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About Brooklyn Org

A New Way Forward

Brooklyn Org believes that a fair and just Brooklyn is within reach and we have a plan to get there — with you

Brooklyn Org is a champion for Brooklyn. We celebrate Brooklyn’s brilliance and resilience, its incomparable culture and uncompromising grit—and we demand more for our communities.

Over our 15 year history, we have reimagined the role of philanthropy and provided immeasurable support to communities and nonprofit partners that are leading transformational change for Brooklyn. With a new model for community philanthropy, we are bringing together Brooklynites, Brooklyn backers, businesses, and broader believers in equity and justice to make Brooklyn a beacon for the world.

We are a network of changemakers who believe that Brooklyn can be a beacon of change for the rest of America:

  • Nonprofits: We are the advocate for Brooklyn’s nonprofit community. We fund over 100 organizations annually working across every issue, while we invest in the development of emerging nonprofits and leaders.
  • Donors: We crowdfund resources from Brooklyn, for Brooklyn, and use our deep knowledge and experience to co-invest strategically in our communities.
  • Partners: We collaborate with Brooklyn believers—businesses, government, foundations, and more—to further our shared vision for a stronger Brooklyn.
  • Communities: We are connected to communities and cultures across Brooklyn—and these long standing relationships play a key role in informing our investments.
We invite you to be a part of this exciting next chapter of our journey, one that would not be possible without the support of our friends—old and new—and your commitment to putting bold ideas into action in Brooklyn, for Brooklyn. Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO of Brooklyn Org
A group of four young Black men in conversation in a classroom
BKO grantee partner KAVI

Our Strategic Plan

This plan lays out our vision to build on our successes to date, and strategically expand our work towards creating a fair and just Brooklyn. We will not waver from our firm commitment to racial justice and participatory grantmaking—the heart of our approach to philanthropy.

Rooted in our vision for a fair and just Brooklyn, our plan includes two goals that will drive our next chapter of growth and impact.

Goal: Build the capacity and power of organizations that serve Brooklyn

Our grantees, donor partners, and staff have encouraged us to reimagine our grantmaking approach, creating opportunities for a more diverse range of nonprofits working towards racial justice. Our grantee partners have expressed interest in additional support for bolstering their organizational capacity and attracting new funding sources. Over the next five years, we will expand and align our grantmaking with pressing community issues, strengthen our capacity building services, and leverage our civic influence to achieve systemic change for Brooklyn.

Strategy: Expand our grantmaking

Expand our grantmaking and align our grantmaking efforts with Brooklyn’s most pressing issues

  • Redesign our grant application process to expand beyond our current focus areas
  • Ground our giving in community voices and data on neighborhoods
  • Adapt our grantmaking to evolving conditions in communities
Strategy: Strengthen Brooklyn’s nonprofit ecosystem

Strengthen Brooklyn’s nonprofit ecosystem with a continuum of capacity building services to help nonprofits grow and become resilient

  • Expand our capacity building services offered, beyond our grantee network, to the broader nonprofit community in Brooklyn
  • Expand the range of capacity building services offered to reflect the varied and evolving needs of nonprofits
  • Regularly assess the impact and relevance of our capacity building services to adapt as needed
Strategy: Support grantees in storytelling

Support grantees in telling the story of their impact and success

  • Strengthen our internal systems and processes for capturing, analyzing, and communicating the impact of our grantees
  • Engage grantees in deeper conversations about their successes and challenges by better leveraging our existing tools and touchpoints
  • Continue to connect grantees to new potential funders
Strategy: Raise awareness of Brooklyn issues

Leverage our influence to elevate awareness of specific issues affecting Brooklyn

  • Identify a select set of Brooklyn issues that are ripe for our support and align with our vision for the borough
  • Supercharge existing efforts to bring systemic change by releasing public communications, commissioning research, and organizing convenings between policymakers and communities

Goal: Activate and mobilize greater resources for community impact 

To build the capacity and power of nonprofits, we will need to mobilize greater resources for Brooklyn. Our donor partners turn to us to identify impactful community-based organizations that are often overlooked. We have solidified a reputation as a trusted resource for those who want to support Brooklyn quickly and effectively. Still, there are many potential Brooklyn champions that are not yet engaged in our work.

Over the next five years, we will build on our reputation to reach a broader network of donors, develop new strategic partnerships with government and other philanthropic organizations, and consider new approaches to investing our assets in ways that align with our values.

Strategy: Grow the base of champions for Brooklyn

Grow the base of champions who support Brooklyn

  • Expand outreach to a broader base of supporters through marketing and communication efforts
  • Develop new partnerships with corporations and businesses
  • Grow our network of professional advisors—attorneys, financial advisors, and accountants—whose clients are committed to investing in Brooklyn
Strategy: Formalize a local giving advisory service

Formalize an advisory service for giving  in Brooklyn

  • Establish an advisory service to provide tailored recommendations to donors
  • Curate meaningful events and materials for donors to learn about specific issues
  • Create unique co-investment opportunities for donors interested in specific issues
Strategy: Establish more partnerships

Establish partnerships with government and larger philanthropic institutions

  • Proactively engage with policymakers and philanthropic leaders to understand their priorities and explore opportunities where partnership would add value
  • Solidify our position as a leader in the Brooklyn charitable landscape
Strategy: Galvanize resources for urgent needs

Strengthen our ability to galvanize resources in response to urgent community needs

  • Launch an Emergency Fund to respond to real-time, urgent needs of nonprofits that cannot be supported through our existing grantmaking opportunities
Strategy: Enact a values-aligned investment approach

Enact a values-aligned investment approach

  • Undergo a planning effort that explores and implements balanced investment approaches that deliver a measurable financial and social return

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