Who Applied for the Spark Prize? | Visiting Our Restorative Justice Partners | + More from Your Community Foundation

June 15, 2016

Who Applied for the Spark Prize? A Snapshot of Our Diverse Nonprofit Sector

150 organizations applied for our first annual Spark Prize, through which we’re offering up to $600,000 in general operating support to Brooklyn nonprofits – with five winners receiving $100,000 each.

The applicant pool is a dynamic mix of organizations representing the breadth, history, and depth of our borough’s nonprofit sector. Here are some highlights:

  • Brooklyn Born + Brooklyn Based: 80% of organizations are headquartered in Brooklyn  
  • Livable Wage for Employees: 82% of applicants reported paying more than 90% of staff a livable wage  
  • Diverse Leadership: Over a quarter of organizations are led by people of color 20% African American, 5% Latino, and 2% Asian American. 58% of applicants have female EDs, and 2% identify as gender nonconforming 
  • Deep Roots, New Approaches: 10% of organizations were founded before 1900 while another 14% were founded in the last 10 years
  • Local + Citywide: 17% of organizations work at the neighborhood level, 36% work Brooklyn-wide, and 47% work across NYC

The Spark Prize is the signature initiative of our Brooklyn Accelerator, a capacity-building hub for Brooklyn's nonprofit sector. Sign up here for ongoing opportunities like 48in48.org which will build free websites for 48 nonprofits in 48 hours this November. Apply by June 30 to participate.

Donor Spotlight: Our Partnership with Cleary Gottlieb

Like many nonprofits, we rely on the generosity of for-profit institutions’ pro bono support. Over the past year, we’ve been especially fortunate to partner with the firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP. 

Experiencing Restorative Justice: A Visit to Our School Partners

Earlier this month we led our Youth Justice Funders Collaborative on a site visit to the School for Democracy and Leadership (SDL)—one of the four schools partnering in our Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project.

It was a valuable opportunity to see restorative practices first-hand, talk with school leaders, and experience the transformational power of Restorative Justice.

Located on the Wingate Campus in Lefferts Gardens, SDL serves just 300 students in 6th-12th grade but had one of the highest suspension rates in the city. Our support has enabled the school to have a full time Restorative Justice Coordinator through a four-year grant to Good Shepherd Services, which is also overseeing a holistic implementation plan.

Invest in Youth Grant Program: LOIs Due July 15

We are pleased to announce the timeline for our 2016-17 Invest in Youth Grant Program. All interested youth-serving organizations who are not current Invest in Youth grantees should submit a brief Letter of Inquiry from June 15-July 15, 2016. Grant awards will be announced this November. 

RSVP here for our LOI Information Session on June 22 from 3-4:30PM.