2018-2019 REVIEW

A look back at progress, a look ahead to opportunity


New Funds | New Advocacy | New Board Members | New Legacy Grantmaking | New Approach to Philanthropy


As the Community Foundation of New Jersey caps two years of significant growth and increased community grantmaking, the time is right to take stock of what we’ve all accomplished together. It is our privilege to work every day with fundholders committed to improving their communities and supporting the causes they care about – and to ensure their philanthropy is having the desired impact and then some.

Scroll down for highlights of our fundholders’ work, our successful partnerships, our policy influence, and the growth of our board.

We look forward to maintaining this momentum throughout 2019 and beyond.

Thank you.

Community Foundation Grantmaking Way Up in 2018

The Community Foundation of New Jersey started 2019 on a high note: thanking our more than 1,100 fundholders for recommending a record 7,722 individual grants in 2018 totaling $66.7 million. This figure represents a $17 million increase in dollars going to worthy causes as compared to the 2017 total of $49.5 million from 6,515 grants. CFNJ received a total of $103.5 million in new funds in 2018, which it stewards and grants out on behalf of active fundholders and those who leave bequests. Fifty-four new funds were established in 2018.


The Community Foundation of New Jersey this year celebrates its 40th anniversary of counseling New Jersey families and businesses on how to use philanthropic funds to target and increase the impact of their giving in the areas that matter most to them.

Click below for current funds in each of four popular categories.

Distinctive Donor Advised Funds

The Community Foundation offers individual and family fundholders an enriched experience and intensive staff support on top of the maximum tax deduction for contributions. We listen to our fundholders and advise them on how to translate their passions and gifts into impact.

Current funds.

Legacy Funds

Crafting a charitable legacy can be both a challenging and a rewarding process. It is a unique opportunity to remember your family and preserve your impact on a cause or community for generations.

Current funds.

Scholarship Funds

Scholarship Funds are an effective vehicle to help young people achieve their dreams of an education. Of course, the diversity of schools, academic programs, and student interests make achieving that dream unique to every young person.

Current funds.

Business Advised Funds

The Community Foundation of New Jersey works with businesses large and small to help set up and/or manage affiliated philanthropy programs.

Current funds.

Special Projects

Special Project Funds can be initiated by a business, foundation, a donor, the Community Foundation, or a special partnership. This type of fund allows for flexible and innovative ways to generate creative new approaches to address current challenges and opportunities throughout New Jersey.

Current funds.

Agency Endowment

Charitable organizations establish Agency Endowment Funds to help them meet both their current and future needs. The Foundation invests the endowment into a pool designed and managed for long-term charitable purposes, leaving the organization free to concentrate on its good works.

Current funds.







In Memoriam: Philip Roth

The Community Foundation of New Jersey is pleased to host part of acclaimed novelist Philip Roth’s legacy gift for the Newark Public Library.

A Closer Look at Legacy Giving

In 2019, we hear so often about those things that motivate individuals to give.

We give to make things better, of course. We give to make our communities stronger, to help find a cure, to provide an education, to ease others’ suffering and pain. We give with others to achieve a greater, collective impact. We give to set an example for younger generations. We give as a way of socializing. And yes, we give to maximize our tax savings.

But what’s often overlooked, is that we give to be remembered. We give to make a change that will outlast our short time on this Earth. We give to leave a legacy – to forever let others know that we were here, that we cared, and that we left this place better.

Legacy giving is among the purest, most creative forms of philanthropy. It is when an individual or a family can think big and think clearly about the impact they desire, free of considerations around taxes or other obligations.

Creating a philanthropic legacy does not, of course, allow one to throw caution to the wind. In fact, an effective and lasting philanthropic legacy requires careful planning.

Latest Advocacy: State Charitable Deduction


In March, the New Jersey Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 2179 which would allow New Jersey taxpayers to take a state income tax deduction for contributions to qualified New Jersey charities.

We are grateful to our fundholders and community partners who spoke with their Senators on the merits of a state income tax deduction for charitable giving.

It is now the Assembly’s turn to consider the companion bill, Assembly Bill 3730.

We will continue to inform legislators and other key stakeholders of the bill’s benefits.

Welcome our Four New Trustees

Dawn M. Lauer

Dawn Lauer serves as Executive Vice President and Managing Director at MWWPR, one of the world’s leading independent PR and marketing agencies. She oversees all integrated programming and is called upon by CEOs and marketers for deep specialization in positioning and reputation management, executive eminence building, thought leadership, and internal communications. She built the agency’s multiple seven-figure division Business to Business practice from the ground up, and developed the agency’s proprietary brand positioning methodology, StoryCore™.

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy is a former Morris County Prosecutor and candidate for Governor of New Jersey who has been practicing law for 35 years. He is a registered lobbyist and co-founder of Impact NJ, LLC and has been involved in politics since the first gubernatorial campaign of his stepfather, two-term New Jersey Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard J. Hughes. Politicker has repeatedly identified Mr. Murphy on its annual Power List as one of the state’s “100 most politically influential personalities,” and New Jersey Monthly has listed him in its “Power Issue” of the Garden State’s most influential people.

Kimberly Banks MacKay

Kimberly Banks MacKay serves as SVP and Counsel of the Segal Group. Prior to Segal, MacKay served in roles of increasing responsibility at Novartis, including U.S. Head, Legal and Compliance for Novartis Business Services, Deputy Compliance Officer for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (“NPC”), and Lead Legal Counsel for one of its business units. Before joining NPC, MacKay practiced securities law at MetLife, Lucent Technologies and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, held a Federal clerkship and spent several years in commercial banking. MacKay was selected as NJBIZ’s 2017 General Counsel of the Year – Public Company.

Gail Mandel

Gail Mandel is Managing Director of Focused Point Ventures, which provides business advisory and consulting services. Previously, she was President and CEO of Wyndham Destination Network, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies prior to its June 2018 spin off transaction. As President and CEO, she reported directly to the Chairman of the Wyndham Worldwide Board of Directors and oversaw the overall strategy and operations for the Wyndham Destination Network business. Mandel has more than 20 years of financial and business experience in customer service.

The Community Foundation Promotes Philanthropy

A Gathering of Givers

“I love this sea of women’s faces!” cried New Jersey’s First Lady, Tammy Snyder Murphy, as she arrived at the podium on March 8 at A Gathering of Givers: New Jersey Women Making an Impact, a celebration of women’s philanthropy at NJPAC.

“You are part of a long line of women who have moved New Jersey forward,” Murphy told the sold-out crowd of 300, gathered in the lobby of Prudential Hall to share inspiration and ideas about how harnessing the growing financial power of women has and will continue to change the face of philanthropy.

Hosted by the Women’s Association of NJPAC (WA) – as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations – in partnership with the Community Foundation of New Jersey and Impact100 Essex (a giving circle that pools the philanthropic resources of women in Essex County), the event was held on, and was designed to celebrate, International Women’s Day.

New Fund in Focus: We’ve Got Friends

Earlier this year, CFNJ became host to We’ve Got Friends, a new fund that supports bi-weekly hangouts for teens with special needs in Montclair, New Jersey. It’s a simple idea that has an enormous impact for the children and families who participate. Most teens with special needs have little to no social circle and rarely get invited to parties or hang out like their typical peers. This program helps these teens develop their very own peer group through music, meals, movement, crafts and dance. We’ve Got Friends currently runs two bi-weekly groups in New Jersey and is expanding with three new programs in the coming months. The organization is in its early stages and is raising money to hire staff to facilitate and grow the existing groups and organization, provide trained instructors so parents can drop off their children, and provide transportation assistance for families.

Click below to learn more.

In Focus: Grantmaking from our Legacy Funds

Double Up Food Bucks made possible by New Jerseyans who entrusted the Community Foundation to steward their legacy giving

In 2018, the Community Foundation partnered with the national Fair Food Network to bring its Double Up Food Bucks healthy food incentive program to New Jersey. In 25 other states already, Double Up Food Bucks matches the value of NJ SNAP dollars spent on fresh fruits and vegetables, helping low-income families bring home more nutritious foods.

With funding from the Community Foundation, Victoria Foundation, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, and many individual New Jerseyans, the Double Up Food Bucks program began running in July 2018 at locations in Newark, East Orange, Kearny, and Hillside. From July through December 2018:

  • SNAP shoppers earned $63,468 in Double Up coupons on purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • SNAP shoppers spent $27,705 worth of Double Up coupons on more fresh produce.
  • There have been a total of 17,768 transactions (earning + spending) with more than 1,800 unique spending households.
  • Cumulative redemption rate is 43%, a rate that has been steadily climbing since the first month of the program (16%).

Community Foundation Expands Commitment to Host Important Philanthropic Efforts

Collective giving took on added importance in 2018, with CFNJ’s four Impact 100 groups – Impact 100 Garden State, Impact100 Essex, Impact 100 Jersey Coast, and Impact 100 South Jersey – making eight transformative grants, totaling approximately $822,000. These Impact 100 organizations made important contributions to the philanthropic sector in eight counties across the state, connecting more than 800 women to nonprofit projects in their communities.

Donor Advised Fund Spotlight: Fisch Family Boosts Madison YMCA Capital Campaign


For Liz and Gary Fisch, it all comes back to the Y.

It started when Gary was a young teen. His friends had left for summer camp, leaving the out-of-shape boy without his usual pals. So Gary’s parents joined the Highland Park Y to give him a place to go. Gary rode his bike to the Y every day and took to swimming which, over the course of the summer, turned him into a physically fit and far more confident young man.

“I was a totally different person,” he said.

That summer was transformative for Gary, but it was just the first time the Y would shape his life.

Several years later, Gary joined a youth group at the Y through which he met Liz. Their first date was Liz’s seventeenth birthday, which gets a laugh from the couple, now married 37 years.

WNET Acquires NJ Spotlight from Community Foundation

In March 2019, NJ Spotlight became the online partner of NJTV, working in tandem both online and on-air. The acquisition of NJ Spotlight by WNET, the largest PBS affiliate in the nation and the parent company of NJTV and Thirteen, gets New Jersey closer to a combined public-media platform with the resources of a journalism powerhouse that crosses digital, broadcast video, and other media.

It has been our privilege to incubate NJ Spotlight here at the Community Foundation of New Jersey and to ensure substantive, accessible policy analysis. We look forward NJ Spotlight’s very bright future with WNET and NJTV.

Congratulations also to our own Hans Dekker on joining the NJTV board.

Seven Questions

CFNJ’s Guide to Thinking Through a Scholarship Fund

For many New Jerseyans, creating a scholarship fund is an effective way to establish a philanthropic legacy and provide meaningful support to students, customized to reflect the donors’ interests, fields of study and institutions they care about most. As with any philanthropic venture, though, there is important guidance on what works best. For every well-designed scholarship program, there is another, well-intentioned scholarship that fails to deliver the desired impact.

As the holder of more than 100 New Jersey families’ scholarship funds, which grant out more than $1 million to students each year, the scholarship team at the Community Foundation of New Jersey offer seven key questions to ask yourself before moving forward. Clear answers to these questions can help make the difference in creating a scholarship ideally suited to encourage students’ success at college and beyond – and proved especially popular in 2018.