Haddonfield, NJ- September 8, 2020: The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) is pleased to announce that it has received a $100,000 grant from the PSEG Foundation to support Transform South Jersey, an initiative designed to aid small cities and towns in the eight southern New Jersey counties to increase social cohesion and build community capital using the Orton Family Foundation’s resident-driven community planning and development process.
Nearly 100 communities nationwide have used the Heart & Soul model to engage residents in shaping their community’s future.
This includes six South Jersey towns that were selected to become the first Heart & Soul Communities in New Jersey as a part of Transform South Jersey. After undergoing a rigorous application and review process the Town of Hammonton (Atlantic County), Willingboro Township (Burlington County), Winslow Township (Camden County), Downe Township (Cumberland County), Woodbury City (Gloucester County), and Salem City (Salem County), were selected from a potential pool of over 190 eligible cities and towns with a population of 50,000 or less.
A collaboration between CFSJ and other local and national funding partners including the PSEG Foundation, Transform South Jersey consists of three program elements: implementation of the Heart & Soul model in each individual community, the establishment of their own endowed community fund, and the creation of a regional community of practice, the Transform South Jersey Network, where all six communities will come together to explore opportunities and address issues unique to South Jersey.
“Community Heart & Soul is a local engagement process that reconnects people with what they love most about their town and translates those personal and emotional connections into a blueprint that serves as the foundation for future community decisions,” said Andy Fraizer, CFSJ Executive Director. “It is an approach to community engagement, planning, and development designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each location.”
“We are grateful the PSEG Foundation supported this work and joined our funder collaborative,” Fraizer continued. “We believe that the strength of every community lies in the hands and the hearts of the people who live there and is the common cause that they will rally around.”
“PSEG has worked tirelessly to develop and maintain extraordinary relationships with the communities we serve and giving back to these locations where we live and work is a fundamental part of the company’s culture and mission,” said Rick Thigpen, PSEG’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Citizenship and Chair of the PSEG Foundation. “The Foundation is pleased to work with CFSJ by bringing our resources to the table to help the Transform South Jersey communities strengthen their social, cultural and economic vibrancy, and define their individual futures based on what matters most to them.”
To learn more about the selected communities and their progress as they embark on this work, visit transformsouthjersey.org.
Community Foundation of South Jersey
The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give.
The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region.
CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.
By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all.
Currently, CFSJ manages assets of $22 million in donor-advised funds. Along with its fund-holders, CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships.
Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.