Artists aren’t the only ones who deserve a leg up to do what they do. A similarly underrepresented body politic in Brooklyn, at least where funding is concerned, is its nonprofit sector. We’re talking community organizers, advocacy groups and other 501(c)-3 organizations whose purpose precedes their paycheck.
Micro-leadership rarely receives macro budgeting, which can make it hard to afford the space you need to organize. But you should know that the Brooklyn Community Foundation sees you, and wants to help: They’re now accepting applications for their second-ever Incubator Project, an 18-month long residency that helps small nonprofits, community groups and community leaders by offering rent-free coworking space in Crown Heights, plus a $5,000 stipend and capacity-building support.
Does your organization qualify? Read on to find out.
The BCF will award three start-ups. Winners receive free space for up to two staff members or volunteers beginning April 1 — it includes a conference room and kitchen! — plus a $5,000 stipend for legal fees, web development and other start-up costs. In addition, you’ll have access to topical workshops and skill-building opportunities.
The Incubator Project is interested in “emerging” nonprofits and community leaders, so if you’ve only got a year or two in the nonprofit scene under your belt, now is the best time to apply. And in alignment with BCF’s Racial Justice Lens, they’re looking for candidates working in the following areas of focus: Housing rights, immigrant rights, gender equity, environmental justice, criminal justice, arts and culture. In kind:
Priority for the Incubator Project will be given to community organizations and leaders that have a demonstrated commitment to racial justice and a community-driven approach; are led by directly affected communities and people of color; have been in operation for at least a year; have a stable and committed board of directors or advisory board and an operating budget of $250,000 or less.
Put simply, walk the walk. Don’t just apply because you’re in the seedling stages of forming an anti-Trump cult, and don’t bother if your startup is still just starting up.