Update on the New Jersey Recovery Fund and an Announcement

December 4, 2012

In the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, the Dodge Foundation partnered with the Community Foundation of New Jersey and several of our philanthropic colleagues to establish the New Jersey Recovery Fund, which currently totals more than $3 million. We have been fielding a variety of questions about the funding priorities and grant awards process, as well as the timing of release of funding from the Fund; this update is to give you an indication of where things stand.

First, an announcement:

Dodge recognizes that many of our current grantee organizations have been severely impacted by the storm and that you are dealing with a variety of urgent issues. To lend a helping hand in these extraordinarily difficult times, we have designated up to $250,000 of the $1,000,000 we have invested in the Recovery Fund for emergency grants to current Dodge Foundation grantees. We anticipate the majority of grants will range between $1,000 and $5,000, but there may be circumstances in which slightly smaller or larger grants may be made. Our intention is to respond to emergency funding requests quickly. We have emailed our current grantees with the details for applying, and the deadline for responding is Wednesday, December 12. We will make grant notifications before the end of the year.

Although this $250,000 is restricted to current Dodge grantees for urgent needs, the remaining $750,000 of our grant to the Fund, as well as funds from other philanthropic partners, will remain available for the broader focus of the fund to support nonprofits and communities as they address the intermediate and long term recovery efforts here in New Jersey. Given the scale of this disaster, it will take time to recognize the full effects of the storm, and to understand how the philanthropic community can best lend support to the arduous work of rebuilding our communities. This is especially true if we want to act strategically and creatively, using the lessons we have learned from other disasters.

On behalf of the Fund’s partners, we pledge to be transparent in our process and decision making, which will include seeking guidance from our philanthropic colleagues and experts in specific fields related to the Fund’s areas of focus. In turn, we ask that you have patience and reasonable expectations about our capacity to underwrite the long term rebuilding efforts which will far exceed the Fund’s resources.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey will provide more specific details of the Fund’s areas of interest and awards process on their website in the new year, and we will be sure to alert you to that information when it becomes available. In contrast to the Dodge application process you are familiar with (in which we post guidelines and allow any nonprofit to submit a letter of inquiry), we expect that the process will predominantly entail inviting proposals from specific organizations, collaborative partnerships, and communities.

As always, we welcome your feedback and questions. You can reach us by phone at (973) 540-8442 and by email at info(at)grdodge(dot)org.

For an archive of all Hurricane Sandy related blog posts on the Dodge blog, click here.
For the press release announcing the New Jersey Recovery Fund, please click here.