The Haddonfield-based philanthropy organization said five communities were awarded $100,000 to support initiatives toward building stronger, healthier and more economically vibrant communities.
Transform South Jersey is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives (the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the OceanFirst Foundation, the Orton Family Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation.
Here are the five award recipients:
- Atlantic County – Hammonton, through the Hammonton Revitalization Corp.;
- Burlington County – Willingboro, through the Willingboro Community Development Corp.;
- Camden County – Winslow Township, through the Winslow Township School District;
- Cumberland County – Downe Township, through the Cumberland County Improvement Authority;
- Salem County – Salem, through Stand Up for Salem.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to make, as all of the towns put in an incredible amount of work to mobilize their community and build momentum for Community Heart & Soul,” Andy Fraizer, executive director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey, said. “We’re excited that these five communities will join over 80 other Community Heart & Soul projects taking place across the country, creating positive change that is resident-driven, and that recognizes value in the unique character of each place and the emotional connection of the people who live there.”
Over 190 South Jersey communities were eligible for the grant. Of them, 32 were nominated and 21 completed applications.
In addition to the grant, CFSJ will establish a separate endowed fund for each selected community and provide them with exclusive coaching, training and technical assistance.
“For most communities, completing the four phases of Community Heart & Soul takes about two years, but the completion of the Community Heart & Soul model is just the beginning,” Fraizer said. “In addition to completing the model, each community has also committed to raising endowments of at least $25,000 to serve as the endowed portion of their community fund. These funds will allow the communities to support projects they both identify and care about for years to come.”
“I would also be remiss if I did not thank our outstanding partner organizations that are collaborating with us to bring Community Heart & Soul to South Jersey. Their funding support is critical, but it’s their ideas, advocacy, volunteer support, and more that’s crucial to supporting local decision makers as they work to build stronger, thriving, and more equitable communities,” Fraizer said.