Nonprofits and communities struggling to recover from the widespread devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy received a boost today from the philanthropic community, when the Community Foundation of New Jersey announced that it has established the New Jersey Recovery Fund. The Dodge Foundation pledged a lead gift of $1 million to the Fund to address the long term needs and unanticipated challenges New Jersey faces on its road to recovery.
The Fund will target grants and low- or no-interest loans to provide flexible support to nonprofits, which are responding to, and have been severely impacted by, the hurricane. In addition it will provide support to forward-thinking communities which need resources to implement smart rebuilding solutions.
The Fund seeks to attract flexible dollars from local and national philanthropic partners which can then be deployed as the wide-ranging effects of this disaster unfold over the coming months. This flexibility allows the Fund to respond to both the direct and indirect impacts of the storm in many areas, including the arts, the environment, human services, and regional and community planning.
Nonprofits throughout New Jersey continue to deal with lost revenue from canceled performances and fundraising events, in addition to prolonged disruptions to their daily operations, programs and services. Additionally, many have suffered significant damage to their offices and equipment.
Already, several partners have joined the Fund, including: the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is offering up to $250,000 on a matching basis for support of community information needs, including long-term storm recovery coverage by local nonprofit media; the Subaru of America Foundation, which is providing $250,000 in unrestricted funds aimed at south Jersey; and the Community Foundation of New Jersey and the Community Foundation of South Jersey. Additionally, the Dave Matthews Band announced yesterday that it will contribute $1 million to the Community Foundation of New Jersey to establish the “Bama Works Sandy Relief Fund” which also will support recovery efforts. The total committed to the Fund to date is more than $2.6 million.
“Even with the good work of relief agencies, governmental assistance, and other aid, New Jersey will feel the effects of Sandy for a long time to come,” noted Dodge Foundation President and CEO Chris Daggett. “The role and expertise of the philanthropic community is to provide steadfast, long-term support of nonprofits which provide the critical programs and services that New Jerseyans rely on every day.” He emphasized that the Fund will complement and openly communicate with other rebuilding efforts around the state, to avoid duplicating efforts.
Hans Dekker, President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, added, “New Jersey will face tough choices in the months and years ahead as it looks to rebuild. The philanthropic community will help lead the way with its knowledge of, and experience with, creating solutions to the challenges faced by our communities and by devoting resources that can help bring the best thinking and expertise to bear on New Jersey’s recovery.”
Public donations are also being sought, which will expand the Fund’s reach and ability to improve the rebuilding process. Online donations can be made on the Community Foundation’s website: www.cfnj.org. Additionally, individuals can text BamaSandy to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the Bama Works Sandy Relief Fund.
Details of the awards process will be made available on the Community Foundation and Dodge Foundation websites in December.
Image: Devastation in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. (Photo by AP Photo/Julio Cortez)