The Brooklyn Community Foundation believes that supporting Brooklyn’s aging population is key to achieving equitable communities. Older adults have been at the forefront of social change and play vital roles at the local level. Through its Brooklyn Elders Fund, the foundation supports Brooklyn-serving organizations that are working to ensure that older adults in the borough have the opportunity and agency to achieve social and economic success.
The fund aims to tackle significant structural barriers to access and opportunities for adults over the age of 50, with a focus on those who live with the realities of multiple oppressions or burdens and on historically underresourced neighborhoods and immigrant communities. The foundation also supports policy and advocacy efforts directed at increasing the rights and benefits of older Brooklynites, including supporting relevant research and evaluation.
The fund supports organizations in the following areas of focus:
Aging in Place — The fund supports organizations that work to keep older Brooklynites in their homes, recognizing them as a key part of the social fabric of their local communities. These programs position older adults as long-term leaders in their communities and give them the tools to challenge institutional barriers that limit opportunities and potential. The foundation focuses on investments in neighborhoods where quality programs are rare or non-existent.
Promoting Elders' Rights — The fund supports both policy/advocacy and direct-service organizations working to address the gaps that exist in the legal and healthcare coverage of older adults, including but not limited to promoting services not currently covered under public healthcare plans. These programs should strive to improve the quality of life by transforming systems to meet the needs of all older adults and their caregivers.
Access to Benefits and Entitlements — The fund supports organizations that work to alleviate systemic barriers to older adults connecting to benefits and entitlements such as healthcare services and housing protections.
The fund provides both one-year and multiyear general operating support grants of up to $50,000 a year to groups working with older adults in Brooklyn. For multiyear grantees, the fund provides an initial one-year exploratory grant and then multiyear funding for up to two years of additional support if there is strong alignment and completion of the work in the first year. Grantees will be required to submit a written narrative at the conclusion of each year of the grant. Most organizations will receive general operating support.
All non-Brooklyn-based organizations must apply for program support for their Brooklyn-based work.
To be eligible, applicants must be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or be working under the auspices of an authorized fiscal sponsor; serve or benefit Brooklyn older adults and residents; have an office or a regular physical presence in Brooklyn; and address one or more of Brooklyn Community Foundation’s three areas of focus in their mission and primary activities.
The foundation will be hosting an informational webinar on Monday, September 16 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Registration required.) Online letters of inquiry are due Friday, October 11. Organizations invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by Friday, October 18. The deadline for invited organizations to submit a full proposal online is November 22, with award decisions to be announced in January.
For additional information, including eligibility criteria and a link to the LOI form, see the Brooklyn Community Foundation website.