Charity Guide: Where to Donate Time, Money and Goods in Brooklyn

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    Dozens of nonprofits are making a difference in Brooklyn and they need your help. We’ve compiled a list of organizations worthy of your attention.

    They span a wide spectrum of causes, including the arts, families and children, the environment and civil rights. All aim to make life better in Brooklyn.

    Most of the charities and nonprofits on our list are headquartered here; a few are New York City or national organizations with outposts or projects in Brooklyn.

    Some need volunteers, others donations of goods. All can use donations of money.

    brooklyn history flatbush boys club

    Flatbush Boys Club in 1936. Photo via Brooklyn Public Library

    Brooklyn-Based Charities and Nonprofits

    Arab American Family Support Center

    The Arab-American Family Support Center helps Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian immigrants throughout the five boroughs with legal services, adult education, health and other programs. The nonprofit aims to create “an environment of tolerance and understanding for all nationalities and beliefs.”

    Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York

    Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York helps academically capable and motivated children from at-risk backgrounds by offering academic support and guidance to finish high school, graduate from college, and become responsible and productive citizens.

    Brooklyn Animal Action

    Brooklyn Animal Action helps spay and neuter feral cats and finds homes for adoptable animals.

    Brooklyn Arts Council

    The Brooklyn Arts Council showcases and promotes the work of Brooklyn artists and cultural groups, produces free arts events, trains artists and students, and provides grants.

    Brooklyn Academy of Music

    BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) is a multi-arts performance center that for more than 150 years has been the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas relevant to global and local communities. BAM showcases new and established artists.

    Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration

    Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is the nation’s first community development organization. It partners with area residents and businesses to improve the quality of life in Central Brooklyn.

    Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

    The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy puts on cultural events in Brooklyn Bridge Park such as live music and free movies.

    Brooklyn Children’s Museum

    The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum created expressly for children when it was founded in 1899. It offers programs and exhibits that focus on the natural sciences, technology, and cultural awareness.

    Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

    The Brooklyn Greenway initiative advocates for the completion and maintenance of the full 14 miles of the Brooklyn Greenway. The Greenway is a trail for biking, walking and running that hugs the Brooklyn shoreline of the East River.

    nyc charities brooklyn donate

    Photo by Mary Hautman

    Brooklyn Community Pride Center

    The Brooklyn Community Pride Center provides services and support to the borough’s LGBT community and supporters through partnerships and original programming, including meetups and support groups.

    Brooklyn Community Services

    Brooklyn Community Services gives aid and services, such as early childhood education and employment training for people with disabilities, to at-risk children, families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities.

    Brooklyn Kindergarten Society

    The Brooklyn Kindergarten Society offers early childhood education for low-income families.

    Brooklyn Historical Society

    Founded in 1881, the Brooklyn Historical Society maintains an extensive archive of historic documents and hosts exhibits and events related to Brooklyn history and culture.

    Brooklyn Information and Culture

    BRIC produces Brooklyn-related television, video and events. Its programming presents artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity of the borough. It also offers low-cost video and photography classes.

    Brownstoners of Bedford Stuyvesant

    Founded in 1978, Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant Inc. works to preserve and improve the community with its annual house tour, scholarships for college students, voter registration drives, and tax and water lien outreach project.

    Brooklyn NAACP

    The NAACP is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

    nyc charities brooklyn donate

    Packing Christmas boxes in 1914. Photo via Library of Congress

    Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens

    The 115-year-old Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens sponsors more than 160 programs and services for children, adults and seniors, persons with developmental disabilities, the mentally ill and the isolated.


    CAMBA is a nonprofit that helps low and middle income Brooklynites find affordable housing, seek out legal services and find work.

    Center for Anti-Violence Education

    The Center for Anti-Violence Education strives to break cycles of violence through education, physical empowerment and the development of leadership skills in communities.

    Center for Family Life — Sunset Park

    The 100-year-old Center for Family Life provides family counseling, foster care and emergency help to the families of Sunset Park. 

    The Family Center

    The Family Center’s mission is to strengthen families affected by crisis, illness or loss to create a more secure present and future for their children by providing social, legal and health-care services.

    Fifth Avenue Committee

    The Fifth Avenue Committee seeks to bring about economic and social justice in South Brooklyn by developing and managing affordable housing and community facilities, creating economic opportunities, organizing residents and workers, providing student-centered adult education, and combating displacement caused by gentrification.

    The Hope Program

    The Hope Program strives to empower Brooklynites living in poverty to achieve success through economic independence and employment.

    Legal Information for Families Today

    Legal Information for Families Today helps children and families by providing legal information, community education and guidance, while promoting system-wide reform of the courts and public agencies.

    Little Essentials

    Little Essentials improves the health, safety and well-being of children living in poverty by providing urgently needed resources and parenting education to families in crisis. The organization was born in Brooklyn and has helped over 23,000 children in need.

    Prospect Park Alliance

    Founded in 1987, the Prospect Park Alliance preserves and maintains Prospect Park. It also puts on cultural programming in the park, including the park’s year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary in 2017.

    Pioneer Works

    Pioneer Works is a gallery, performance space and garden that offers studio space and residencies to artists. It hosts educational programs, performances and exhibitions. The space is free to the public Wednesday through Sunday.

    Make the Road New York

    Make the Road New York seeks to build the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation and educational services in Bushwick and beyond.

    Neighborhood Housing Services

    Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City is a community-based organization with a focus on the following neighborhoods: Bedford Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, North Bronx, Northern Queens and South Bronx. It seeks to improve the lives and economic outlooks of New York’s communities by providing the education and support needed to buy and keep a home in New York City.

    Red Hook Initiative

    The Red Hook Initiative seeks to create social change to overcome systemic inequities, starting with helping the neighborhood’s young people in their pursuit of education.

    Weeksville Heritage Center

    The Weeksville Heritage Center is Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution. The multidisciplinary museum hosts frequent performances, house tours and gallery exhibitions. It preserves the history of the 19th-century African American community of Weeksville, one of America’s first free black communities.

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