February News: Youth Fellows Rally in DC, Meet Our Newest Board Members + More from Your Community Foundation

February 22, 2018

Spark Prize Celebration Salutes Brooklyn Nonprofits

Thank you to all who joined us earlier this month to honor the recipients of the 2017-18 Spark Prize for Brooklyn nonprofits! 

Held at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Palm House, nearly 275 guests attended the Spark Prize Celebration emceed by actress and comedian Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live, Mean Girls). The ceremony also paid tribute to the philanthropic leadership of our Board Member Hildy J. Simmons.

The $100,000 “no strings attached” Spark Prize recognizes outstanding Brooklyn organizations dedicated to social and racial justice. This year's winners are Center for Law and Social JusticeCave CanemExalt YouthGRIOT Circle, and Red Hook Initiative

Spark Prize winners Exalt Youth

Spark Prize winners Red Hook Initiative 

Foundation President Cecilia Clarke and Honoree Hildy Simmons

See more photos from the event

“We are thrilled that the Spark Prize and this event have become such an inspiring and uplifting celebration of Brooklyn nonprofits,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke. 

“There are so many incredible organizations and leaders across our borough that have worked tirelessly to make our communities stronger, more just, and more vibrant. We salute you and are honored to work alongside you and support you.”

The 2018-19 Spark Prize application will launch this spring. Stay tuned!

Meet Our Newest Board Members Carley Roney and Zul Jamal

Last month we officially welcomed Carley Roney and Zul Jamal as the newest members of our Board of Directors. Both are long-time Brooklyn residents who are enthusiastic about our mission to spark lasting change in the borough. 

Carley is an entrepreneur and co-founder of The Knot, a popular wedding website-turned multi-platform media, commerce, and mobile company. Zul is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company, an independent investment bank.

Brooklyn Youth Fellows Rally in DC, Request Projects for 'Youth Voice Awards' Grant Program

This week we’ve seen a spotlight on youth activism around the country that has inspired both hope and action. Here in Brooklyn, youth activists are showing their commitment to justice by rallying for immigrant rights legislation and organizing to invest in local youth leadership.

Last December, our Brooklyn Youth Fellows—who oversee the Foundation's youth-led grantmaking program—traveled to D.C. to rally for the Clean Dream Act. Fellows joined members from our Immigrant Rights Fund grantees Atlas:DIY and the New York Immigration Coalition to show support for their undocumented friends, families, and neighbors.

Watch our behind-the-scenes video of the Clean Dream Act Rally 

In addition to activism, the Brooklyn Youth Fellows are now requesting applications for their Youth Voice Awards grantmaking program. Youth ages 14-25 are eligible to apply for grants up to $2000. Applications are due Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Guidance for Giving Under the New Tax Law

The passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the final weeks of 2017 left many Americans scrambling for advice on how the new legislation will affect what they pay—and what they can deduct—on their federal income taxes.

On our blogwe explain the changes and how you can adjust your charitable giving strategy to make the most of what you give, and when you give—and why this might be the year you want to open a Donor Advised Fund.