The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announces a second round of 109 grants totaling $323,000 from its COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.  The grants, averaging $3,000, were awarded to nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations serving people experiencing hardships from the pandemic in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union Counties.  The NNJCF, a not-for-profit organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses on civic engagement, education, the environment, philanthropy, public health, and the arts.

This past spring, the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund was established to reach smaller grassroots organizations that might be overlooked by larger funds.  In May, 54 grants totaling nearly $240,000 were awarded in the first round to nonprofit organizations serving Bergen County.  Since its inception, the Fund has provided more than $550,000 in grants to 163 nonprofit organizations providing services in northern New Jersey.

            As the community's needs shifted from emergency PPE to ongoing longer-term necessities for food security and mental health supports, the focus of the grant awards changed.  "Immediate action and long-term recovery took into account the disproportionate impact the pandemic has on communities of color.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation focused on a racial justice lens for this second round of funding to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for ongoing civic dialogue to address the underlying causes of these disparities," said Mary Blanusa, Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. 

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Grantees by County

Bergen. Art of Motion, Arts Horizons, Bergen Family Center, Boys & Girls Club of Garfield, Inc., Community of Friends in Action, Cresskill Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), Encounters In Black Traditions, Fair Lawn Community Center Inc., Franciscan Community Development Center of Fairview, Metamorphic Entertainment, Never Alone Again Domestic Violence Organization & Resource Center, NEW JERSEY CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS INC TEANECK COUNCIL PTA, Our Community Dinner Table A NJ Nonprofit Corporation, Palisades Virtuosi, REED Foundation for Autism, Ridgefield Park Arts Association, Ridgewood Historical Society & Schoolhouse Museum, Saint Vincent de Paul-Food Pantry of HTC, Tenafly Senior Center, The Open Door NJNY, Inc.

Essex.  Arts For Kids Inc., Bessie Green Community, Blissful Us, BRIDGE Movement Global, Gallery Aferro Inc, Greater Newark CARES, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc., Jewish Relief Agency, Luna Stage Theatre Co., Main Street Counseling Service, Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless, Inc., Mosaic Dance Theater Company, Nassan’s Place, Newark School of the Arts, Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc., Project U.S.E. - Urban Suburban Environments, Region Nine Housing Corporation, Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic / Rutgers University Foundation, Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc., South Ward Alliance, St. James Social Service Corporation, Succeed2gether, The Bridge, Inc., The Montclair Orchestra, Inc., The Moving Architects, Uswrld, Vanguard Theater Company, West Orange Arts Council, Wynona's House, Yendor LLC (Newark Arts-Non-Profit Fiscal Agent)

Hudson.  Act Now Foundation Inc., All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation, Art House Productions, Bayonne Youth Center, Educational Arts Team, Hoboken Family Alliance, Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Jersey City Arts Council Inc., Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival, Mile Square Theatre, Nimbus Dance Works, Inc., The Hoboken Shelter, Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, TRUE Mentors, Inc., UNION CITY MUSIC PROJECT, INC., Welcome Home Jersey City

Multi-County.  Advance Housing, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey, First Friends of New Jersey and New York Corporation, From The Bottom of My Heart, N.J. Food & Clothing Rescue, The Ceceilyn Miller Institute for Leadership and Diversity in America, The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey, Si-Yo Music Society Foundation, Inc.

Passaic.  Action Theatre Conservatory, Inc., Boys & Girls Club of Clifton, Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey, Inc., Certified Angels A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation, Circle of Care For Families and Children of Passaic County, City Green, Inc., CUMACECHO, Inc., Garden State Opera, Jewish Family Service and Children's Center of Clifton-Passaic, Inc., Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Paterson Task Force for Community Action, Inc., Power of One Christian Coaching and Outreach Ministries, Inc., RENEW Life Center, The Amazing Help, Women and Families Ascending Association

Union.  Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Choral Art Society of New Jersey, Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Inc., Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Family and Children's Services, Inc., Groundwork Elizabeth, Homefirst Interfaith, Housing & Family Services, Inc., Imagine A Center for Coping with Loss, Independent Authors Book Experience, Josephine's Place, Life Drawing Studio Group - A New Jersey Non Profit Corporation, Literacy New Jersey Inc., Roots & Wings Foundation, St. Joseph Social Service Center, Summit Public Art, The Discovery Orchestra, Inc., The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, The Theater Project a NJ Nonprofit, Trinitas Health Foundation

Struggles Continue

            Residents in northern New Jersey continue to struggle from reduced or lost income, food and housing insecurity, health expenses and childcare needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.  The NNJCF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund second round of one time only grants supports urgent funding needs of vetted small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, nonprofit arts organizations and nonprofit organizations providing arts programs and services.  Funding in this round prioritized small nonprofit organizations providing direct services and support to marginalized communities.            

            Donations to the NNJCF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund's came from a range of contributors.  Major funders included Sozosei Foundation, Parkway Toyota, and Valley National Bank, as well as small donors. 

            For further information about the NNJCF or the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, contact or 201-568-5608.