Maximizing impact: why working with a community foundation is a strategic investment in Brookline

For over 100 years, the Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) has been a keystone and a catalyst working side-by-side with nonprofits, donors, town leaders, and civic-minded community members to ensure a thriving, vibrant community.

As a community foundation, BCF is a bedrock of local investing in Brookline. Because of our deep roots in the local Brookline landscape, this allows us to operate more effectively and nimbly as a trusted grantmaker, mobilizer, convener, and researcher. Unlike philanthropic organizations that give to specific causes or issue areas, we invest resources holistically by connecting high-impact organizations, programs, and real community needs with donors’ interests and philanthropic goals.

The bedrock of local philanthropy

BCF is part of a long tradition of community foundations, which have played a vital role in local philanthropy for more than a century. Nowhere was this advantage more evident or critical than during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. BCF, along with community foundations across the country, was one of the first philanthropic responders to the pandemic. We gave $1.3M to Brookline nonprofits doing critical work during this crisis, made immediate changes to our grantmaking to remove barriers for organizations seeking funding, and through these efforts and partnerships reached approximately 13,000 Brookline residents. BCF was part of a national movement in local philanthropic effectiveness: between 2020-2021, community foundations gave nearly $885 million dollars directly to local organizations to fortify communities during the first year of the pandemic.

Why work with BCF

If you are looking to make the greatest local impact through your giving, you should consider partnering with the Brookline Community Foundation. Community foundations like BCF work side-by-side with donors to find the most effective local investments, connect interests with high-impact organizations, and guide your giving towards the causes you care about. Additionally, BCF:

  • Knows the community you care about – we are in your backyard and know the Brookline nonprofit sector better than any investment firm or foundation outside Brookline. This lets us directly connect your giving to high-impact organizations in your neighborhood.
  • Focuses on local impact – we don’t manage mortgages or bank accounts. Our only job is to make the most of your donation for your community. With BCF, you get a partner who understands the local nonprofit sector and uses that knowledge to maximize the impact of your giving.
  • Is accountable and transparent – as a public charity, BCF is accountable to Brookline, not to a bottom line. Donors can be confident that their giving is having the greatest impact with unparalleled transparency and accountability, as reflected in our recent Platinum certification from Guidestar and 100/100 rating from Charity Navigator.
  • Has traditionally lower fees – though we’re not paying accountants and attorneys for annual tax filings or legal advice, your gifts are professionally managed by experts, which allows us to invest more effectively to maximize local impact.

One gift, many benefits

Recent economic uncertainty has impacted charitable giving. 2022 was the 4th worst year on record for charitable giving in the U.S. A volatile stock market combined with inflation creates challenges for donors wanting to direct vital resources to competing philanthropic causes.

Community foundations like BCF are the answer. A gift to BCF can positively impact over 50 nonprofit organizations. Whether by creating a new fund, planning to include BCF in your estate, or giving back to your community, partnering with us is a low-risk and high-impact investment in your backyard that lets your gift go as far as possible.

We could not and cannot do the work we do without our committed donors. There are many ways you can invest with BCF to support Brookline today, tomorrow, and well into the future.

How can BCF help you maximize your investment in Brookline? Contact our team today to share your vision and how we can help make it a reality:

Amy Silberstein, Director of Leadership Giving