March News: $10M Brooklyn Elders Fund Launches, Census Victory, Spark Prize Application Opens Monday

March 28, 2019

Our New $10M Brooklyn Elders Fund

We're pleased to announce the launch of our new Brooklyn Elders Fund, a permanent fund seeded by $10 million to promote the care and welfare of older adults in Brooklyn.

Watch Our Brooklyn Elders Fund Launch Video

The first of its kind to tackle issues affecting aging Brooklynites, the fund brings together older adults, policymakers, and community-based nonprofits to support both proven strategies and innovative approaches to providing the care and support that our aging population needs.

“After building the Brooklyn neighborhoods the world has grown to love, Brooklyn’s elders are too often living in poverty, struggling to find decent housing they can afford, and fighting for basic services that would allow them to live with dignity. It is the definition of a crisis. We partnered with donors to establish the Brooklyn Elders Fund to bring Brooklynites together to tackle this challenge head on. With new ideas and significant new resources, we will do our best to honor and transform the lives of older adults in our neighborhoods for generations to come.”

- Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO

Census 2020 Victory! Advocating to #MakeBrooklynCount

It’s been a busy month as we approach the one-year countdown to Census 2020, highlighted by our New York Daily News op-ed advocating Governor Cuomo to include $40M for Census outreach in this year’s state budget. 

Today, we're excited to share, as reported by the New York Daily News, that State lawmakers plan to include the $40M request in the final budget due Sunday.

Brooklyn ranks #1 as the “Hardest to Count” among all New York state counties, a troubling statistic given that Census data informs our share of government funding, redistricting and the apportionment of congressional seats, and long-term investment in our communities. We will continue to push to ensure that any funding allocation supports community-based organizations for outreach to hard to count communities.

Foundation Joins "Hate is Not Charitable" Campaign

We are pleased to join together with the Amalgamated Foundation and 20 other Donor Advised Fund providers for the Hate is Not Charitable Campaign, an initiative to prevent funding groups that promote hatred.

The initiative follows a recent investigative report exposing the use of DAFs to finance hate groups. The report found that, between 2014 and 2017, major Donor Advised Fund providers—including Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard—provided nearly $11 million in grants to 34 organizations that have been deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organizations listed in the report include anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQ groups.

Spark Prize Application Opens April 1st

We are pleased to announce the return of our annual $100,000 Spark Prize for Brooklyn nonprofits. The online application for our 2019-2020 Spark Prize opens Monday, April 1st. Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 10, 2019 at

Any Brooklyn nonprofit organization with an annual operating budget of $350,000 or more and a minimum of five years in operation is invited to apply. We especially encourage organizations that are not current Brooklyn Community Foundation grantees to apply! 

What does it take to win the Spark Prize? Read about one of our 2019 winners Red Hook Community Justice Center in this Bklyner profile.