Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation: Grants for New York City

OVERVIEW: The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation is committed to supporting education in the inner-city communities in which the namesake law firm has a presence.

IP TAKE: This foundation’s biggest grant amounts are earmarked for their V.I.P.s—calling them Relationship Grants—and distributes them to the same organizations each year. However, it is flexible with its smaller Community Grants, awarding up to $2,000 per classroom for a wide variety of learning and participatory projects. The foundation also prioritizes New York City organizations; however, several other organizations secure funds each other.  

PROFILE: The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation was founded by Brown Rudnick LLC, an international law firm focused on business law. The foundation seeks to “bring the energy and interests of Brown Rudnick volunteers together with opportunities and resources to create a positive social change.” The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation will only fund grants in Boston, Hartford, New York City, Orange County, Providence, and Washington, DC, all locations where they have offices. While this funder does not prioritize New York City as it does Boston, New York City still receives frequent grants. The foundation prioritizes education.

The foundation’s grants focus exclusively on education across a wide range of subject areas, needs, and types of activities. This support of K-12 and early childhood education demonstrates the foundation's commitment to creating positive social change by supporting inner-city education. It does this through both its Relationship Grants and Community Grants programs. Relationship Grants not only give funds, but also provide employee volunteer hours and pro bono legal services. Virtually all of these grantees are multi-year recipients.  A past New York City Relationship Grants grantee is the New York City Urban Debate League.

Despite the entrenched relationships built into these Relationship Grants, the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation has an open LOI process for them. Applications are due in March.

The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation’s Community Grants are smaller and can either be directed by a school or classroom teacher, or otherwise by a 501(c)(3) partnering with a school to “recognize, encourage, and collaborate with the front-line workers within the educational system who often do not have a voice in funding decisions.” The projects also need to be “concrete.” Past Community Grants grantees include P.S. 71 Forest Elementary School to purchase mini iPads for use in ESL classrooms, Brooklyn Arbor Elementary to participate in a bilingual soccer program, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning to purchase art supplies, and Kiddie Science to help fund the organization’s Family Science program.

The Community Grants program is an online open application, with considerations made monthly.

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