“New Jersey is a microcosm of the nation, though because of our diversity, wherever the country is going, we’ll get there first.”
– Cliff Zukin, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Funding Exchange is excited to help harness the power of New Jersey’s resources – its community organizers, donors, voters, and leaders – through the organization of a giving community to support progressive social justice work happening in the great Garden State.
The New Jersey giving circle will help with local projects; and funds could be used to build capacity of grassroots social justice organizations across the state. Using a collaborative model of cross-class and cross-race decision-making, the circle will learn, share, strategize, and make grants, collectively. Through this circle, New Jersey stakeholders can gather across sector, geography, and interest in supporting social justice work in the state. This circle can also ensure that national movements are being informed by effective, New Jersey-influenced solutions.
Typically, New Jersey residents who donate their money to New York, Philadelphia, or nationally-based organizations see very little of that money spent in New Jersey. This leaves progressive organizations, grassroots activists, and people in the state in need of support. New Jersey is the second wealthiest state in the country, yet it is home to some of the nation’s poorest cities: Camden, Newark, Trenton, Paterson, and Elizabeth. It boasts a majority of unaffiliated voters at the same time that it has a growing undocumented immigrant population, people with no formal representation on either side of the aisle. Infrastructure for progressive work in New Jersey is lacking. We hope this circle will increase funding for progressive social justice work so that when “[New Jersey] gets there first,” it’s a place where equality and justice reign.