Brooklyn Elders Fund - 2023 Request for Proposals

Brooklyn Community Foundation is on a mission to spark lasting social change, mobilizing people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn. We are the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn, working in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to advance racial justice and bolster vital nonprofits. Since our founding in 2009, together with our donors we have provided over $90 million in grants to nonprofits in Brooklyn and beyond.


BROOKLYN ELDERS FUND GRANT PROGRAM

Brooklyn Community Foundation believes that supporting Brooklyn’s aging population is key to achieving equitable communities. Older adults have been at the forefront of social change and play vital roles at the local level. Through our Brooklyn Elders Fund, we support Brooklyn-serving organizations that are working to ensure that older adults in our borough have the opportunity and agency to achieve social and economic success.

The Brooklyn Elders Fund aims to tackle significant structural barriers to access and opportunities for adults over 50 years of age, particularly those who live with the realities of multiple oppressions or burdens.

The initiative emphasizes community leadership, with a focus on historically under-resourced communities and immigrant groups. The Foundation also supports policy and advocacy efforts directed at increasing the rights and benefits of older Brooklynites, including supporting relevant research and evaluation. 

Among other considerations, the Brooklyn Elders Fund will prioritize support for organizations that work towards the systemic redistribution of power, opportunities, and access for people of all races so that they are equally seen, heard, valued, and respected. 

We fund organizations in the following three areas of focus:

Aging in Place: We support organizations that work to keep older Brooklynites in their homes, recognizing them as a key part of the social fabric of their local communities. These programs position older adults as long-term leaders in their communities and give them the tools to challenge institutional barriers that limit opportunities and potential. We focus on investments in neighborhoods where quality programs are rare or non-existent. 

Promoting Elders’ Rights: We support both policy/advocacy and direct-service organizations that address the gaps that exist in the legal and healthcare coverage of older adults, including but not limited to promoting services not currently covered under public health care plans. These programs strive to improve the quality of life by transforming systems to meet the needs of all older adults and their caregivers.

Access to Benefits and Entitlements: We support organizations that work to alleviate systemic barriers to older adults connecting to benefits and entitlements such as health care services and housing protections in order to lead healthy and happy lives. 


GRANT AWARDS

The Brooklyn Elders Fund provides both one-year and multi-year general operating support grants of up to $45,000 per year to groups working with older adults in Brooklyn that are aligned with our values and criteria. Grantees are required to submit annual reports and complete support visits. All non-Brooklyn-based organizations must apply for program support for their Brooklyn-based work.

We believe in providing long-term investment and support to organizations that are doing transformative work in Brooklyn, particularly groups that have been under-resourced by traditional channels of philanthropy.

PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR GRANTEES

In addition to general operating support, the Foundation provides capacity building support in the following areas: racial justice, fundraising, strategic communications, board development, executive transition, financial management, advocacy, direct action, community organization, and leadership development.


PRIORITY CONSIDERATIONS

The Foundation seeks to fund a range of organizations that expand access and opportunity with and for older Brooklynites−groups of different sizes, approaches (e.g., direct service, community organizing, policy/advocacy), histories and levels of visibility, and serving different parts of the borough. 

In reviewing proposals, we will give preference to organizations that:

  • Use a racial justice lens in their work. Organizations consider race and its impact in designing programs, looking for solutions and defining success;
  • Center the voices and leadership of older adults. Organizations craft solutions to problems and work in partnership with older adults by actively engaging those most impacted in directing their own lives and shaping their own communities, and building the capacity of older adult leaders in their organizations; 
  • Acknowledge intersecting oppressions. Organizations understand how multiple oppressions impact one another and the lives of the older adults with whom they work;
  • Prioritize the most marginalized. Organizations that work with older adults who have interacted with the criminal justice system, homelessness, are LGBTQ+ or non-binary, identify as women, have a disability, represent communities of color or immigrant communities; and
  • Work on the frontlines of issues. Organizations that are grassroots and doing work on the ground and at the community level.

ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS

To be eligible to apply, an organization must:

  • Be incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or be working under the auspices of an authorized fiscal sponsor;
  • Serve or benefit Brooklyn older adults and residents;
  • Have an office or a regular physical presence in Brooklyn; and
  • Address one or more of the Brooklyn Elders Fund’s three areas of focus in their mission and primary activities.

Organizations must take a pause from applying for Brooklyn Community Foundation funding for one Request for Proposals (RFP) cycle after being awarded two consecutive multi-year grants, excluding the Spark Prize. Former grantees eligible for funding after the pause must apply to the open RFP to be considered and will follow the general process of our grantmaking model. Please reach out with eligibility questions to programs@brooklyncommunityfoundation.org or to the assigned Program Officer.

Please note that we do not fund the following:

  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Schools (public, private, or charter)
  • Organizations with an operating budget under $100,000

TIMELINE

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2023: Brooklyn Elders Fund Grant Guidelines Released
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 11AM: Informational Webinar: RSVP Here
  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 5PM: Deadline for organizations to submit an online Letter of Inquiry 
  • Friday, March 17, 2023: Notifications sent to organizations invited to submit a full proposal 
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 5PM: Deadline for invited organizations to submit an online full proposal
  • Mid-April to early May 2023: Site visits with selected organizations
  • Mid-July 2023: Award decisions announced

INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR

If your organization is interested in applying, please join us on Tuesday, January 31st at 11AM for an informational Webinar to learn more about the Brooklyn Elders Fund and application. RSVP Here


HOW TO APPLY

In order to be considered for the Brooklyn Elders Fund, please submit an LOI here

Apply at https://bcf.tfaforms.net/4946150

The online application includes:

  • Brief organizational description
  • Overview and goals of your work with older Brooklynites
  • Alignment with priority considerations

Online applications are due on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 5PM

Late submissions will not be considered.


If you have any questions about these guidelines or the online application, please reach out to us at elders@brooklyncommunityfoundation.org