PSEG Foundation awards more than $1M in grants to 301 community organizations

Awards were directed largely to underserved communities and primary school-age students as part of foundation’s Neighborhood Partners Program

The PSEG Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to 301 community organizations, 39 of which are first-time recipients, the group announced this week.

The grants range from $500 to $21,000 for eligible 501(c)(3) organizations, many of which are supported by Public Service Electric & Gas and PSEG Long Island employee-volunteers year-round. The PSEG Foundation, a separate legal entity from Public Service Enterprise Group, is a 501(c)(3) organization.

The funding responds to a record number of applications for the annual Neighborhood Partners Program and nearly doubles the number of organizations awarded funding since 2020. Founded in 2014, the NPP provides grant funding for organizations based on demonstrated program effectiveness, depth and overall alignment with the PSEG Foundation’s strategic pillars: environmental sustainability, social justice and equity and economic empowerment.

This year, more than 85% of the grant funds were distributed to organizations committed to fostering equity in underserved communities and serving primary school-age children and youth.

Of the 301 organizations, a total of $334,500 in grants was awarded to 95 nonprofits supporting STEM programs; with more than 40% of funds awarded to workforce development and K-12 educational enrichment programs. Additionally, nearly 30 nonprofits were awarded funding to preserve New Jersey’s environmental footprint and conservation efforts, a growing priority for the NPP.

PSEG Foundation President Calvin Ledford Jr. said he was thrilled to be able to make the announcement.

“Through the NPP, we continue to partner with organizations dedicated to creating people-centered solutions that positively impact and uplift local and underserved communities,” he said. “To realize the world we all aspire to, we must invest, support and nourish organizations centered on fostering more inclusive, sustainable and equitable communities for all.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the hardworking individuals doing the difficult but very necessary work to improve lives. Your efforts are truly appreciated and celebrated. Congratulations to all 301 awardees, and here’s to a bright 2024.”

One first-time awardee is the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation for its Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice and Flood Mitigation Program to reduce flooding in neighborhoods of Hackensack by planting trees and rain gardens, donating rain barrels and raising awareness on environmental issues through “green art” projects. With higher populations of low- to moderate-income residents and people of color, the program aims to create a community-driven infrastructure plan that protects vulnerable communities most susceptible to flooding.

“We greatly appreciate the support of the PSEG Foundation for the Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice project in Hackensack,” NNJCF Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez said. “This money will help us build partnerships and do on-the-ground initiatives like a rain garden to help address stormwater runoff and enhance living conditions for people in flood-prone areas of Hackensack.”

Additionally, a grant to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties will support the Pilesgrove High School Mentoring Program, facilitating 1:1 mentoring to empower underserved youth to achieve academic success and graduate with post-high school education plans.

Another organization awarded was the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship for its DEI Micro Business eCommerce Expansion Program. This initiative aims to help women entrepreneurs expand their businesses’ e-commerce capabilities, ensure lasting recovery and promote long-term growth.

“The WCEC Women’s Business Center works with partners like the PSEG Foundation to reach as many struggling entrepreneurs as possible grow their businesses by providing business education” Rana Shanawani, WCEC executive director, said. “We cannot do it alone and are grateful for collaborations with corporate and nonprofit strategic partners.”

The grantees

The full list of the PSEG Foundation’s awardees is available here.

For more information about the Foundation and its programs, click here.

The WCEC is a full-service agency that provides resources and webinars on grants for black-owned, AAPI-owned and LGBTQ+ businesses, as well as offering educational programs for various business-related questions.

The organization awarded the highest amount of $21,000 is the Meadowlands Area YMCA, which has been a strong community advocate for over a century.  During the tail end of 2020, the YMCA Meadowlands distributed hundreds of meals for local families in need, thanks to contributions from both ShopRite and the PSEG Foundation.

Maria Spina, manager, PSEG Foundation, said the group is thrilled to make such an impact in the community.

“Reflecting on the Neighborhood Partners Program, we are deeply humbled by the progress this past season. We excitedly welcome the rapidly growing interest and celebrate NPP’s demonstrable impact across the region,” she said.

“As we approach the program’s tenth anniversary next year — a milestone we hope will be the first of many — we remain dedicated to championing equity for those who need it most. NPP exemplifies an achievable roadmap for creating more inclusive and equitable communities.”