There’s been a lot of exciting things going on lately at the Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF), especially in the realm of racial justice and in the Crown Heights neighborhood. But one opportunity that we haven’t yet touched on here at IP is BCF’s Spark Prize.
This prize is fueled by the funder’s mission to spark lasting social change, and it primarily targets organizations that focus on racial justice to achieve greater equity on the local level. BCF is currently on the lookout for Brooklyn organizations that “demonstrate creativity, impact, and healthy disruption within their field.”
But there’s another goal at work here too. As a community foundation, a big part of what BCF does is donor engagement. These donors rely upon BCF’s expertise and knowledge of the local community to guide their philanthropic giving. So to get a better sense of what charitable groups are up to in Brooklyn these days to encourage greater equality among residents, BCF is using this prize to strengthen its foundation services and present fresh funding ideas to local donors.
Interested nonprofits can apply for BCF’s Spark Prize online through June 3. That deadline is coming up fast, so here are the top things local groups should know about this opportunity.
5 Nonprofits Will Get $100,000
Five local groups will win the top prize amount, which is $100,000. This will be general operating support distributed over a two or three-year period.
20 Nonprofits will Get Up to $5,000
But to connect with even more local groups on some level, BCF is offering up to $5,000 to 20 nonprofits as part of this prize. This money will be coming as matching funds on Giving Tuesday, which is November 29.
Must Serve Brooklyn Communities
New York nonprofits should know that this opportunity only exists for groups that serve the people and communities of Brooklyn.
Some Experience Required
Also of note, this is not a prize for start-ups. One of the requirements of this prize competition is that your organization must be in operation for at least five years. You also must have an organizational budget of at least $350,000.
Racial Justice is the Big Cause
Racial justice continues to be a huge issue for BCF in general, and it’s also the focus of this prize. The foundation defines racial justice as “the systemic distribution of power, opportunities, and access for people of all races resulting in equitable outcomes for all.” To craft your proposal around this issue, learn more about BCF’s racial justice lens here.
Civic, business, and neighborhood leaders in Brooklyn will be selecting the winning nonprofits, and the committee advisors are Amani A. Martin and Hildy J. Simmons, both of which serve on BCF’s board of directors. Finalists will be announced in October and winners in January.
To learn more about this opportunity, check out the Spark Prize’s how to apply page and the FAQ page. In other BCF news, keep an eye on the foundation’s grant seekers page in the days ahead. Its youth grant program is scheduled to open up for letters of inquiry in June and its Crown Heights neighborhood grant program sometime this summer.
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