When It Comes to Giving, We’re Your Personal Trainer

January 6, 2012

Happy New Year from the Brooklyn Community Foundation!  Image Courtesy of Flickr User Victoriapeckham

A Force For Good 

Here at the Community Foundation, we’re kicking around some New Year’s Resolutions. Exercise more? Sure (the Brooklyn Bridge Park has some great new walking and bicycle paths). Eat better? Absolutely (the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project offers some local tips). Do Good Right Here? Always!

The Brooklyn Community Foundation is your “personal trainer” when it comes to resolving to do good in your community.  We like to think of ourselves as a force for good—pushing you and your fellow Brooklynites to become more connected to your community and the issues affecting its growth and prosperity, so that you can become an agent of positive change in Brooklyn in 2012.

The first step in our “Do Good Right Here” fitness plan is to be more informed about your community. With the help of our City Limits journalist partners at The Brooklyn Bureau and our research team at the Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College, we’re investing in new information resources—investigative reporting, data collection, trend analysis—to help make you more aware of what’s happening across Brooklyn.

We urge you to subscribe online to The Brooklyn Bureau for in-depth investigative news, arriving at a greater frequency over the coming weeks. Later this month, we’ll be launching a series of fascinating Brooklyn Neighborhood Reports in partnership with the Center for the Study of Brooklyn, which will provide key trend data in nine civic indicator areas for each of Brooklyn’s 18 Community Districts.  

Read more about this work from our President Marilyn Gelber in her new column for the Brooklyn Bureau: “Time for Brooklyn (and Its Fans) to Go Beyond the Brand”

Our Top Resolution: More Resources for Brooklyn

As we pursue our mission to strengthen communities and improve lives in Brooklyn, we know that our modest grantmaking has the power to change the way the public views the work of the nonprofit community and the role that individual giving can play in supporting local organizations. One example of how we do that is through our “encouragement grants.”

Last fall, when meeting with Hanne Tierney, artistic director of FiveMyles exhibition and performance space in Crown Heights, our Senior Program Officer Stuart Post asked her about their greatest needs as an organization. Her straight answer? General operating support. We pushed them to not only look to us for that support, but to also call on their community for increased investment, since the space exists to benefit local artists and art lovers year-round.

In December we awarded FiveMyles an Arts for All Fund grant, but the better news arrived at the start of this week, in an email from Ms. Tierney:

“It's with pride and gratefulness that I want to tell you we have matched our $7,500 Brooklyn Community Foundation grant. After talking to you about ways to grow support from our community, two of our directors sent out appeal letters and together with their donations, we doubled the grant amount! What if you hadn't challenged us?”

That’s just one example of how we can all do more, if we push ourselves and expand our resources.

During our "Gift to Brooklyn" Holiday Campaign, a generous anonymous donor challenged us to recruit more donors by pledging to match all gifts up to $250. In total, we received over $40,000 in donations at this level. With the match, that's $80,000 in new funds from the community for the community!

Resolve to exercise your giving muscles more this year, be it through donations of time or money. Take the simple step of signing up for our Brooklyn Volunteer Database at www.brooklyncommunityfoundation.org/volunteer to learn more about local service opportunities.

We’re energized for 2012, and look forward to exponential growth in our good work together. Now drop and give us 20!


What's Happening Across Brooklyn 
Here are a few highlights of news and events we’ve shared with our followers this week. Don’t miss a thing! Like us at Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn and follow us at Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn.

775 Junior's Cheesecakes - That's a lot of Calories to Burn!

That's also 775 "Thank Yous" to all who purchased a Holiday Swirl Cheesecake at Junior's Restaurant in December to benefit the Brooklyn Community Foundation. We hope you enjoyed the treat, and treating Brooklyn's nonprofit community to added funds!