Susannah Taylor & Phillip Marriott

Susannah : BCF Board Member and COO & Director of Development, READ 718-- Phil : Private Investor and Co-Founder, 1834 Project Giving Circle
What do you love about Brooklyn?
Living in the biggest city in America with all of the diversity and cultural richness that that brings, while also living in a neighborhood surrounded by other neighborhoods. There’s such a strong feeling of community in Brooklyn—of neighbors shoveling snow for each other, of sitting on stoops on hot summer nights, of local restaurants and corner stores, of playgrounds and parks, of museums and live music. It feels like the center of a very diverse world, but intimate all the same.
What does philanthropy mean to your family?
For us, philanthropy is a key element of living an outward-facing and engaged life, of not being complacent in the face of inequity, of supporting real and needed change.
Why a DAF at Brooklyn Community Foundation?
A Donor Advised Fund is an effective way for us to budget and plan our annual giving, to be more thoughtful about our giving process as a family. From a tax standpoint, it’s much simpler to have one or two things to record, and it’s a wonderful resource for us to focus our funds. We are supporters of the Foundation and its Brooklyn focus and wanted to put our DAF in a local organization, so it made good, intuitive sense to open our DAF with the Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation is a great way to learn about initiatives that are underway in a wide range of Brooklyn nonprofits that address the many challenges facing our borough, and to put our DAF to work in support of those organizations.
Phil, why a men’s giving circle?
We were inspired by ALLINBKLYN, a Brooklyn-based women’s giving circle. Our pooled financial resources give us a chance to make grants that can really help organizations move forward in fulfilling their missions. We take time as a group to understand each nominee’s goals, its people, and the people it serves.
Because Brooklyn Community Foundation has the staffing and infrastructure in place, running the giving circle is remarkably easy. We get to focus on learning about terrific grassroots organizations that are driving change for the good of Brooklyn with very little administrative burden.