Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation
Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation

Brooklyn Community Foundation announces the launch of Brooklyn Accelerator, a unique hub of information, idea exchange and gathering of philanthropic resources across the borough.

The Brooklyn Accelerator stems from a concept developed through the Foundation’s Brooklyn Insights project last year, which engaged nearly 1,000 residents to identify the borough’s most pressing challenges and unmet opportunities. As a result of this work, the Foundation has developed a new vision and mission, and a new approach to funding community-based initiatives.

“The idea for the Brooklyn Accelerator came directly from the community,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke.

“Donors want to learn more about exciting local nonprofits. Nonprofits are always seeking more resources, donors and board members. As Brooklyn’s community foundation, we are perfectly positioned to fill this need and be a connector for the community.

Brooklyn Community Foundation. Inside of its new office space, located at 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights

Among its many functions, the Brooklyn Accelerator will aim to connect community-based nonprofits to new donors and board members; sponsor nonprofit capacity-building and technical assistance services; provide training on equity, cultural competence, and anti-racism; and—using the Foundation’s new office in Crown Heights—incubate and support promising local leaders and organizations.

Startup nonprofits and community leaders in Crown Heights that are in need of affordable office space are encouraged to apply for Brooklyn Accelerator’s Incubator Project, which will award up to three recipients free co-working space within the Foundation’s office at 1000 Dean Street for one year and a stipend of up to $5,000.

Priority for the Incubator Project will be given to community organizations and leaders that meet one or more of the following criteria: are based in Crown Heights; have a mission closely aligned with the Foundation’s three Anchors of Change: Youth Justice, Immigrant Youth & Families, Youth Development; have a demonstrated commitment to Racial Justice.

Applications for the Incubator Project must be received by Friday, March 20; the program will begin May 1, 2015. Download the program description and application here.

Additionally, the Foundation is making its conference room and office amenities available to community groups to use for free through the Brooklyn Accelerator. Groups are invited to apply online to reserve space for one-time events and regular meetings of up to 25 people, Monday – Saturday. Learn more here.

Nonprofits can sign up to receive monthly Brooklyn Accelerator News email updates, which will feature sector news, funding opportunities, and local nonprofit job openings.

The Foundation will host an Open House on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from 4-6pm for Brooklyn nonprofits and community leaders interested in learning more about the Brooklyn Accelerator and Incubator Project. RSVP here.

“Great things can happen when individuals and organizations come together to spur growth and innovation in our own backyard,” said Clarke.

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