Dodge Foundation Announces $3.3 Million in New Grants
At its first board meeting of the year, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Trustees approved 57 grants totaling $3.3 million to nonprofit organizations working to strengthen communities in New Jersey.
“Leadership, innovation and collaboration are the defining characteristics of organizations building stronger communities in New Jersey,” said Chris Daggett, Dodge President and CEO. “Dodge grantees continue to demonstrate these attributes and inspire us with their dedication to their missions and their communities. We are especially pleased to connect leaders across fields and provide opportunities to share ideas and think creatively, as well as to support efforts to develop a pipeline of leaders to sustain and grow these organizations.”
Highlights of grants awarded at the Trustees’ March board meeting are below. We invite you to explore full details about all of the grants in our online grants database or click here for the complete listing.
In Arts, Dodge awarded 28 grants totaling $1,177,500. Five grants totaling $165,000 support the Foundation’s Dance investments and aims to strengthen the state’s dance ecosystem, provide quality opportunities for dancers and choreographers to showcase their work and boost dance education in schools so that students can learn about dance as a form of creative expression. The organizations and dance companies awarded grants in this round include American Repertory Ballet, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Dance New Jersey, Nimbus Dance Works, and Roxey Ballet Company.
“New Jersey is home to some of the premiere dance companies in the country, and yet dance is in many ways an undiscovered art form for some of its residents,” said Sharnita C. Johnson, Dodge Arts Program Director. “Our support of dance aims to change that by giving dancers and choreographers the tools, resources and funding needed to connect new audiences with the energy, creativity and vibrancy of dance.”
In Education, Dodge awarded two grants totaling $447,500. A $412,500 grant to Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship continues to support Dodge’s partnership between the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and five higher education institutions to create new teacher education programs and fellowship opportunities that prepare Fellows for STEM teaching positions in New Jersey’s high-need school districts.
“Now at the mid-point in an eight-year effort to implement a more rigorous and clinical-based approach to preparing the next generation of teachers, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program is by all indicators succeeding in its mission,” said Wendy Liscow, Education program director. “While it is too soon to have data on the academic achievement of the students of fellows, initial assessments suggest the fellows are performing better than their peers.”
In Environment, Dodge awarded 24 grants totaling $1,575,000. A $365,000 grant to New Jersey Future supports Jersey Water Works, a collaborative effort of federal, state and local agency officials, utility managers, nonprofit leaders and financial experts working to advance innovative water infrastructure plans and projects. A portion of that grant is also supporting the Build it Green (BIG) Competition, a newly launched designed competition that aims to scale-up financeable, integrated grey and green infrastructure solutions in New Jersey cities with combined sewer systems.
“In just three years, Jersey Water Works has evolved into a robust collaboration with a distinct identity and a growing membership of cross-sector stakeholders committed to tackling New Jersey’s aging urban water infrastructure and implement solutions that provide communities with clean water, healthy neighborhoods, and economic prosperity,” said Margaret Waldock, environment program director. “The many projects taking shape — and the ones that will come to fruition through the BIG Competition — demonstrate that green infrastructure can be put in place now and in a cost-effective manner.”
Through its flagship Technical Assistance program and other initiatives, including support of organizations working in its hometown of Morristown, Dodge awarded more than $75,000 in additional grants this round. For example, a $30,000 grant to Environmental Leadership Program supports New Jersey participants in the organization’s emerging leadership training series.
The Dodge Foundation has three grantmaking cycles each year – in March, June and December, with the majority of grants for each program area made in two of those cycles. For more information, visit Dodge at grdodge.org.
Photo: A student enjoys the new playground at Sussex Avenue Renew School in Newark, transformed through the The Trust For Public Land's Parks for People Program. Learn more about the transformation here. Credit: Christian Valdez