Jersey Give Back Guide: Monmouth Arts

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Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature Monmouth Arts.

Arts2Organization name: Monmouth Arts

Connect: Website | @MonmouthArts | Facebook

Communities served: We serve artists, arts groups and art appreciators across Monmouth County and beyond.

Founded: In 1971 by artists, arts organizations and arts lovers to leverage resources and coordinate marketing.

Get Generous: Give a year-end donation 

MA 13627087803_631e21e59a_bWHAT WE DO: Monmouth Arts is Monmouth County’s official agency dedicated to fostering the arts. Our work ranges from arts education, support of the arts community, grants, creative place-making, marketing, special events and more. We connect artists, arts organization and art lovers across the county for enriching experiences – for all ages.

WHY WE’RE GREAT: We believe there are few things as powerful as the arts when building community. Art impacts everyone; it inspires, connects, educates, heals, motivates, and gives voice to communities. Its importance can never be underestimated – and that’s why we work so hard to celebrate it here in Monmouth County.

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP: Your donation will help foster and support artists and arts groups in the Monmouth County Area. It’s our goal to perpetuate a vibrant arts community that truly enhances the quality of life for artists, residents and visitors alike.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS: We are a membership organization, and invite arts appreciators to join us, and attend our film premieres and other networking events throughout the year. For more information: http://monmoutharts.org/join-us

MORE ON MONMOUTH ARTS:

The Stories of ArtHelps from Tammy Laverty on Vimeo.

 — Tammy Laverty, Monmouth Arts New Media Manager

GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.

The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!

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Jersey Give Back Guide: NOFA-NJ

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Photo by Christian Schuller/HappyCamperCreative.com

Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature NOFA-NJ

Environment2Organization name: Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ)

Website: www.nofanj.org

Twitter/Facebook: @nofanj and www.facebook.com/nofanj

Communities served: Farmers, gardeners, consumers, policy-makers

Founded: 1985 

Make a year-end donation: Click here

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Photo by Christian Schuller/HappyCamperCreative.com

WHAT WE DOThe Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-NJ) is a network of farmers, gardeners, policy-makers, and consumers dedicated to supporting sustainable food and agriculture in New Jersey through education, technical assistance, and policy action.

We offer educational courses and workshops for everyone from the experienced organic farmer to the consumer shopping at farm markets and grocery stores. Topics include: Exploring the Small Farm Dream, Permaculture Design Certificate, Living an Organic Lifestyle, Organic Gardening, Farmer Twilight Meetings, intern and apprentice field days, and more. Our courses run throughout the year and are highlighted by our annual Winter Conference, the premiere sustainable food and farming event in New Jersey.

To increase the productivity and reach of small-scale, sustainable farms in New Jersey, we offer technical assistance to farmers including those who are certified organic, practicing sustainable methods, or transitioning to more sustainable practices. With on-farm visits, consultations, and support, we help our member farms conserve their natural resources and make the most of what their land can offer. 

WHY WE’RE GREAT: With a grant from the USDA in 2011, we were able to launch the Beginning Farmer Program, a comprehensive support system for beginning farmers in New Jersey. The Beginning Farmer Program provides business planning training, experiential education, land linkage services, and technical assistance in order to increase the number of viable sustainable farms in the region. Qualified beginning farmers can receive stipends for educational courses and materials, scholarships to our annual Winter Conference, mentorship and land access assistance.

Over the course of the three-year grant period, we’ve educated hundreds of beginning farmers on subjects ranging from organic disease management and poultry processing to tractor safety and the business of farming at our workshops and conferences. NOFA-NJ helps support new farm businesses through our Incubator Farm and Journeyperson Programs.

The NOFA-NJ Annual Winter Conference has over 500 attendees and more than 60 classes. Over the last 3 years more than 400 hours were spent consulting on technical issues; 11 beginning farmers were connected with mentors; three landowners were connected with new farming businesses; three beginning farmer courses were offered: Exploring the Small Farm Dream, Tilling the Soil of Opportunity, and Road to Certification; and over 50 workshops and field days were held for beginning farmers. All of this is just one part of what we do at NOFA-NJ! We also offer organic gardening and permaculture programs, organize member farm tours, sponsor film screenings, give presentations on organic food, health, and GMOS, and work to affect changes in public policy. NOFA-NJ has been very active in educating the public on organic food and farming over the past year presenting at a variety of panels, film screenings, and events.

NOFA-NJ has been involved in over seven speaking engagements in response to the increased demand for reliable information regarding responsible food and farming.

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELPToday, NOFA-NJ’s work addresses both the why and how of organic and sustainable food systems in New Jersey, and is based on the belief that it will take skilled practitioners, informed consumers, and appropriate public policies to be fully realized. We believe that truly sustainable agriculture is organic and addresses the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the food system.

Demands for our educational programs and services have greatly increased in the last two years as awareness about the food we eat and the importance of local, organic agriculture have become of greater concern to the general public. We strive to keep costs low or free any time we can, however, the rising costs of providing this increased number of programs, including personnel and benefits, is straining the organization. In addition, the funding for the Beginning Farmer Program we have endlessly worked to build over the last three years is no longer available.

We are asking for your support so we can continue to grow our programming and meet the rising demand for learning opportunities based on organic farming, gardening, and food reaching all communities in New Jersey. Your donation will help us avoid scaling back on all the amazing programs that have benefited farmers, gardeners, and consumers like you.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS: Local residents and businesses can help support continued access to local, organic food by becoming a member of NOFA-NJ, attending workshops and the 25th Annual Winter Conference (January 24-25, 2015), or making a donation of any amount through NOFA-NJ’s website or featured profile on the Jersey Give Back Guide Generosity Generator. If you’re interested in becoming more involved, NOFA-NJ has a variety of volunteer committees that are always looking for more helping hands.

— Erica Evans, NOFA-NJ Beginning Farmer Program Coordinator

GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.

The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!

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Jersey Give Back Guide: NJ Tree Foundation

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NJ Tree residents

Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature NJ Tree Foundation

Environment2Organization name: New Jersey Tree Foundation

Connect: Website | @NJTrees | Facebook

Communities served: The NJ Tree Foundation has planted 201,706 trees throughout New Jersey. All of these trees were planted by hand with residents and local volunteers or with employees of our transitional program.

Founded: 1998

Get Generous: Make a Year-end Gift

NJ Tree Green Streets CrewWHAT WE DO: The NJ Tree Foundation works to improve the environment throughout New Jersey through green infrastructure projects such as planting large trees, removing concrete to create tree pits, and planting and maintaining rain gardens.

Our Camden and Newark community-based tree planting programs provide free trees (usually over 10 feet tall) to residents who help organize a planting event and adopt the trees. In these cities, we plant trees only where a community member is willing to care for them for at least two years.

We host workshops teaching the skills needed to care for trees and provide attendees with tools and educational materials to equip them as tree stewards. We organize similar community-based tree planting projects in other New Jersey towns when funding allows us the opportunity. Our Green Streets Program hires men in a reentry facility to learn landscaping and tree planting skills.

Through Green Streets and community-based planting projects, we have recently worked with several towns that lost large numbers of trees during Superstorm Sandy, helping them reforest by planting large trees in public places and offering county-wide tree giveaways to residents. We also planted and now maintain the Grove of Remembrance, a 10.8-acre living memorial that contains over 800 trees to commemorate the New Jersey victims of September 11, 2001.

The NJ Tree Foundation’s mission is to increase the tree canopy and improve the quality of life in New Jersey cities and towns. Trees improve people’s mental health and foster safer communities. Our tree planting events transform city streets into welcoming neighborhoods. We partner with communities to drastically improve their landscape while providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to thousands of people.

WHY WE’RE GREAT: We could tell you why we believe in our work but our tree recipients, volunteers, and Green Streets alumni do it best.

Here are some of their thoughts:

  • “Before we had trees, it was an empty block. After the trees were planted, it gave residents empowerment and pride. When residents came out, they had something right in front of their homes — something that made a difference in their everyday lives. Once residents feel empowered, they take steps to beautifying their blocks. On this block, we added flowers and decorations to our tree pits, window boxes to our homes, and benches to our sidewalks. We brought all of the beautiful things you see in other healthy communities right here. Now, when you look down our street, you can see and FEEL our community. You feel welcomed and happy here, and residents feel that way every time they come home. That is why the NJ Tree Foundation is such a blessing.” — Pino, Camden resident/tree recipient
  •  “It was an incredible day of partnering between our two organizations. Our volunteers expressed great satisfaction in participating in beautifying our neighborhood. It was a very organized event and went off without a hitch. The volunteer turnout was so great that we completed planting 30 trees in less than 2 hours!!! The foundation’s work helped validate our community’s belief that TREES ARE GOOD and necessary!” – Rose, Newark resident/volunteer
  • “I had fun from the first day I started. I learned that you plant trees in the spring or fall. I learned that it feels good to finally give back instead of taking. I looked forward to coming to work every day! I’m so sad that it is over, but glad that I had this experience. Thank you!” – Michael, Green Streets alumnus

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP: Your donation will help us transform communities through tree planting. We use donations to purchase trees, print educational materials to help tree recipients care for their trees, and purchase tools, gloves, and water for volunteers at tree planting events. Planting large trees has an instant impact on neighborhoods, and as Pino described, the residents see and feel this positive change every time they walk out of their homes.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS: During the fall and spring planting seasons we seek volunteers to help plant trees in Camden and Newark. We plant rain or shine, so dress for the weather and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty! Tree planting events are fun and family friendly.

Planting large trees is hard work – be ready to dig holes, work with other volunteers to maneuver trees into their tree pits (some trees can weigh up to 500 pounds!), and mulch to finish off the job. No experience is necessary as we provide a planting demonstration at the beginning of every event. You can find out more information on the “Volunteer” page of our website which will also link to the planting schedules when they become available for the next season.

In addition to our need for volunteers and cash donations, we are in need of in-kind donations of tools such as shovels, rakes, brooms, and gardening gloves. We plant approximately 1,000 trees annually and some of our events have up to 100 volunteers. We wear tools down frequently and always need replacements. If you are interested in donating tools please email our Director of Urban Forestry Initiatives, Jessica, at jfranzini.njtf@gmail.com.

MORE ON NJ TREE FOUNDATION:

Note: This video was recorded in 2010. Program updates: The Newark Renaissance Trees Program has planted 2,034 trees with more than 4,700 volunteers. The Camden Urban Airshed Reforestation Program has planted 5,400 trees with close to 12,000 volunteers. The Green Streets Program has planted 11,005 trees and employed 59 parolees.

— Lisa Simms, New Jersey Tree Foundation Executive Director

GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.

The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!

 

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Jersey Give Back Guide: Leadership Newark

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Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature Leadership Newark. 

Newark2Organization name:  Leadership Newark, Inc.

Connect: Website | @LeadershipNwk | Facebook

Communities served: Greater Newark Area

Founded: 1997

Get Generous: Make a Year-End Gift


WHAT WE DO
: The Leadership Newark program offers a public policy fellowship designed to bring together activists who can be instrumental in helping the Newark community transform. We address public policy issues, and the basics of servant leadership through training workshops, dinner meetings and an experiential seminar format. Policymakers and experts come to share their expertise and knowledge around the table to deliberate and debate the critical issues with our participants.

LN 4135We provide the venue to talk through issues, while fostering and developing public leadership.

WHY WE’RE GREAT: In the words of Sen. Cory Booker, “There is no question that as a city, Newark is in a far better position than it was before Leadership Newark existed, and that is a great testament to the positive influence of the program and its graduates.”

Leadership Newark provides learning opportunities for present and future leaders through a rich program of classroom seminars and real-world professional partnerships. The organization’s two-year fellowship program promotes team building, decision-making, and developing other key skills for civic leadership.

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP:

Your donation goes a long way in investing in a cadre of citizens who not only care about the community, but who also know its strengths and weaknesses and are willing to invest their time and energy to improve and transform Newark.

Simply put: The need is for Newark to become and sustain itself as an effective community. Leadership Newark offers this opportunity by providing an outlet to educate the whole community class by class by providing information that goes beyond the facts and encourages action.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS: Partnerships are a vital aspect of the Leadership Newark operation. We seek partnerships with individuals with critical public policy expertise and knowledge to serve as speakers, panelist and/or facilitators.

We also seek organizations to become engaged by the responding to an RFP requesting a project team to work on a tangible project that is not only public policy related, but also helps further the mission of the organization itself.

Lastly, we seek those interested in becoming an integral part of a think tank on behalf of the Newark community to apply to become a member of a future Leadership Newark Class.

MORE ON LEADERSHIP NEWARK:

LN Summit 2013 from Leadership Newark on Vimeo.

 

— Celia M. King, Leadership Newark Chief Executive Officer

GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.

The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!

 

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Jersey Give Back Guide: Green Faith

Posted on by Dodge

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Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature GreenFaith

Environment2Organization name: GreenFaith

Connect: Website | @GreenFaithWorld | Facebook

Communities served: Communities of diverse faiths nationwide

Founded: 1992

Get Generous: Make a Year-End Gift

WHAT WE DO: As one of the oldest religious-environmental groups in the country, GreenFaith has worked with tens of thousands of people and institutions of faith to help them put their faith into action for the Earth.

GF Outdoor service with pastor wearing earth vestments

We are interfaith and hands-on, and believe in the importance of real, concrete environmental changes within faith communities. Every religious tradition teaches stewardship of the Earth, and we provide communities the information, tools and resources to carry out those values and make a difference for the planet.

We are a one-stop-shop on environmental issues, covering sustainability, “green” preaching and teaching, environmental justice advocacy, and much more. We believe environmental leadership is not one-size-fits-all, and aim to help each and every community — no matter the size, location or tradition — find the program and the steps that fit their needs and goals best.  

WHY WE’RE GREAT: One of GreenFaith’s greatest achievements is our level of impact—our programming matches organizations many times our size.

This year alone, we:

  • Facilitated the financing and installation of over 1 megawatt of solar arrays on New Jersey faith-based facilities
  • Helped over 1.5 million square feet of faith-based real estate become more energy efficient, leveraging over $1 million in utility and state rebates and incentives through our Energy Services program
  • Worked with 40 institutions in our innovative Water Shield program, leading to dozens of rain barrels, rain gardens and water-saving fixtures installed. One congregation even created the country’s first weeklong interfaith environmental camp!
  • Welcomed our 75th congregation into our Certification Program, representing 25 states
  • Trained our largest class of GreenFaith Fellows — representing the Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Unitarian and Baha’i traditions
  • Organized the faith contingent at the People’s Climate March in New York City, with over 15,000 people of faith participating
  • Launched Our Voices, an international campaign around climate change, with over 50,000 signatures from 63 countries represented since its launch

GreenFaith is consistently on the cutting edge, whether it be through launching a religiously-based fossil-fuel divestment campaign this past year, or creating the first international climate change campaign specific to people of faith. We believe faith will be the game changer for the environmental movement, and it is our mission to inspire, educate and mobilize religious communities to that end.

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP: Many of GreenFaith’s programs were launched through the support of generous funders like the Dodge Foundation; our Water Shield, Certification Program and Fellowship Programs are all good examples. We’re very thankful for that support, and to be given the flexibility to innovate in this work.

However, like many non-profits, we typically lack general support, helping to keep our many good programs running.  While we are increasingly requiring fees to our programs, those fees rarely cover the total cost.  This is where donations are vital — 90 percent of individual donations that come in are allocated directly to programming, helping us to fulfill our mission.

There are also many initiatives, such as our work on the People’s Climate March, or the international climate change campaign, which don’t yet have grant support. Your donation will go a long way in helping to give those programs the foundation they need.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS: Spread the word! GreenFaith has grown substantially over the years through word of mouth. Tell your local church, synagogue, JCC or religious school about us, and encourage them to be in touch.

Volunteer with us! Many of our programs are helped through the generosity of volunteers.  Do you have a particular skill or interest that you’d like to contribute? Please let us know!

MORE ON GREENFAITH: Recharge Your Car Along With Your  Soul: GreenFaith Comes to Morristown Churches (via Morristown Green); Grace Church Rutherford Benefits From GreenFaith’s Energy Services Program (via Diocese of Newark)

— Stacey Kennealy, GreenFaith Certification Program and Shield Director

GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.

The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!

 

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