CEO Column: Finding Your Reason This Giving Season
Shorter days and colder temperatures signal the start of the holiday season – a time marked by gathering with our loved ones, reflection, and of course, giving.
As the year comes to a close, I am so proud of the tremendous work of Brooklyn Org and all that we’ve accomplished together to help make Brooklyn a more fair and just home for all. At the height of the migrant crisis last Spring, our team and Board of Directors raised an additional $50,000 for nonprofits helping our newest neighbors. Just last month at our Changemakers Ball, our amazing supporters gave over $1 million to enable us to support even more Brooklyn communities next year. Every dollar counts – but what counts even more is the love we all share for Brooklyn.
As we forge ahead with this bigger and bolder chapter as Brooklyn Org, we are spearheading a new model for local philanthropy focused on racial justice and making sure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in our future.
Recently, I have been troubled by a new concept of philanthropy making the rounds that is defined by individual wealth and success rather than how we use what we’ve earned and what we’ve been given to make sure others have the same opportunities and the same resources to thrive.
At its most basic meaning, philanthropy means “love of humanity.” That is a powerful reminder that this is heart work, and we must never lose sight of each other's humanity.Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President & CEO
We at Brooklyn Org seek to be an antidote to this staggering self-interest – especially as our neighbors’ needs continue to grow in the face of a cost of living crisis. Across the city, 50% of New Yorkers are struggling to cover basic needs like housing, food, health care, and transportation. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that a record high of 119,300 students in New York City public schools – many of whom are recent migrants – are unhoused.
A Brooklyn where more and more children and families don’t know where they’re sleeping at night is not acceptable. Stable living conditions are the foundation of a joyous and connected community that every Brooklynite deserves – and it’s why housing is one of the critical issues we’re addressing as Brooklyn Org.
At its most basic meaning, philanthropy means “love of humanity.” That is a powerful reminder that this is heart work, and we must never lose sight of each other’s humanity. As the world feels more divided than ever, and we are confronted with the unfathomable daily suffering in Gaza and Israel and in other nations far away and in so many communities nearby, we hold each of you in our heart.
50% of New Yorkers are struggling to cover basic needs like housing, food, health care, and transportation.
Even during these difficult times, Brooklynites continue to show up for each other. And Brooklyn Org is here to be your partner. We are always listening to and learning from our communities how to support local change meaningfully and effectively. There is much to do and much to concern us, but there is also much to be proud of here in the largest borough of New York City.
If you are searching for a source of light and inspiration in these challenging times, I encourage you to be part of our Brooklyn Gives on GivingTuesday campaign to give right here in Brooklyn on the world’s biggest day of giving. You can discover hundreds of incredible front-line nonprofits working in every neighborhood in Brooklyn across all issue areas at bkgives.brooklyn.org. It’s a powerful example of what we can achieve when Brooklyn Backs Brooklyn.
We are so grateful for your generosity – both directly to Brooklyn nonprofits and in support of Brooklyn Org, which enables us to stand in the gap for the countless nonprofits doing the work, day in and day out.
We can achieve so many great things together when we keep each other close. I’m inspired by the momentum we’re building – and I hope you’ll continue to be part of our movement for Brooklyn.