2018-09-12 / Columns

Small grants can lead to innovative programs benefiting the community

Executive Director, Jewish Community Foundation

Since the late 1990s, the JCF has awarded biannual grants to local Jewish and other charities and synagogues for new and innovative programming, totaling nearly $2-million. While each grant may be a comparatively modest amount, with funding available up to $3,600, recipient organizations have had some tremendous success in developing wonderful new and innovative initiatives benefiting the broader community.

For example, a few of the recent successes that were funded all or in part by JCF grants include a new kiln for the JFCS TOPS program, a rabbinical intern at Lions Gate for this past summer, and Kellman Brown Academy’s “Names Not Numbers” documentaries. Please check out http://www.jcfblog.org to read about each of these JCF-funded programs, and other recipients from years past, as they each have a meaningful story to tell.

While the JCF Board and our volunteer Grants Committee members enjoy seeing these success stories provide a positive impact on the community, it was recently decided that this is the year to expand this “area of impact” which Federation is asking for participation.

With that as a backdrop, the JCF is excited to announce the first “Super Grant” cycle that kicks off this fall. Launching separately from our regular Fall Grants Cycle, the JCF will provide one $10,000 award to fund a new and innovative program designed to benefit the SNJ Jewish community in a big way.

This Super Grant differs from our Fall and Spring Grants Cycles in other ways, including:

First and foremost, this award must be a collaborative effort between two or more organizations.

Second, the beneficiaries of the new and innovative programming should be primarily the Jewish community, especially since it’s being funded by a variety of funding resources, some of which contain this restriction.

Third, this award is scheduled to be offered every other year.

And last, the application process consists of two parts—a Letter of Intent, which consists of a brief overview of what the funding would be used for, and, if approved, submission of a full application.

The JCF’s Grants Committee, which is co-chaired by Andi Levin and Scott Seligman, purposefully designed this award to have some flexible parameters, in order to spur creativity and see what needs are surfacing in our Jewish community, with the goal of addressing them more aggressively. Further, the applications themselves will be informative as to the needs of the community that are currently under-resourced.

If you’re interested in applying for a Super Grant, please note the following dates: Thursday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to submit a Letter of Intent; then, if approved, final applications are due Friday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. Learn more at jcfsj.org/super-grant.

To apply for Fall Grants, the deadline is Friday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. Learn more at jcfsnj.org/grants.

Looking back, we at the JCF are thrilled with the results of our Fall and Spring Grants over the past years, but we also look forward to making an even bigger impact with our first Super Grant over the forthcoming year.

From the Board and staff of the JCF, we wish you a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year.


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