(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) has announced the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awarded 54 grants to nonprofit organizations, with 15 made to arts agencies providing arts programs and services in Bergen County, New Jersey. The arts agencies were supported for their work to build community engagement in a time of isolation and to provide services to vulnerable populations such as artists experiencing loss of income resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The NNJCF, a not-for-profit organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses on civic engagement, education, the environment, public health, philanthropy and the arts.
The NNJCF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awarded grants totaling nearly $240,000 to vetted nonprofits encountering increased demand for services and supplies in Bergen County's communities. The average grant was $4,300, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Grants were awarded to these arts nonprofit organizations: Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Art Center of Northern New Jersey, Art School at Old Church, Inc., ArtWorks-The Naomi Cohain Foundation, Inc., Bella Music Foundation, Inc., Bergen Performing Arts Center, CavanKerry Press, Ltd., Center for Modern Dance Education, Orpheus Club Men's Chorus, Pro Arte Chorale, Inc., Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, Skyline Theatre Company, Teaneck International Film Festival, The Black Box Performing Arts Center, Inc., The Company Theatre Group, Inc.
"The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation is grateful for the support of a network of funders who recognized we are ideally positioned to distribute grants to help nonprofits serving our neighbors experiencing hardships during this pandemic. Their support enables us to carry out the Foundation's mission and foster collaboration among local agencies and our partners to build stronger communities in the region," said Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
The NNJCF collaborated with The Community Chest, a nonprofit serving eastern Bergen County, to maximize the impact of limited resources throughout the area. Support for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Russell Berrie Foundation, NEC Financial Services via the NEC Foundation of America, Visions Federal Credit Union, individuals and other donors.
Nonprofit organizations working at the grassroots level continue to face difficult choices about whom to serve and how. Children, families, and seniors face increased struggles with reduced or lost income, food and housing insecurity, health expenses and childcare needs. Social distancing is causing increased isolation and loneliness among community members.
As the demand for services continues, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announces the expansion of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund with a donation from Arnold Ventures. "Arnold Ventures' generous pledge of $100,000 in matching funds enables us to expand the program in Bergen County and into Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union Counties to support local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving communities and neighbors in need. The Fund will also support nonprofit arts organizations and those providing arts programs and services in the region to build community engagement in a time of isolation. With the public's support, we can meet the required match dollar for dollar," said Shannon.
The second round of funding opens to 501(c)3 nonprofits that have not already applied to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. They must provide services or resources to meet the emergency needs of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union Counties. Applications will be announced and available on the organization's website at the end of June.
The public is invited to donate to the Fund. Individuals, businesses, and organizations may find additional information and contribute to the NNJCF's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. Contributions may also be sent by check made out to 'The Northern NJ Community Foundation', with 'COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund' entered in the memo line, to: the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601. Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law.
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, the environment, public health, philanthropy and the arts. NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.