Brooklyn Nonprofits Get a Windfall

Brooklyn Community Foundation, a new philanthropy focused solely on Brooklyn, will announce Monday its first round of grants totaling $2.5 million.

The grants are being made to more than 170 nonprofits throughout the borough to fund initiatives in five fields of interest: arts for all, caring neighbors, community development, education and youth achievement, and green communities.

The foundation doled out a number of grants—including $75,000 to charter schools for after school programs, literacy intervention, and the creation of school libraries; $75,000 to nonprofits like Green Guerillas to create community gardens and improve access to healthy food; and $60,000 to a number of groups that train youngsters and teens in music and art.

“We seek out Brooklyn's most effective nonprofit leaders who understand, innovate and address a range of local issues,” said Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “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.”

The foundation, which launched in October, is the reincarnation of the Independence Community Foundation. That foundation changed its tax status so it could raise money in addition to using the income from its roughly $50 million endowment, and then changed its name and mission. Ms. Gelber said she expects to increase the amount the foundation distributes as it brings in more funding from traditional philanthropic sources and small donations from Brooklyn residents.