Photo: brooklyncommunityfoundation.org
Photo: brooklyncommunityfoundation.org

Twenty nonprofit organizations have been selected as finalists for The Spark Prize, the first and only honor of its kind celebrating changemakers in the nonprofit sector, announced Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The inaugural grants program is named for the Foundation’s mission to “spark” lasting social change in Brooklyn. Organizations were asked to submit a 1,000-word essay demonstrating their deep history in Brooklyn and continued commitment to serving the borough; commitment to equity and racial and social justice for all Brooklynites; strong values demonstrated through all aspects of their work; and a dynamic vision for their future work in Brooklyn.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“…A competition that celebrates the best of Brooklyn’s humanitarian spirit, furthering the ongoing mission of making lasting social change…” ~BP Eric L. Adams[/perfectpullquote]

“Brooklyn is home to nearly 3,000 nonprofits, yet they collectively receive less than 5 percent of funds distributed by New York City foundations,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke. “We created the Spark Prize to drive support to the borough’s vibrant nonprofit sector and showcase outstanding community-led solutions addressing Brooklyn’s most critical challenges.”

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura calls The Spark Prize “a testament to the best in Brooklyn nonprofits for its emphasis on social justice-oriented, values-driven service to the borough.”

The Spark Prize will award up to $600,000– a prize of $100,000 each for general operating support– to at least five outstanding Brooklyn-serving nonprofits that are “disruptors” in their fields, using smart planning and creativity to be effective while sparking change! The five final winners will be announced in January 2017.

Spark Prize finalists (in alphabetical order):

As a part of the launch of a new local giving campaign called Brooklyn Gives, BCF– in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses– will provide the 20 finalists a $5,000 matching grant on “Giving Tuesday” (November 29, 2016), to encourage contributions from local donors.

“It is gratifying to be part of a competition that celebrates the best of Brooklyn’s humanitarian spirit, furthering the ongoing mission of making lasting social change that Brooklyn Community Foundation has laid out for all Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “The organizations that have reached this meaningful stage have incredible track records of community service that have helped make our borough a safer and greater place to raise healthy children and families.”

Learn more about the Spark Prize here.

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