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South Jersey Initiatives

We are South Jersey’s community foundation, and our community is the southern eight counties of New Jersey. We are based here, we live here, and we are dedicated to having a deep understanding of the region’s most complex challenges and extraordinary opportunities.  Through partnerships with givers, community leaders, and nonprofits, CFSJ identifies and advances collective actions and projects to improve the quality of life in the region. Our current initiatives are listed below.

South Jersey Aging Innovation Fund

In December 2015, the Cascade Corporation established the South Jersey Aging Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) to influence solutions that improve the wellness and quality of life of older adults. Although they exited the senior living market in Cape May County, the Cascade Corporation is committed to giving back to the community they served. Over the next three years, the fund will invest over $450,000 in creative solutions for older adults.

Camden Food Innovation Fund

The Camden Food Innovation Grant Fund was created in 2014 to seed innovative projects that create economic opportunity and foster healthy eating habits in Camden City.  The Fund addresses the findings from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s food system planning efforts and the Campbell Healthy Communities program which indicate that Camden City faces a number of challenges regarding access to healthy food for local families.  The primary goal of this grant fund is to provide funding for an innovative food access solution.  Solutions can be big or small, ranging from policy changes, to establishing new businesses, to convening stakeholders.

The Camden Food Innovation Fund is currently made possible our partnership with the Campbell Healthy Communities program, Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation, and the TD Charitable Foundation.  CFSJ convenes the partnership and manages the fund’s grantmaking strategy to support innovative approaches that support a healthy food economy in Camden City.

The Camden Food Innovation Grant will support requests that:

  • Identify and address specific policy reforms required to increase access to healthy foods and/or create jobs within the healthy food system. (Policy)
  • Research the feasibility to increase access to healthy foods or create jobs within the healthy food system. (Research)
  • Demonstrate new approaches that significantly advance access to healthy foods or create jobs within the healthy food system. (Pilot)
  • Combine policy, research, and pilot projects to maximize and create long-lasting impacts.

Priority will be given to proposals that incorporate innovation, social entrepreneurship, and/or revenue generation.

Our Partners: Campbell Soup Healthy Communities Program, TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo Regional CDC

For more information please download the [2016 Camden Food Innovation RFP].

Social Equity and Inclusion in South Jersey

As part of our efforts to assist givers in improving the quality of life in South Jersey, we are commissioning the South Jersey Equity and Opportunity Assessment Study to identify and analyze issues of equity, access, and opportunity within the southern eight counties of New Jersey. Once completed we will consider how these findings may inform the Foundation’s work within the region and in particular with givers in the region. This process is designed to encompass multiple segments of our region including but not limited to the public, private, and nonprofits sectors, higher education, healthcare and residents.

The goals of the assessment are to be:

  • Increase understanding of how different key systems and services embrace equity in access;
  • Examine existing studies and analyses that add value to the equity and opportunity conversation;
  • Investigate beyond the typical resources to capture additional and supportive information relevant to the project; and
  • Identify key equity and opportunities and issues within each county; shared by various counties, and across the region.

For the purpose of this assessment, “social equity” is defined as just and fair inclusion and treatment such that all can participate and prosper in our region and society as a whole.  “Opportunity” is defined as conditions that place individuals in a position to succeed. In other words, what opportunities exist and if realized what do they make possible and for whom?

Nonprofit Resilience Institute

Recognizing that strong nonprofit executive and board leadership is key for community improvement and sustainability, the Community Foundation of South Jersey and Campbell Soup Foundation are sponsoring the third Nonprofit Resilience Institute led by the  Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business. The Institute, made possible by Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation support, is a replication of Dodge Foundation’s Board Leadership Series.   It offers a dynamic, progressive series of learning experiences for teams of executive and senior staff and board members from nonprofits based in southern New Jersey.

A cohort of 10 nonprofits participate in the following integrated programming:

Four exclusive Board/Executive Director leadership development trainings that will crystalize your thinking on purposeful, impactful board service.
Peer Learning Circle: a monthly facilitated learning and support group for nonprofit executive directors (8 months).
A competitive grantmaking process to receive a Day of Clarity Board Retreat.
Our Partners: Campbell Soup Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, LaSalle Nonprofit Center