New Jersey Recovery Fund Awards $3.8 Million for Sandy Relief

The New Jersey Recovery Fund has announced grants totaling $3.8 million to New Jersey nonprofits in support of recovery efforts in areas of the state devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

Created with a lead gift from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and hosted by the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the fund is a collaborative effort of local and national foundations, New Jersey-based corporations, and individuals committed to supporting local nonprofit organizations working in communities affected by the October storm. The grants announced in this funding round were focused in three broad categories: planning and public policies that promote community resilience and environmental protection; engaging and informing the public about recovery decisions; and using the arts to foster individual and community healing and revitalization in affected communities.

Roughly two-thirds of the grant dollars (nearly $2.6 million) was awarded in the category of Planning and the Environment, including a combined $1.1 million to New Jersey Future and Sustainable Jersey to provide local recovery managers to hard-hit communities that lack the personnel and capacity for recovery planning and statewide coordinators to assist multiple communities with long-term resiliency planning and to foster collaboration and partnership efforts between municipalities.

Grants awarded in the category of Public Information and Engagement include a total of $750,000 to thirteen media organizations, including New Jersey Public Radio and NJ Spotlight for a collaborative project entitled "Rebuilding After Sandy," a year-long effort to chronicle and support the recovery process; and WHYY, the Citizens Campaign, Creative NJ, Sustainable Jersey, and Jersey Shore Hurricane News in support of a collaborative effort to conduct community forums through which citizens can identify problems and discuss community-based solutions, provide citizen journalism training, and foster ongoing civic participation.

And in the category of Community-Driven/Participatory Arts Projects, six organizations received a total of $431,000. They include Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, which, working with schools and communities in affected areas, will use the funds to provide instruction in poetry, prose, playwriting, and other arts programming to help with the healing and recovery process.

"We have both the opportunity and the responsibility following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy to not only help communities heal but make sure they are less vulnerable in future storms," said Dodge Foundation president and CEO Chris Daggett. "The New Jersey Recovery Fund brings some of the strongest nonprofits in our state together to offer plans for sustainable rebuilding, provide outlets for communities to engage in decision making, and support local arts projects that help communities heal."

For a complete list of Recovery Fund grants, visit the Geraldine R. Dodge Web site.