Women’s giving circle celebrates a decade of supporting nonprofits

Allinbklyn has given $2.5 million to 65 organizations since the organization was started in 2014.


Brooklyn Getty Images Alexander Spatari

Allinbklyn, a women's giving circle dedicated to supporting nonprofits impacting change in Brooklyn, is celebrating a decade of service, over which it has distributed $2.5 million to 65 organizations.

The philanthropic initiative was founded in 2014 by Eliza Winans Rossman, a geriatric social worker and community organizer who organized seven women to distribute $201,000 to 13 Brooklyn organizations, just a few months after their first meeting. 

“I knew there were organizations in my own backyard that I didn’t have the opportunity to support. And I knew if I couldn’t access them, they couldn’t access me, either,” Rossman said. “I had friends who felt the same way. Their dollars were going to the usual places or to where their friends suggested, but their knowledge of Brooklyn organizations was limited. I knew that, together, we could make a meaningful difference.”

Typically in a giving circle, a group pools together individual donations, and sometimes ideas and research, and aims to make a larger impact. There are over 4,000 giving circles within the U.S., and women-led giving circles are one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy.

Allinbklyn practices trust-based philanthropy, allowing nonprofits to receive three-year, unrestricted awards that can be used for operating expenses, which is often prohibited by the government and corporate funders.

The group today has grown to 60 members and continues to grant more than $300,000 annually. Many of the nonprofits supported by Alllinbrklyn over the years have been small and early-stage organizations. Members of the giving circle nominate and evaluate Brooklyn organizations and eventually go on to become volunteers, board members, and individual supporters.

The Brave House, CHiPS, Documented NY, Emma’s Torch, Meals for Good and Ruth’s Refuge were among the organizations in the 2024 cohort, receiving $20,000 for the first year of three years of funding. 

AMPHS (now RaisingHealth Partners), BCS Fatherhood Program, Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, The Family Center’s Leekong Institute, FlatbushTenants Association, Mixteca, People in Need, Power of Two, Read718, Red Hook Initiative, St. John’s Bread & Life, and Thompson Drive were in the 2022 and 2023 cohorts, each receiving $13,000 this year. Brooklyn Org will receive $10,000.

Aside from giving to Brooklyn-based nonprofits, Allinbklyn responds to crisis situations within the borough. Recent initiatives include raising money for The Brooklyn Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic and for food assistance organizations such as CHiPS to boost their work supporting newly arrived immigrants.

“Receiving a grant from Allinbklyn is like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,” said Julie Stein Brockway, co-executive director of The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, a 2022 grantee. “It acknowledges that you are doing the best work possible to meet the needs of the people of Brooklyn.”