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The elderly population is growing rapidly in many parts of the country, and the northeast’s Tri-State area is certainly no exception. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of seniors in New York City alone grew by 19.2 percent. And across the five boroughs, the number of elderly adults is expected to exceed 1.4 million by the year 2040. An increasing number of philanthropic foundations are paying attention to statistics like these, however, few funders are giving the issue their full attention in the way the Brookdale Foundation Group has been lately.

History of the Brookdale Foundation Group

Three entities actually make up what is known as the Brookdale Foundation Group (BFG), namely the Brookdale Foundation, Glendale Foundation, and Ramapo Trust. These are all foundations of the Schwartz family, which is made up of brothers Henry, Irving, Robert, Benjamin, and Arnold Schwartz. The family originally focused its philanthropy on higher education and medicine, but since 1984 they have been concentrating pretty exclusively on aging and the elderly.

Aging Issues Supported by Brookdale

There are three primary initiatives at BFG through which grants are awarded. One program is the National Group Respite Program that supports Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The funder also has a Relatives as Parents Program designed to support services for people who act as surrogate parents. Meanwhile, the funder’s Leadership in Aging Fellowship Program supports emerging leaders who work in the field of elder care. While some BFG grants have been in the millions of dollars, most are between $5,000 and $50,000 each.

Local Communities in Focus

BFG is based in Teaneck, New Jersey, and accordingly Tri-State area nonprofits often see its support. Much of the giving stays in the New Jersey and New York areas, although the funder supports national and international aging programs too. Recent local grantees from 2018 include the Community Program Centers of Long Island, Jewish Family Service & Children’s Center of Clifton/Passaic, NYS Kinship Navigator, and Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey. Beyond this region, other grantees are based in North Carolina, Delaware, Minnesota, Florida, Washington, Michigan, California, and various other U.S. states.        

Securing a Brookdale Aging Grant

Unfortunately for tri-state grantseekers, BFG does not spell out its grantmaking guidelines in an accessible way or offer any online forms to submit funding requests. BFG also does not publish an annual report to guide grantseekers.

However, the foundation is open to receiving communications from prospective grantee organizations that have a 501(c)(3) or equivalent tax-exempt status and submit a letter of verification from the IRS. Each of the foundations that make up BFG has its own directors, trustees, and officers, and there are a few staff members and consultants in the mix as well. Learn more about this funder and how to get in touch with the staff in IP’s full Tri-State area profile of the Brookdale Foundation Group.

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