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NY Nonprofits Lauded: Nimble Response to Community Needs

PHOTO: Brooklyn Insights, a strategic planning process that impacted young people and others in the borough, was one of the outreach efforts that won three New York nonprofits national recognition with NCRP Impact Awards. Photo courtesy Brooklyn Community Foundation.
PHOTO: Brooklyn Insights, a strategic planning process that impacted young people and others in the borough, was one of the outreach efforts that won three New York nonprofits national recognition with NCRP Impact Awards. Photo courtesy Brooklyn Community Foundation.
May 27, 2015

NEW YORK - The nationwide trend for many nonprofits is to make their mark on just one pressing need, but two New York grant makers just got national recognition in part because they are fast on their feet and versatile.

The New York Foundation has been around longer than most. While it is far from the biggest foundation, said its executive director, Maria Mottola, it does make a big difference by being able to respond to the issues of the day.

"We don't limit our grant-making to particular issues areas," she said, "and so we're able to be fairly nimble when issues shift and change in New York - which, not surprisingly, they do quite often."

The New York Foundation was one of five groups nationwide to receive an Impact Award from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The group was honored for taking risks by issuing grants to support community engagement and help unproven startups that deal with pressing issues like holding down rent increases in New York. The Brooklyn Community Foundation was similarly honored.

Cecilia Clarke, president and chief executive of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, said her group just embarked on a 10-year, $25 million campaign to invest in the next generation in Brooklyn - "young people who are at risk of being in the criminal justice system, immigrant youth and families; and we are also looking at youth leadership in the borough and rewarding nonprofits that focus on youth leadership."

The group's "Brooklyn Insights" strategic planning process was singled out as a major reason for giving it national recognition. The New York-based Open Society Foundation also got an Impact Award for work it is doing to reduce mass incarceration.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY