150 organizations have applied for our first annual Spark Prize, through which we’re offering up to $600,000 in general operating support to Brooklyn nonprofits – with five winners receiving $100,000 each.

The applicant pool is a dynamic mix of organizations representing the diversity, history, and depth of our borough’s nonprofit sector.

Here are some highlights:

  • Brooklyn Born + Brooklyn Based: 80% of organizations are headquartered in Brooklyn (only 30 applicants are non-Brooklyn based)
  • Livable Wage for Employees: 82% of applicants reported paying more than 90% of staff a livable wage ($13.40/hr without health benefits)
  • Diverse Leadership: Over a quarter of organizations are led by people of color — 20% African American, 5% Latino, and 2% Asian American. 58% of applicants have female EDs, and 2% identify as gender nonconforming
  • Deep Roots, New Approaches: 10% of organizations were founded before 1900 while another 14% were founded in the last 10 years
  • Local + Citywide: 17% of organizations work at the neighborhood level, 36% work Brooklyn-wide, and 47% work Citywide

To be eligible, organizations need to have at least five years of service to Brooklyn’s communities and operational budgets over $350,000. A quarter of applying organizations have budgets between $500,000 and $1 million, and 29% have budgets between $1 million and $5 million.

Organizational Budget Sizes

  • $350-500K – 6%
  • $500K-1M – 24%
  • $1-5M – 29%
  • $5-10M – 11%
  • $10-25M – 14%
  • Over $25M – 12%

Lastly, applying organizations illustrate the vast scope of what Brooklyn’s nonprofit sector provides to communities, from arts and culture to human services, education and community development.

Organizational Focus Areas

Stay tuned for more updates on the Spark Prize as we begin the application review process with the Spark Prize Committee. It’s 32 members will spend the summer reading and scoring applications, narrowing them down to 20 finalists this October and the five winners by January 2017.