The Community Foundation of South Jersey is excited to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to seed community endowments throughout the six Transform South Jersey (TSJ) communities. This investment will foster a long-term focus on asset and leadership development in the South Jersey region, by offering a $50,000 match challenge to each TSJ community.
The community endowed fund, paired with the completion of a Heart & Soul plan—another component of Transform South Jersey—will enhance the quality of life in each partner community by focusing on the opportunities and needs articulated by engaged neighbors of diverse ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, occupations, races, and cultural traditions. The significance of this investment from RWJF means each community will have double the assets and signals a cosigning of community philanthropy, democratizing philanthropy, and community leadership that CFSJ supports.
With support from CFSJ, six Transform South Jersey towns—Downe Township, Hammonton, Salem, Willingboro, Winslow Township, and Woodbury—will receive up to $50,000 each provided they meet the challenge of matching the investment dollar-for-dollar. Each of the endowed community funds will have three years to raise the match contributions. This limited period is intended to provide enough time for success and secure community leaders’ ongoing commitment, creating a sense of urgency without a sense of panic.
“The generosity that RWJF is showing Downe and the whole TSJ initiative is heart-warming. Contributions and efforts like this, in places like Downe, really help make a big difference. It’s exciting,” said Jamie Warner, Downe Township project coordinator.
CFSJ’s Transform South Jersey creates sustainable social change led by neighbors with local resources and local knowledge. Transform South Jersey amplifies the voice of neighbors and community philanthropists—those who invest time, talent, or treasure. CFSJ is in a position to harness this investment by identifying, auditioning, and developing local leaders and stewarding financial capital through the creation of community endowment funds, grown and advised by local residents to support the most important work in local communities. The nurturing of a community’s endowment contributes to building a community’s capacity to make better decisions about—and act on—its future.