Building and Strengthening Partnerships Across New Jersey: Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Announces More Than $5 Million in Grants

August 25, 2022

Mariana Velasquez rallies for justice.
Mariana Velasquez, one of the dozens of hunger strikers, in week two of the fast, leads a rally at a church in Elizabeth, NJ urging the state to extend COVID relief benefits to excluded workers. Credit: Make the Road New Jersey

See grants listed on our website.

In our most recent round of funding, the Dodge Foundation made more than $5 million in grants which served to acknowledge long-standing partners and collaborators, support new partners who are driving racial equity and justice, and respond to the real-time issues and crises facing people across the State of New Jersey. These grants represent our purposeful efforts to support and recognize the impact of years-long partners and institutions, while also strengthening and growing our support to new organizations focused and aligned to our new strategic direction of building a just and equitable New Jersey.  

Providing Multi-Year Support to Long-Standing Partners

The Dodge Foundation provided multi-year funding to support a number of partner organizations, representing a collaborative strategy of providing the space, time, and opportunity for each organization to strengthen and build their capacity and encourage new voices and funding partners to join the movement. The goal of this support is to achieve long-term sustainability that allows these organizations to continue their impact well into the future. As the Foundation continues our transformation to center racial equity and justice in our work and our funding, we are also thrilled to recognize these long-standing partner organizations and the impact they have had and will continue to have on communities across New Jersey.

In this funding cycle, we provided three organizations each with a three-year grant of $1M general operating support. For all of these initiatives, the Dodge Foundation was a core partner from the earliest days and an integral supporter in achieving years of state-wide impact.

  • Jersey Water Works is a collective impact initiative comprised of diverse organizations and individuals working to transform New Jersey’s water infrastructure for the benefit of public health, access to clean water and waterways, and water equity.
  • Gathering Ground fosters community cohesion and collaborative action by bringing together highly diverse groups of people with varied backgrounds, lived experiences, expertise, and influence to amplify community dialogue around critical issues, build and strengthen networks, encourage cross-sector and multi-cultural partnerships, and cultivate equitable community-rooted solutions.
  • Sustainable Jersey empowers New Jersey communities to build a better world for future generations with the tools, training, and financial incentives necessary to pursue critical sustainability initiatives.

We also provided four multi-year grants to support long-standing, statewide arts education programs and projects.  We are particularly proud of the robust arts education ecosystem that has grown and developed over the past 10-plus years across the state, and the role that the Dodge Foundation played in collaborating with and supporting that ecosystem. These organizations have had a tremendous impact in strengthening arts programming across the state – creating models of impact that are regarded and often replicated nationwide.

  • Arts Ed New Jersey: three-year grant of $500,000 to support its mission as a unifying organization and central resource for arts education information, policy, and advocacy in New Jersey.
  • Young Audiences NJ and Eastern PA: three-year grant of $600,000 to support arts education projects including the Theater to Learn program for the development and implementation of a culturally relevant sequential-theater-integrated curriculum and the Creativity Consultants project in schools across the State.
  • Foundation for Education Administration: three-year grant of $500,000 to support the Arts Integration Leadership Institute which provides a year-long series of activities and coaching for school/district teams to develop and implement interdisciplinary teaching practices using arts integration and culturally responsive instruction to enhance learning and voice for all students.
  • Dance New Jersey: three-year grant of $225,000 to support the Dance to Learn project which creates and implements a sequential, interdisciplinary and inclusive program to advance dance education in New Jersey schools. 

We know multi-year funding support is essential to our nonprofit partners, and we are committed to employing collaborative funding strategies that meet the needs of our community with the maximum flexibility to sustain their important work, engage new funding partners and sources, and grow their impact over time.

Centering Racial Equity with Imagine a New Way Partners

In our Imagine a New Way 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. We are proud to provide 10 grants under this strategy to partners leading organizations and initiatives that strategically build power, dismantle systems of injustice, and strengthen economic resilience. In this most recent cycle of grantmaking, we are particularly excited to partner with several narrative change organizations that are using creative tools to shift storylines about those most impacted by structural racism and building cultural power among and with those communities to support justice and equity.

  • $250,000 (two-year grant) – The Center for Cultural Power is a women of color, artist-led organization, inspiring artists and culture makers to imagine a world where power is distributed equitably and where we live in harmony with nature.
  • $100,000 – Futuro Media is an independent, nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience.
  • $100,000 – The Institute for Citizens and Scholars cultivates talent, ideas, and networks that develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.
  • $100,000 (the second year of a two-year grant of $200,000) – Newark Movement for Economic Equity is the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot program for the city of Newark.
  • $75,000 – The Latino Action Network Foundation’s goal is to unite New Jersey’s diverse Latino communities, and advance economic and social empowerment within those communities.
  • $50,000 – Housing Community Development Network of New Jersey is a statewide association of over 250 non-profit housing and community development corporations, individuals, professional organizations, and prominent New Jersey corporations that support the creation of housing choices and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income community residents.
  • $50,000 – LISC’s mission is to – together, with residents and partners – help forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America.
  • $50,000 – Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant, working-class and Latinx communities to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, legal, policy innovation and transformative education.
  • $50,000 – Wind of the Spirit works to educate, organize and mobilize the immigrant community and allies for just and humane immigration policies, advocate for human rights and dignity for all people, promote solidarity and a world of justice and peace.
  • $25,000 – SOMA Justice is working to promote racial justice, safety, and transformative justice in ways that center people of color (POC) in South Orange, Maplewood and surrounding communities in New Jersey through community building, education, advocacy, and direct action.

Responding to the Reproductive Health Crisis

In June 2022, when the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Dodge Foundation mobilized support through our crisis response funding to address the reproductive health needs of millions of people across the state, particularly those already impacted by poverty, lack of health care access, and racism in the health care system. One of the most significant barriers facing people seeking abortions is the inability to pay for them or the costs associated such as transportation to and from the clinic, child-care, time off work, and more. These barriers are further exacerbated by high insurance deductibles, under-insurance, and no insurance. Through our crisis response funding, we were able to provide a $75,000 grant to the New Jersey Abortion Access Fund, a volunteer-run organization that provides financial assistance to those seeking safe abortions at this critical time.

Looking Ahead

The Dodge Foundation is committed to shifting power and resources to communities most excluded from investment and opportunity. We are an organization in transformation, and we are deeply grateful to all our nonprofit partners for leading and learning alongside us. Over the past year, we have continued to communicate our refined strategic direction focused on supporting communities and changemakers who address the root causes and repair of structural racism and inequity in the state. As part of operationalizing this new direction, we are developing and releasing new funding priorities which will guide future Dodge Foundation funding decisions in 2023 and beyond. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months on our new website at

We look forward to sharing more with you as we work together to realize a just and equitable future for New Jersey.