported through our Community Fund. Monthly donations provide a steady source of support for our investment in organizations fighting for social and racial justice. Sign up today

Liane Stegmaier

Chief of Staff (She/Her/Hers)