February 20, 2020
The Community Foundation of South Jersey, whose mission is to inspire generosity, manage & deploy permanent charitable assets, and exercise collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region, today announced the Transform South Jersey Heart & Soul grant recipients. Five communities were awarded grants of $100,000 to support initiatives that bring people together in order to build stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant communities.
Transform South Jersey is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives (the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the OceanFirst Foundation, the Orton Family Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation. Using the Orton Family Foundation’s national model, Transform South Jersey will help strengthen the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of the selected communities.
The following have been named Transform South Jersey Heart & Soul Communities:
- Atlantic County – Hammonton, through the Hammonton Revitalization Corporation
- Burlington County – Willingboro, through the Willingboro Community Development Corporation
- Camden County – Winslow Township, through the Winslow Township School District
- Cumberland County – Downe Township, through the Cumberland County Improvement Authority
- Salem County – Salem, through Stand Up for Salem
“It was an extremely difficult decision to make, as all of the towns put in an incredible amount of work to mobilize their community and build momentum for Community Heart & Soul,” said Andy Fraizer, executive director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey, “We’re excited that these five communities will join over 80 other Community Heart & Soul projects taking place across the country, creating positive change that is resident-driven, and that recognizes value in the unique character of each place and the emotional connection of the people who live there.”
Over 190 South Jersey communities spanning the eight counties served by the Community Foundation of South Jersey were eligible for the grant opportunity. Of those, 32 municipalities were nominated for consideration and 21 municipalities completed applications.
Along with the skills and knowledge gained from the Community Heart & Soul work, the Community Foundation of South Jersey will establish a separate endowed fund for each of the selected communities. Local convening partners in each town will have access to these funds in order to support the full-scale implementation of the Community Heart & Soul model, including costs associated with staffing, marketing, and communications. In addition to funding, community partners will receive exclusive coaching, training, and technical assistance.
“For most communities, completing the four phases of Community Heart & Soul takes about two years, but the completion of the Community Heart & Soul model is just the beginning,” Fraizer continued. “In addition to completing the model, each community has also committed to raising endowments of at least $25,000 to serve as the endowed portion of their community fund. These funds will allow the communities to support projects they both identify and care about for years to come.”
“I would also be remiss if I did not thank our outstanding partner organizations that are collaborating with us to bring Community Heart & Soul to South Jersey. Their funding support is critical, but it’s their ideas, advocacy, volunteer support, and more that’s crucial to supporting local decision makers as they work to build stronger, thriving, and more equitable communities,” Fraizer said.
To learn more about the selected communities and their progress as they embark on Community Heart & Soul, visit transformsouthjersey.org.
About the Partners
Community Foundation of South Jersey
The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give. The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity. By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all. Currently, CFSJ manages assets of $22 million in donor-advised funds. Along with its fund-holders, CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation envisions an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities. Dodge supports arts, education, environment, informed communities, and poetry to connect communities and influence social change to achieve this vision. Dodge stewards and leverages all our resources, financial and human, and partners with and supports the nonprofit sector to be valued and effective influencers for community-level change in New Jersey, with a priority focus on elevating the voices and power of those communities that have been historically and systematically excluded from investment and opportunity. For more information, please visit grdodge.org.
New Jersey Health Initiatives
New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) is the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Established in 1987 in honor of the New Jersey philanthropic legacy of RWJF’s founder, Robert Wood Johnson, NJHI supports innovations and drives conversations to build healthier communities through grantmaking across the State of New Jersey. To meet the many health needs of our state’s diverse populations, regions and communities, the NJHI national program encourages collaboration across sectors to foster deep relationships committed to long-term change affording all New Jerseyans the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Learn more about NJHI at njhi.org.
Since its founding in 1902, OceanFirst Bank has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen. The Bank’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools and communities throughout central and southern New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of OceanFirst Foundation. Made possible by a one-time endowment of $13.4 million approved by OceanFirst Bank depositors, OceanFirst Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst Bank footprint. Through the Foundation, hundreds of local charities and schools have received more than $39 million in grants to enrich lives in areas such as Housing, Youth Development and Education, Improving the Quality of Life, Health and Wellness, and the Arts. Learn more about the OceanFirst Foundation at oceanfirstfdn.org.
Orton Family Foundation
The Orton Family Foundation’s mission is to empower people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging, and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of each place. The foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with small towns to create Community Heart & Soul® a model that helps build trust and empowers residents to shape the future of their communities. Community Heart & Soul projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven and recognizes the value in the unique character of each place and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there. To learn more about the Orton Family Foundation and its Community Heart & Soul model, visit communityheartandsoul.org.
Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation
The Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation (CDC) makes investments to nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses for select ventures that are designed to promote community and economic development opportunities to improve the quality of life for children and families living in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The work of the Wells Fargo Regional CDC is closely aligned to the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation which invests resources in comprehensive, neighborhood-based economic and community development initiatives within the same geographic area. For more information, please visit WellsFargo.com/about/regional-foundation.