Announcing Our Second Round of Grants
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Trustees at their June board meeting approved 94 grants totaling more than $4.5 million that support nonprofit organizations in New Jersey dedicated to building sustainable, engaged, and creative communities.
“At Dodge, we are constantly thinking about what a better New Jersey looks like. While we don’t have all the answers, we know it starts with citizens who are informed, engaged and empowered to pursue decisions and actions that improve their lives and their communities,” said Chris Daggett, Dodge President and CEO. “That’s why we support community-based organizations and programs that put citizens first. Increasingly, the nonprofit organizations we support are working together to solve the complex, next-generation challenges that our communities face.”
A $370,000 grant to Sustainable Jersey supports the organization’s work empowering New Jersey communities to achieve their sustainability goals. Through a comprehensive program of research, policy development, consensus building, outreach, training, technical support and funding, the organization connects more than 400 municipalities and nearly 200 schools statewide with actions to make communities better, more vibrant and sustainable places.
“Sustainable Jersey has become an effective, well-organized and networked movement providing clear standards, guidance and implementation support, and a suite of incentives to municipalities and schools throughout the state to advance local sustainability action,” said Margaret Waldock, Dodge Environment Program Director. “From regional learning hubs, to its focus on providing capacity to municipalities to get them from enrollment to certification, Sustainable Jersey maximizes community participation and impact.”
A $150,000 grant to New Jersey Arts Education Partnership supports the organization’s work in advancing arts education throughout the state and for renewed Arts Education Census research. The efforts of this organization have led to increased access to arts education for more than 75,000 students through curriculum development, the inclusion of arts education measures in School Performance Reports and a complementary tool to help parents review and compare arts education information for every school in the state.
“This is one of the most critical grants Dodge makes in arts education,” said Wendy Liscow, Dodge Education Program Director. “New Jersey Arts Education Partnership’s advocacy and support recognizing how the arts bring learning alive is key to capturing the hearts and minds of school leaders, parents and others about the importance of ensuring that every child in our state has access to arts education.”
A $100,000 grant to Center for Investigative Reporting supports a statewide collaborative investigative reporting project that features innovative public engagement with the news through alternative storytelling practices, social media and community events. The California-based organization will work with New Jersey media to develop a project around a pressing issue facing the state, including a community engagement strategy that informs and inspires community members, and creative arts storytelling powered by the editorial and engagement components of the series.
“No one else is using creative storytelling which helps illuminate and illustrate issues in unconventional ways — pairing art and investigative journalism — like the Center for Investigative Reporting,” said Molly de Aguiar, Dodge Media Program Director. “We appreciate not just the innovation of their approaches, but that community engagement is at the center of what CIR does. We can imagine this work, over time, having a transformational impact on New Jersey news organizations and Dodge grantees by building creative, robust engagement efforts into their work, and mobilizing ever larger audiences around the issues that New Jerseyans care about.”
A $150,000 grant to Art Pride New Jersey Foundation supports the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, including increased advocacy impact and improved organizational capacity. Within the past two years, the organization has undergone a comprehensive planning process which better positions the organization to develop and implement its advocacy efforts, build membership, and communicate a strong message about the importance of the arts to community and economic development.
“Art Pride’s vision is clear — New Jersey should be the most culturally rich and vibrant arts state in the country,” said Sharnita Johnson, Dodge Arts Program Director. “Art Pride is the backbone of New Jersey’s diverse arts and culture nonprofit organizations, acting to lift all boats to ensure policymakers, business owners and residents understand and appreciate the impact these organizations make in the fabric of their communities.”
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. The latest grants primarily span our program areas of arts and education, with a few additional grants made in environment, media and technical assistance.