Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation



Five Steps to Boost Your Charitable Impact in Brooklyn

Chances are you gave during the pandemic to support your local communities - through mutual aid groups, food pantries, and even our own Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund. But as we all know, the challenges created by the pandemic have not gone away, especially as higher costs of living have taken their toll. As Brooklyn's community foundation, we are here to help you continue to make a difference right in your own backyard and set goals to make your giving go even further.

Here are five suggestions for anyone who wants to get started on a “give local” journey in Brooklyn:

1. Follow News in the Borough

First, scan the local news. Brooklyn has many dedicated news outlets, including:

In addition to these borough-specific outlets, you may want to follow organizations that report on New York City at large, such as The City, Gothamist, and WNYC, to name a few. You’ll also find New York City news outlets that are specific to particular issues such as Documented, which covers local immigration news, and Chalkbeat New York, which offers news from the world of education. Many television stations’ websites also include a local news tab. 

Spend five minutes scrolling through the local news for three days in a row, and you might be surprised at how much you can learn about what’s going on in your own backyard.


2. Identify Key Causes and Related Nonprofits 

Second, with this research in hand, run a few quick online searches with some key issues you’ve identified, along with the terms “nonprofit,” “charity,” Brooklyn, and even the name of your neighborhood. Sometimes these searches will illuminate organizations you might have heard of or even be involved with already — and at the very least, you will begin to frame your own description of the local causes you care about. 

You can also find nonprofits serving your neighborhood by searching the Foundation’s grant directory, which lists organizations we fund through various initiatives across the borough. 

3. Open a Donor Advised Fund At Brooklyn Community Foundation — Or Transfer Your Existing DAF 

A Donor Advised Fund is a charitable investment account through which your assets have the potential to grow tax-free. Created with a single tax-deductible donation of cash or stock, you can name your fund and give at your own pace—we manage the rest. 

If you already have a DAF, you can transfer it to Brooklyn Community Foundation, where unlike commercial DAF providers, our 1% management fee supports grants to nonprofits working for racial justice in Brooklyn. With a DAF at Brooklyn Community Foundation, you have the flexibility to give wherever you want, at your own pace, while giving back to Brooklyn.

4. Contact Our Donor Services Team

Reach out to the donor services team at Brooklyn Community Foundation. We are the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn’s charitable community, and we are proud to work in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to invest in racial justice and community-led change in the borough.

The Foundation knows which nonprofits are addressing the issues you’d like to learn more about and can provide advice on how to make your charitable donations have the greatest possible impact. 

Our team is flexible and responsive, providing outstanding, personal service designed around your needs while at the same time working closely with legal, tax, and wealth advisors to ensure that you are maximizing the financial elements of your charitable giving plan. 

5. Give To Your Community Foundation

If after reading the above, you’re still not sure where to give, you can always give directly to Brooklyn Community Foundation to make an impact on the borough. From the focus of our grantmaking programs to advisory councils that share decision-making power, our work is informed and led by our community.

As Brooklyn’s community foundation, we have a unique 360-view of the borough and can help drive critical community-led change. With your continued partnership and generosity, we can grow our strategic grantmaking for racial justice and direct funding to where it's needed most.

We look forward to working with you as together we strive for a more fair and just Brooklyn.

Melissa Pawlak

Donor Services Manager (She/Her/Hers)
As Brooklyn's community foundation, we are here to help you continue to make a difference right in your own backyard and set goals to make your giving go even further.