Community Foundation of New Jersey

A Look Back, Part 13: CFNJ Today

In October 1987, the Community Foundation moved from space in the United Way of the Oranges’ office to its current location, Topsides or “Tracy House” in Morris Township. Built in 1916 for Henry (Harry) Romeyn Rawle and Mary (Mollie) Cozine Lefferts Rawle, Topsides was designed by Harrie Thomas Lindeberg, one of America’s most prominent 20th Century domestic architects. In 1975, Topsides was donated to the Morris County Park Commission by its then-owners, Osgood Vose Tracy and Pauline Crawford Tracy. Topsides is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places as a contributing element of the Washington Valley Historic District.

The Community Foundation’s recent history has been just as rich and success-filled as its founding, thanks to the strong involvement of fundholders and the deepening of relationships with the state’s key nonprofits and other drivers of change.

“The progress we have made just in the last ten years would make our founders proud,” explained Tom Uhlman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Philanthropy is so dynamic today, and we have made a point to stay ahead of these trends and identify new and compelling ways for fundholders to get involved.”

For the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the past thirty-five years have been extraordinarily productive. From community programming and nonprofit incubating, to corporate philanthropy and national foundation partnerships, CFNJ has explored, experimented, and achieved great success in so many of the nonprofit sector’s fields.

Could Robert Corman and Mary Strong have envisioned their idea becoming such a successful reality? Could the “Broad Street Bobs” have known that their initial investment would prove so beneficial to the state? Would Sheila Williamson even recognize the foundation today, with its hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and abundance of funds – donor advised, agency endowment, or otherwise?

Perhaps most importantly, however, the past thirty-five years have shown that the community foundation model is as relevant and important as it was in Cleveland in 1914.

Today, the team at CFNJ understands the leadership role it plays in our state, and the duty it has to honor the work of those who were so selflessly dedicated to its success.

“As philanthropy changes, we want to be ahead of that curve,” said Hans Dekker. “That is why we are continually modernizing and adapting, and identifying new areas for social investment and new ways to partner with the private and nonprofit sectors.”

In the past decade, CFNJ has significantly grown its assets and expanded its work into new, often-overlooked areas.

CFNJ looks forward to the next thirty-five years of simplifying the process of giving and amplifying the impact of its fundholders.

We are grateful to our numerous, tireless supporters. To our founders, our partners, and our past, present, and future fundholders – Thank You.

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