It is incomprehensible that my message in last month’s newsletter was full of so much promise and excitement. We welcomed a new class of trustees that brought skills that would help CNJG move to the next level of relevancy for the field. Our affinity group co-chairs were committed to advancing the conversation and mindset of the organization to work more intentionally with an equity lens through programs and discourse. The Spring Colloquium was to set a tone for the future of work in our communities.
And within a month we were faced with the Coronavirus, an invincible enemy that would bring our leadership in the public and private sector, local and globally, to its knees.
Unlike any past adversities in our lifetime, COVID-19 has forced us to recognize a vulnerability that we have never experienced requiring the philanthropic community to study, reflect and possibly take action outside of our traditional approach to past disasters.
The CNJG team, recognizing that this is a time for extraordinary action by the philanthropic community, will be laser focused on the following:
Our overall game plan is to provide a wide range of programs and services to help inform funders’ decision-making; help funders understand what is happening on the ground and in communities; to connect and encourage funders to communicate often with one another – including sharing information, news and what you are doing; and working with a number of partners to advocate for policies that move forward funders and nonprofits work to address the coronavirus crisis.
To that end, we have developed a special one-stop web area on the CNJG site for funders. The page includes links to webinars, members actions, government resources, resources from philanthropy-serving organizations, articles of interest, and other resources. We are constantly curating information and adding to this page, so please check back often.
We have created COVID-19 Funders listserve so you can share information quickly. I encourage you to use the listserve to share your news, questions, and more. If you are not yet a subscriber, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list.
We’re also hosting a COVID-19 Funders Briefing series beginning at 4:10 pm on Monday afternoons. Our first one heard from Keith Adams, NJ VOAD. And we have a Tuesday morning Newark Philanthropic COVID-19 Response series at 11:00. We encourage you to revisit webinar 1, webinar 2, and webinar 3.
And finally, we encourage you to sign on to the “Call to Action” pledge presented by the Council of Foundation and designed to free philanthropy to move quickly and nimbly to support our grantee partners and other stakeholders in a manner that would be impactful and equitable.
While we venture into new territory what we know for sure is that this will not be a sprint but a marathon.
The CNJG team is here to serve you in that journey. We are in this together.
Be well and stay safe,
Maria Vizcarrondo, President and CEO
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers