FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The following are Frequently Asked Questions and answers outlining the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's grantmaking process, guidelines, and eligibility requirements.

Where can I find the latest information about Dodge’s vision of an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities and commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization? 

In June 2018, the Dodge Foundation adopted a new vision for the future centered on equity with a revised mission, values, a new equity definition, goals, and a strategic plan to guide us. We are proud that from this process emerged our vision for an equitable New Jersey through our support of creative, engaged, sustainable communities. You can click here to learn more and read the plan.  

In 2020, as the dual crises of racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the racial inequities in our systems and policies, Dodge made a commitment to become an actively anti-racist organization. Dodge is continuing to live our vision of an equitable New Jersey through creative, engaged, sustainable communities, and working to adapt our grantmaking, programming, internal operations, and investments to align with our diversity, inclusion, and racial equity goals and strategies.  

We encourage you to review the latest President’s Messages for updates. 

How does Dodge define equity? 

For Dodge, equity means aligning our resources to address historical, institutional, and structural impediments so that New Jerseyans of all races and communities have what is needed to realize a quality life.  

The Foundation supports achieving equity in its many different forms, including but not limited to income, race, gender, disability, and neighborhood. This phase of our work places an emphasis on people and communities of color, and yet equity requires the inclusion of all people and organizations. Therefore, our strategies and processes will include and benefit all of New Jersey and will change and evolve over time. 

How will this new vision impact Dodge's program areas?  

Following the development of our strategic plan, Dodge entered a deep learning and review process to begin to define how the majority of Dodge’s grantmaking would benefit under-resourced and under-represented communities and we developed new equity theories of change for each of our program areas — Arts, Education, Environment, Informed Communities, and Poetry. You can view these on each program's page under the What We Fund section of our website. 

How do equity theories of change impact current grantees? 

Dodge has been in transition over the past four years. Throughout this time, most of our grantees have continued to receive funding under our existing guidelines. We know to achieve equity we will need to do things differently. Pursuant to our new program theories of change, we will devote energy and resources to support communities and work centered on equity with both new and current grantees. 

Honoring our value of respect and our relationship with grantees, we expect that changes will take place over time as we continue to learn and build new relationships. We recognize that different funding decisions may impact our current and past longtime funding relationships and potentially destabilize organizations or program delivery. Therefore, we strive to be deliberate and transparent as we respectfully phase out grants that are not in keeping with our emerging strategies. 

In 2021, current grantees may reapply for funding under existing guidelines. 

Is Dodge accepting letters of inquiry or new proposals? 

In 2021, Dodge is not accepting letters of inquiry or unsolicited proposals for the Foundation’s current program areas of Arts, Education, Environment, and Informed Communities, although program staff may invite new proposals in alignment with new strategies. However, the Foundation may issue specific calls for proposals or invite new proposals in alignment with its vision of an equitable New Jersey. 

Through 2022, Dodge is working to review and adapt our current guidelines and processes to meet our racial equity goals. 

Do you recommend current grantee organizations reapplying for funding in 2021 review any Foundation materials before getting started on their application? 

We encourage applicants to review programmatic guidelines and the Dodge Equity Framework before beginning your organization's application.  

What do returning grantee organizations need to know before getting started with the application process? 

Current grantee applicants should be already registered as a user in the Dodge Grants Portal, a Salesforce-based application. If you need any help with signing in, or are a representative of a newly invited organization, please contact Marisa Benson, grants manager, for more instructions on getting started.  

What internet browsers do you recommend applicants use to access the Dodge Grant Portal? 

The current stable versions of the following internet browsers are supported for use with our application system:  

  • For Windows operating systems: Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer  
  • For Mac operating systems: Google Chrome, Safari  

What tech tips should applicants know before getting started? 

You may cut and paste from other documents into any text fields that follow. 

We recommend that you save your work frequently. 

Do not click the Back Button in your browser during the application process. You can use the tabs to navigate back and forth but you must make sure you save content entered on each page prior to navigating to another tab. 

What happens to this proposal after it’s submitted? 

A team of Dodge Foundation staff will review all aspects of the proposal submission and will contact you with next steps, which likely will include a phone or video conversation.  

How much funding is available? 

We provide about $9 million in annual grants focused on supporting innovation, collaboration, and community-driven decision-making across our program areas: Arts, Education, Environment and Informed Communities. Grant amounts vary depending on a broad set of factors. Whenever possible, program staff will meet or speak on the phone with organizations before the proposal deadline to offer guidance on the proposal scope. 

Must my organization be a 501(c)(3)? What if we have a fiscal sponsor? 

Our grants are currently limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Your organization may have a fiscal sponsor, such as a university, that is a 501(c)(3) organization receive the funding. Except for Foundation-based initiatives, we do not make direct awards to individuals. 

What types of funding do you provide? 

We care deeply about the long-term health and sustainability of New Jersey’s nonprofit sector and provide both general operating support as well as project-specific support. 

Does Dodge have a geographic focus? 

Though we are open to the best thinking and models anywhere that might be applied to the challenges we face in New Jersey, our focus is on funding organizations based here, as well as projects with a direct and substantial impact on this state. We do not fund projects outside of New Jersey. 

What are some of the areas that Dodge does not support? 

For effective focus of the Foundation’s resources, we do not support major categories of funding as higher education, health, religion and film. In addition, support for capital projects, equipment purchases, and endowment funds are outside of our guidelines. 

We are having trouble submitting the online inquiry or grant proposal. Who should we contact for assistance? 

If you experience technical difficulties while submitting your application, please contact Marisa Benson, grants manager.