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Spark Prize

Prizes to Brooklyn, New York Nonprofits Working
to Promote Social Equity and Racial Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Brooklyn Community Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

05/10/19 5:00 PM


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Prizes to Brooklyn, New York nonprofit social change organizations to recognize their work in addressing critical community opportunities and needs. Award recipients will have demonstrated strong values, a commitment to racial justice and social equity, impact and creativity, and a dynamic vision for the future of the community and their work.

The Spark Prize is informed by the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s mission to spark change for a fair and just Brooklyn.

Finalists and Prize Winners will embody the following:

- Born in Brooklyn: Organizations that have a deep history in Brooklyn and continued commitment to serving the borough.
- Commitment to Equity: Organizations that address systemic challenges and are working toward racial and social justice for all Brooklynites.
- Values Driven: Organizations that have strong, articulated values that permeate through all aspects of their work.
- Vision for Future: Organizations that have a strong vision for the future of their work in Brooklyn and beyond.

BCF centers its work with a racial justice lens due to disparities in opportunities and access that are caused by structural and systemic issues rooted in racism and other forms of oppression that have impacted the Brooklyn community. The Spark Prize committee assesses whether organizations use race and other forms of identities to understand these structural challenges and create forward-thinking solutions to disrupt traditional hierarchies of power in favor of empowering diverse communities.

Funds for prize winners will be awarded as general operating support.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181137

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

20 Finalists and 5 Spark Prize Winners

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Winners: Organizations will be awarded a total of $100,000 each. (Organizations will be able to decide how much of the Prize to access per year, with a maximum amount of $70,000 in a single year.)
- Finalists each receive up to $5,000 in matching funds through the #Brooklyn Gives on Giving Tuesday campaign - celebrated each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Term of Contract:

Funds for prize winners will be awarded as general operating support distributed over a two-to-three year period.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible, organizations must meet each of the following requirements:

- Serve people and communities of Brooklyn
- Be in operation for longer than five years
- Have a minimum organizational budget of $350,000
- Have a 501c3 letter or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) from a fiscal sponsor
- Have an active governing body

Organizations that are not current Brooklyn Community Foundation grantees are especially encouraged to apply.

Organizations that applied for the Spark Prize last year are encouraged to apply again, including finalists—former winners are not eligible to apply.

Organizations do not need to be previous grantees of the Foundation to be eligible; current Foundation grantees are also eligible to apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Nonprofits interested in applying for the Spark Prize are encouraged to attend an Application Clinic, as well as an Information Session and Application Clinic Webinar, to learn more about eligibility guidelines and application criteria from Brooklyn Community Foundation staff.

1. The upcoming in-person Application Clinic will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2019, 3-5PM, at Brooklyn Community Foundation. Only one representative per organization may attend. Registration is required; the Foundation will not be able to accommodate individuals who do not RSVP due to limited space capacity.

For registration:

2. Spark Prize Information Session and Application Clinic Webinar will take place on April 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada).

For registration:

Pre-Application Information:

Spark Prize 2019-2020 Timeline:

- Monday, April 1, 2019: Online Application Opens
- Thursday, April 18, 2019 3-5PM: In Person Application Clinic at Brooklyn Community Foundation
- Tuesday, April 30, 2019 12-1:30PM. Application Clinic Webinar
- Friday, May 10, 2019: Applications Due at 5:00PM
- May 2019: Spark Prize Committee Announced
- June – September 2019: Applications Reviewed by Committee
- October 2019: 20 Finalists Announced
- November 19 – December 6, 2019: Finalists Interviews with Committee
- December 3, 2019: #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday
- January 2020: Five $100,000 Spark Prize Winners Announced
- February 2020: Spark Breakfast

Finalists will receive matching grants.

For application information:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

For questions, contact

Cecilia Clarke, CEO and President
Brooklyn Community Foundation
1000 Dean Street, Suite 307
Brooklyn, NY 11238

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City: Brooklyn;   New York