The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization, was initiated in 1998 by a group of Rotarians led by Michael Shannon before becoming its own organization, the Englewood Community Foundation. The Foundation gradually expanded its geographical reach to Bergen County and the surrounding region and in 2011 was renamed the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. The mission of this regional resource is to improve community life through its work in education, public health, the arts, the environment, civic engagement, and philanthropy. Central to its success is fostering collaboration among local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profits, and community groups.
With its partners, the NNJCF identifies and addresses critical community issues by talking and learning together, sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources. By promoting collaboration, the Foundation catalyzes the public’s creative power to think, design, and accomplish regional goals. Together, we are building stronger communities in Northern New Jersey by answering the question: What can we do together that we can’t do alone?
Community Foundations work in ways that are especially beneficial to the cities, counties, regions, or states, they serve. They are independent, public entities operating as neutral, third-party catalysts in towns, regions, or states. They act strategically to strengthen communities and the philanthropic sector. These activities include convening lay and professional groups to identify and resolve shared problems, grantmaking to support local non-profits, and donor services to promote and facilitate philanthropy. They are community sustainers and community builders. In a time of rising social needs and diminishing government support, community foundations rank among the nation’s fastest growing means of targeting and delivering effective social interventions and philanthropic assistance.
What We Do
The mission of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) is to improve community life through its work in education, public health, civic engagement, the arts, philanthropy, and the environment. Central to its success is fostering collaboration among local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profits, and citizen groups. Our partners are building stronger communities in Northern New Jersey by answering the question, “What can we do together that we can’t do alone?”
According to the Council on Foundations, a national alliance of leading philanthropic organizations, community foundations:
Create a better future for all.
A community foundation’s constituency is the entire community. Every issue and cause embraced has some connection to the greater good, while being mindful of how race, class, culture and power influence and affect decisions.
Act as Community partners.
They work in concert with other community members taking the lead, following, or paving the way for new leaders.
Pursue Opportunities and Address the Challenges
Community foundations can be counted on to pursue the things that matter the most, despite challenges or difficulties.
Unite a community, institutions, and resources inclusively.
Community foundations conduct their business in the open ensuring broad participation. They are well-suited to assemble and leverage resources.
Produce significant results, widely shared and lasting results.
Community foundations look beyond quick fixes and innovative pilot projects. They have the staying power to reach long-term results.