President's Message: Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Announces More Than $5.4 Million in Grants
In our most recent funding rounds, the Dodge Foundation made more than $5.4 million in grants to nonprofit organizations supporting the arts, education, environment, informed communities, sector capacity building, and new Imagine a New Way and Momentum Fund grantees.
In our Imagine a New Way and Momentum Fund grantmaking, we have been investing in and taking guidance from networks, movements, organizations, and leaders who are closest to the harms of injustice; who have been historically excluded from investment and opportunity; and who are working to address the root cause and repair of structural racism and inequity in their work.
These grantee partners lead organizations and initiatives that strategically build power; dismantle systems of injustice; and strengthen economic resilience through narrative change, movement building and organizing, policy advocacy, and sector capacity building.
$150,000 – New Jersey Institute for Social Justice to continue its work, in collaboration with the most-impacted communities of color in New Jersey, to advocate for systemic reform that is transformative, achievable in the state, replicable in communities across the nation, and focused on strategic solutions that create wealth, transform justice, and harness democratic power.
$185,000 – Salvation and Social Justice – $110,000 to support the School Integration Project: Breaking Down the Barriers Communications Campaign, a community engagement and education effort to organize grassroots support for diversifying New Jersey’s segregated schools; and $75,000 for general operating support for the organization’s overall work to lift-up poor, underserved, and traditionally oppressed communities by building strong coalitions committed to abolition, restoration, and transformation.
$100,000 – Mayors for Guaranteed Income to invest in narrative change efforts that advance equity-focused policy change and the lived experiences of people experiencing economic insecurity in New Jersey. This grant is fiscally sponsored by Reinvent Stockton, based in Stockton, CA, on the first guaranteed income sites. This grant is in addition to our two-year grant of $200,000 to the Newark Movement for Economic Equity announced in June 2021.
$100,000 – New Jersey Policy Perspective to advance economic, social, and racial equity through evidence-based, independent research, analysis, and strategic communications.
$100,000 – Rising Tide Capital to support individuals in historically marginalized communities to start and grow successful businesses; to build communities through collaborations with other non-profits, higher education institutions, corporations, and public agencies; and to create a scalable program model with measurable impact that can be replicated in communities of need in New Jersey and across the U.S.
$100,000 – ACLU of New Jersey to defend and advance New Jerseyan’s rights to equal treatment, fairness, privacy, freedom of speech, and religion through advocacy, community organizing, and education campaigns.
$100,000 – Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) to support the Environmental Justice Team to work with residents in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood and partners across the city, state, and country to address the root causes of poor air quality, flooding from CSOs (combined sewer overflows), vulnerability to climate change, toxic site clean-up, and to promote renewable, non-fossil fuel energy.
$50,000 – New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice to ensure that New Jersey’s immigrant communities are leaders in developing policies that impact their lives and the lives of all New Jersey residents.
$50,000 – The Fund for New Jersey to support the “Imagine More: Racial Justice Begins With Us” series of virtual learning sessions framing New Jersey’s critical racial justice issues and highlighting substantive policy and practice remedies for reparations.
$25,000 – Faith in New Jersey to support its multi-faith and multi-racial network that develops grassroots community leaders and analyzes policies to root out structural racism in our state’s largest systems, along with studying and working for just policies and practices in economics and finance, policing, and law, immigration, and violence prevention.
$25,000 – Fair Share Housing Center to advance the organization’s work to end discriminatory or exclusionary housing patterns, policies, and practices that have prevented low- and moderate-income families from accessing affordable housing and building wealth. The organization was also a leader in coalitions advocating for housing eviction protection and utility assistance to individuals and families financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$25,000 – Atlantic City Community Fund to build out and support a community-driven-and-centered funding mechanism for Atlantic City, which has a long history of racial inequity and markedly less philanthropic support than other parts of New Jersey.
$25,000 – Borealis Philanthropy Racial Equity in Journalism Fund to invest in news organizations led by and for people of color to increase civic engagement in communities of color by reaching them with information on issues relevant to their rights, health, and well-being.
$25,000 – Neighborhood Funders Group’s Amplify Fund to support this donor collaborative that brings together local, regional, and national funders to advance equitable development impacting Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities and to share best practices and lessons learned for philanthropy’s role in promoting equitable development centered on racial justice.
$500,000 to Momentum Fund Grantees – First shared in January 2022, as part of our new community-based Momentum Fund, we made the first installment of three-year unrestricted funding to ten emerging organizations that were nominated and selected by social justice practitioners, stakeholders, and leaders in New Jersey. The Momentum Fund engages with organizations working in service to under-invested communities in New Jersey that are most directly impacted by structural barriers to equity—namely communities of color. Momentum Fund cohort members are leading some of the most vital, strategic, and creative efforts to address the longstanding impact of structural racism and inequities throughout New Jersey. The cohort is briefly described below.
CATA facilitates the leadership development of the farmworker and immigrant communities as they strive for better working and living conditions. They use community engagement and capacity building, so workers are prepared to lead their own advocacy and organizing campaigns for justice.
ETI brings immigrant workers divided by industry and sectioned off to work in different cities across the state by temporary agencies together to share stories, build collective, and fight for industry and state-wide changes in all the places where the powers that be would prefer to remain silent.
IDEA aims to transform arts-based learning and workforce development by providing an innovative, end-to-end experience that includes creative learning; workforce development skills for the Creative Economy; and a Creative Co-operative that provides workspace for entrepreneurs. This new approach to creative learning and its lifetime effects will help the impoverished youth of Southern New Jersey lift themselves and their families out of poverty with the attainment of well-paying careers.
The New Jersey Resource Project’s mission is to educate and connect community leaders to work together for solutions and take action toward an economically just and resilient future. They work with those directly impacted, people who have critical expertise. They are based primarily in South and Central New Jersey.
Newark Community Street Team (NCST) is a resident-run organization whose mission is to reduce violence in the South Ward of Newark through a community-based strategy that does not rely on arrest and incarceration. NCST treats community violence as a public health issue by intervening in, preventing, and treating violence.
Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc., works to eradicate the normalcy of food deserts in historically underserved and underrepresented communities while building pathways to green jobs. Our motto, “Think Global, Act Local, that’s Glocal,” drives the development of equitable programming here in NJ and the Dominican Republic.
The Palestinian American Community Center (PACC) is a non-political and non-religious non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen and sustain ties to Palestinian heritage while empowering the well-being and success of the entire community. To achieve this, PACC provides social, cultural, educational, athletic, and recreational activities around the five main focus areas: 1. Educating about Palestine, 2. Empowering the Community, 3. Civically Engaging with the larger community, 4. Referring people to community resources, 5. Socially Serving the community when needed.
The South Ward Environmental Alliance (SWEA) is a grassroots environmental justice organization with a goal to reduce air pollution and protect the health of residents in the Clinton Hill, Dayton Street, and Weequahic neighborhoods of the South Ward. SWEA’s motto is One Ward United for Environmental Justice.
The HUBB uses therapeutic arts and entertainment as a key outreach and engagement strategy to reach youth and support families. Our current facility includes cutting-edge technology, including a state-of-the-art recording studio, video production room, podcast radio station, and computer work areas, as well as group meeting spaces to support deep creativity and therapeutic and restorative groupwork (called “Circles”).
VietLead is a strong grassroots community organization based in Camden and Philadelphia, that is creating a vision and strategy for community self-determination, social justice, and cultural resilience. VietLead has been deeply embedded in Camden County organizing Southeast Asian, Black, and Brown youth and community for six years through their urban agriculture, youth leadership, civic engagement, community defense, and health and healing programs.
The Foundation also made grants to the following organizations:
$60,000 – Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company to support the organization during a critical leadership transition due to the unexpected passing of founder Nai-Ni Chen in 2021.
$40,000 – Roxey Ballet to support the organization to rebuild and maintain general operations after the complete and total loss of their rehearsal space and black box theater during Hurricane Ida in September 2021.
$25,000 – Greenlight Fund Greater Newark to support Greenlight’s work toremove barriers to inclusive prosperity by launching and scaling proven solutions that address community-identified needs in Newark.
$25,000 – ABFE – A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities to celebrate and support ABFE’s 50th Anniversary Campaign as well as its longstanding advocacy, knowledge, training, technical assistance, networking and convening, and its professional and leadership development programs to strengthen Black-led infrastructure for social change.
$50,000 – Center for Non-Profits for general operating support and additional support for CNP’s new Non-Profit Principles and Practices Initiative to develop a New Jersey-based framework and tools for governance, compliance, and accountability.
$125,000 – Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective (Rutgers University Institute for Ethical Leadership) to support programming for the Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective (NPPOC), which provides a space for nonprofit professionals of color to engage with a supportive community for growth, professional development, and meaningful peer relationships.
The Dodge Foundation is committed to shifting power and resources to communities most impacted by structural racism and inequity and most excluded from investment and opportunity. We are an organization in transformation – learning as we go and practicing new ways of being. We will continue to work in service toward a just and equitable New Jersey – a New Jersey where people of all races and communities have equal access to opportunities and are able to thrive and realize their full potential on their own terms.
We look forward to sharing more with you as we continue along our path of learning and transformation.
Tanuja M. Dehne is the President & CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey.