Community Call

Round Ten is underway!

Have an exciting vision for some community programming? Do you recognize an unmet need in your neighborhood? Or perhaps you have an idea on how to reach an underserved population? The Community Call is an open call for innovative community collaborations with Brooklyn Public Library. Potential community partners can submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) for the opportunity to access up to $10,000 to work with our neighborhood libraries and develop innovative programs, events and other resources as part of the Library’s BKLYN Incubator program.  

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Requirements for Proposals 

Eligibility

Brooklyn Public Library serves all of Brooklyn.  

  • Partners can be based anywhere but must be seeking opportunities to work with our Brooklyn neighborhoods, enhance or expand the functions of our Library, and/or find creative ways to reach populations currently underserved by BPL. Partners must identify a collaboration that is mutually beneficial to their work as well as the work of BPL.   
  • Partners are asked to choose one to three locations they wish to partner with, but may be matched anywhere. Existing relationships with the Library are highly beneficial.
  • Partners can be individuals, informal organizations or collectives, or formal businesses, and must be committed to implementing the ideas if funding is granted. 
  • Friends Groups at branches are welcome to participate, but do not qualify as a community partner.
To Apply

Your submission requires that you understand how a library partnership can be mutually beneficial. The deadline for LOIs will be June 12th, 2023 at 12:00 noon. LOIs received after the deadline will not be considered. Only matched partners will hear back and move to the next phase of BKLYN Incubator.   

  • To see our current list of initiatives, visit our About tab above and to see past funded initiatives visit the Programs tab.
  • Selected partners will be notified the week of July 3rd. Only matched partners will hear back and move to the next phase of BKLYN Incubator.

 

FAQs

LOI stands for Letter of Interest. Our LOI asks you to tell us: who you are, how your work aligns with the Brooklyn Public Library, how a partnership with the library would beneficial to you, and a brief description of your ideas. You will also include at least one but up to three branches of the library with which you would like to partner.

Anyone can submit! We accept LOIs from non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, artist collectives, informal groups, and individual community members looking to make a change. The only requirement is that you are excited to partner with the library on community programming!

LOIs must be from outside entities/individuals. While we encourage Friends groups and other organizations already directly connect to the library as a secondary partner, they cannot be the primary LOI submitter.

Nope! You just have to be looking to partner with the Brooklyn Public Library on programming based in Brooklyn

The process starts with an open Community Call for community partners to submit LOIs to the library. Once the call closes, staff look over LOIs and select the ideas that are most interested in, and are matched with those community partners.

Next, BPL staff and community partners attend a Community Engagement workshop together. Teams will be awarded a micro-grant upon completion of the workshop to implement what they have learned and execute their own community engagement activities in order to develop their program idea. After this initial phase, both the community partner and BPL staff will commit to the partnership.

Then, throughout September and October, the teams will attend Idea Sprint and Proposal Development workshops led by the Incubator team, in order to build out their official proposals. Proposals are submitted to and evaluated by a Proposal Committee. The teams selected by the Proposal Committee are then invited to our Pitch Competition in December. They will attend a two-part public speaking workshop and will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges at the Pitch Competition. The judges then select the programs to be funded by the BKLYN Incubator program based on the proposals and pitches.

The final piece, once teams have been funded, is the most exciting part: implementing their programs!

The Incubator process ends up being a larger time commitment, but it also provides both community partners and BPL staff with a robust array of skills and resources in regards to community engagement, idea development, project management, and mentorship.

LOIs are sent to BPL staff, and staff choose ideas based on their own interests, capacities, and community needs. If they find a program or idea they are particularly interested in and want to work on, they pick that LOI and are matched with that community partner.

Only partners that have been matched and chosen by staff to participate in the Incubator process will be notified, due to the volume of LOIs we receive. If you don't hear back, we suggest you apply to the next round or explore other channels of partnership with the library.

LOI selection is based solely on staff interest. If your LOI didn't get picked, that doesn't mean you didn't have an incredibly compelling idea and well-thought-out program! It just means there weren't necessarily staff members who have both the ability and interest to pursue your idea at this time. This also means we can't give out any feedback, especially considering the volume of applications we receive.

BKLYN Incubator is not a re-grant program. However, funds are available to spend on consulting and other services provided by you and your organization that are required to implement your program. For example, if a significant part of your program involves curriculum development and training library staff on certain skills or expertise, some of the funds can be used as compensation for that work.

BKLYN Incubator is not a re-grant program. However, funds are available to spend on consulting and other services provided by you and your organization that are required to implement your program. For example, if a significant part of your program involves curriculum development and training library staff on certain skills or expertise, some of the funds can be used as compensation for that work.

BKLYN Incubator is not a re-grant program. However, funds are available to spend on consulting and other services provided by you and your organization that are required to implement your program. For example, if a significant part of your program involves curriculum development and training library staff on certain skills or expertise, some of the funds can be used as compensation for that work.

Additionally, BKLYN Incubator is not a grant program, but a partnership program. It provides funding to support and build out programs in partnership with the library. That means if your idea is funded for $10,000, your organization doesn't simply get a check for $10,000. Instead, you will partner with BPL staff to work within the library infrastructure and systems to construct the proposed programming.

Info session from September 3, 2021:

Recorded on Friday, September 3, 2021

BKLYN Incubator is supported by generous funding provided by The Charles H. Revson Foundation. For more information, contact incubator@bklynlibrary.org.

Submit a Letter of Interest
Contact us

For more resources and information, contact incubator@bklynlibrary.org or visit us online: bklynlibrary.org/incubator