Announcing Our Second Round Grants 

At their second board meeting of the year, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Trustees approved more than $3.5 million in grants to support New Jersey’s nonprofit sector and communities, including more than $500,000 in new COVID-19 relief and response grants. 

“The pandemic has laid bare racial health disparities and inequities and the communities our institutions have been left behind,” said Tanuja Dehne, Dodge Foundation president and CEO. “Yet there are bright spots. The nonprofit sector has proven to be nimble, resilient, and a community working together to keep each other informed and afloat. Technology and innovation allow us to reimagine how arts, poverty, education, and news and information are delivered.” 

Dodge Trustees in June approved 85 grants totaling $3,634,500 to support nonprofit organizations in Dodge’s Arts, Education, Environment, Informed communities, and other program areas. A full list of second round grants is here.  

The grants include 42 totaling $1,277,000 in Arts, 26 totaling $897,500 in Education, six totaling in $305,000 in Informed Communities, two totaling $545,000 in Building Better Communities, two totaling $35,000 in Technical Assistance, and one in Environment of $25,000. 

Six grants totaling $550,000 were awarded in COVID-19 response, bringing the total amount to support pandemic relief and response to more than $1.5 million.  

New COVID-19 response grants include: 

  • Foundation for Educational Administration: $25,000 for the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative, a philanthropic partnership with state departments of health and education to support social and emotional health of both students and educators through a model training protocol to help schools bring trauma-informed/healing-centered practices into the classroom and shift school culture. This initiative is in partnership with the Burke, Turrell, and Nicholson foundations.  

  • NJ Local News Lab Fund (Community Foundation of New Jersey): $50,000 for short-term recovery and strategic support for journalists of color and people of color media organizations.  

  • Princeton Area Community Foundation: $200,000 to support the development of a New Jersey Arts and Culture Fund for New Jersey artists and arts organizations for short-term recovery and long-term sustainability.  

  • Rutgers Center for Migration and the Global City: $25,000 to provide tools, training, media production, and platforms for Newark residents and community organizations to share their own stories, conduct their own community-based projects, and to share Newark’s history through digital media projects, including Stories from the Pandemic. 

  • Sustainable Jersey: $50,000 to support Sustainable Jersey’s Digital Schools Project, a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education and New Jersey School Boards Association to provide best practices, technical support, and a certification framework for schools to address the digital divide.  

  • Undocumented and Immigrants Fund (New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund): $200,000 for immediate cash assistance for undocumented people and immigrants in New Jersey through trusted, community organizations.  

Funding for the Foundation’s COVID-19 response grants came from reallocating its existing grants budget, administrative cuts, and additional funds above its projected 2020 grants budget.  

In March, the Board approved $600,000 in grants to pooled funds to support immediate relief efforts and $400,000 to grantee partners to help stabilize their operations, adapt programming, and respond to the needs of their communities. In making these grants, the Foundation prioritized organizations that are most vulnerable to economic instability, advancing equity, or stewarding a unique cultural asset as well as critical intermediaries and membership, network-support, and advocacy organizations. 

“Several of the new grants we made in this round of COVID-19 relief are based on new working relationships with opportunities to learn and amplify our collective resources, and in some cases, brought together parties who may not have otherwise partnered,” Dehne said. “The pandemic is not over and we are continuing to listen, learn, and respond to needs in our focus areas and communities.” 

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A student leads a breakout group at the 2019 Newark Call to Collaboration. Photo courtesy of Creative New Jersey