CNJG celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017 marked by extraordinary progress and service to members over this time. As the nexus for the philanthropic community in New Jersey, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers’ body of work grows more robust every year. This is clearly evident by the exponential growth in programs and services since CNJG was founded in 1987. However, this proliferation in programs and services does not reflect the full realm of CNJG's transformation over twenty years. CNJG has evolved to become a leader in the state, spearheading important and significant initiatives throughout our history.
These programs, services and leadership initiatives elevate, not only our members’ work and practice, but also grantmakers throughout New Jersey, and even beyond. CNJG's success stems from its ability to broker partnerships and alliances to solve problems, leverage shared resources, and forge sustainable solutions to bring about long-term change. During its 20 years, CNJG has grown to become a valuable, highly relevant leadership organization serving a diverse range of funders. View our CNJG Through the Years pictorial. CNJG thanks our members and partners for your ongoing support and leadership that has propelled us through the last 20 years. We look forward to the next twenty!
Philanthropy has played a vital role in Newark for decades. In 2007, in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor, CNJG hired the city’s first liaison – modeled after a similar position in the State of Michigan – to harness interest, foster greater effectiveness and attract resources toward policy and programmatic areas that affect Newark’s residents. In the years since, the Council’s Newark Philanthropic Liaison has become a model for the country.
Superstorm Sandy officially came ashore in New Jersey on October 29, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. and its aftermath continues to be felt in communities throughout our state. Not 24 hours after the storm made landfall, CNJG began planning a series of actions to help inform funders what to be prepared for, share information and discuss strategies. CNJG's support of the philanthropic community as it navigates the shifting landscape of disaster recovery, continues.
Facing Our Future was a landmark initiative looking at the systemic, long term fiscal challenges facing all levels of government in New Jersey. It grew out of a 2010 briefing CNJG held for members that outlined how a Governor’s budget is annually crafted. CNJG leadership worked with members to convene a group of enthusiastic former government leaders. Their collective experience crossed party lines, and many of them had served multiple New Jersey governors. This Leadership Group included 4 former Attorney Generals, 3, former Commissioners, 2 former State Treasurers, a former Director of the State Senate and a former Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court, in addition to leading New Jersey researchers.
The Community Foundation of South Jersey formally launched in 2009 after two years of extensive planning through the efforts of CNJG and a number Council members. CFSJ is dedicated to the southernmost counties of New Jersey - Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem. These counties are exceptionally diverse, stretching from rural farm lands to pockets of densely populated and poor urban areas, juxtaposed against wealthy suburban communities. However, they share many of the same social problems – a challenging economy, unengaged youth, access to healthcare, as well as issues related to hunger, unemployment and housing. Realizing the need, Council members through the work of CNJG formed The Community Foundation of South Jersey. CNJG is extremely proud to have played a role in building the foundation to serve South Jersey for generations to come.
Held for the first time in 2008, CNJG's Spring Colloquium focuses on critical trends and issues affecting foundations and the people and communities they serve. Past discussions have featured Governor Tom Kean with US Editor for the Economist Matthew Bishop, writer David Borestein and philosopher Anthony Appiah, and Idealist.org founder Ami Dar with Cindy Rizzo of the Arcus Foundation.
CNJG's Conference for Grantmakers brings together staff and trustees of all types and sizes of foundations for a day of networking and focused sessions dealing with key aspects of grantmaking, leadership, and management and operations.