Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces First Round of Grants Totaling More Than $2.5 Million

In its first full grantmaking cycle since becoming a public charity in October 2009, the Brooklyn Community Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $2.5 million to 172 nonprofits throughout the borough.

Formerly the Independence Community Foundation, BCF awarded grants in five areas to both small neighborhood projects and efforts by larger, long-established organizations. It is the first borough-wide philanthropy focused solely on Brooklyn.

Grants included more than $900,000 from the Education and Youth Achievement Fund to support academic and afterschool programming, positive youth development for girls, mentoring and reading intervention programs, creation of school libraries, and initiatives to raise graduation rates; over $600,000 from the Caring Neighbors Fund to groups helping health and human service providers meet immediate needs and assist vulnerable populations; more than $500,000 from the Arts for All and Community Development Funds for efforts to expand access to the arts and provide workforce development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stability, respectively; and at least $200,000 from the Green Communities Fund to promote community gardens, urban farms, and environmental education.

"Brooklyn Community Foundation's first year's grants reflect our unwavering commitment to strengthening Brooklyn's neighborhoods and helping its people," said BCF president Marilyn Gelber. "We seek out Brooklyn's most effective nonprofit leaders who understand, innovate and address a range of local issues. Our community-based philanthropy is highly effective — and necessary — to build strength and create change, and these grants to more than 170 nonprofits demonstrate that smaller grants, strategically made and carefully nurtured, can — and do — have big, positive outcomes now and in the future."