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2023 CNJG Annual Meeting Wrap Up

2023 CNJG Annual Meeting Wrap Up

Friday, December 22, 2023

Thank you to all that attended CNJG’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Holiday Gathering - Philanthropic Collaboratives: Driving Impact and Opportunity on December 14.

Both our fireside chat speakers, Nidhi Sahni, Bridgespan, and Lucy Vandenberg, Schumann Fund for New Jersey, and pre-meeting workshop facilitators John Harper, Chirlie Felix, and Waheera Mardah from FSG, helped us to gain a better understanding of the nuance and benefits of collaboration. Please check out the program book, and you’ll find additional information on the Annual Meeting Resources page.

We elected two new Board trustees for their first 3-year term: Jasmyne Beckford, Prudential Foundation, and Paul DiLorenzo, Salem Health and Wellness Foundation, as well as re-electing several trustees for another term. We also said goodbye to 3 trustees rotating off, including 2023 Board Chair, Jeff Vega. Thank you, Jeff, for your leadership and commitment to CNJG. Following the annual meeting of members, the Board elected their officers for 2024: Craig Drinkard, Chair, (Victoria Foundation), Christine Healey, 1st Vice Chair, (The Healey Education Foundation), Justin Kiczek, 2nd Vice Chair, (F. M. Kirby Foundation), Maisha Simmons, Secretary, (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), and Catherine Wilson, Treasurer, (United Way Greater Newark). Congratulations!

Approved by the Board in October, we were thrilled to introduce CNJG’s first-ever policy agenda to the membership (see pages 9 – 11 of the program book). Among the policy agenda’s priorities are advancing racial equity and justice, a well-resourced nonprofit sector, civic engagement, and a healthy democracy.

 Also adopted at the October Board meeting, we shared the New Jersey Principles for Philanthropy, our equity principles, with the membership (see pages 12 – 15 of the program book). CNJG’s last revision of Guiding Beliefs and Principles was in 2007. These revised Principles use a developmental framework and understand that each organization has its own starting point. Next year we’ll create tools and resources to help members on their own equity journeys.

Both of these important items are included as part of our 2023 – 2025 Strategic Plan, unveiled to the membership at last year’s Annual Meeting. CNJG envisions a healthy, thriving, and civically engaged NJ where people of all places, racial identities, socio-economic backgrounds, abilities, and identity expressions are valued for their gifts and talents, and we all can reach our full potential and participate generously in the common good. Our mission supports and elevates New Jersey’s philanthropic community through shared learning, collaborative and trusting relationships, network building, and leadership.

We also highlighted the importance of committee participation to drive CNJG’s work. Committees focus on a specific function or assignment. Our committees include: Audit, Finance, Governance, Member Engagement, Policy, Racial Equity, Signature Programs, and Strategic Plan Implementation. Thank you to everyone that submitted a committee interest card. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please email me. This is an exciting time to be involved in committee work.

The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers thanks our Annual Meeting sponsors for their generous support: Signature Sponsor – Prudential; Collaborating Sponsor – Victoria Foundation; Contributing Sponsors – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Devils Youth Foundation; and Supporting Sponsors – Grunin Foundation, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Princeton Area Community Foundation, and WSFS Bank. Thank you also to NJM Insurance Group for an additional donation to support the event.

The CNJG offices will be closed from December 25, 2023 to January 1, 2024.

2023 was a terrific year – thank you to the Council membership for making it so. Our membership is truly an exceptional group of leaders that care deeply about the communities they serve, and their nonprofit partners. On behalf of the entire CNJG team, we wish you happy holidays and a joyful new year! We look forward to seeing you in 2024!

With Gratitude,

Theresa Jacks, President and CEO
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers