What the Gannett Foundation is Doing for Nonprofits in New Jersey



The Gannett Foundation is a corporate funder sponsored by Gannett Co. Inc., a media company that dates back to 1906 and expanded to oversee multiple newspapers across the Northeastern U.S. Although Gannett is now based in McLean, Virginia, its grantmaking foundation is still largely focused on the Northeastern region of the country, including places like North Jersey.

In fact, the Gannett Foundation recently committed $37,000 to North Jersey nonprofits to support 11 organizations here. These fortunate 11 were picked from over 100 applicants, and all of the new grants were between $1,000 and $5,000 each. The North Jersey Media Group, which is part of Gannett Co., participated in the Gannett Foundation’s grant program for the second year in a row. New local grantees in North Jersey include the Sean Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund in Waldwick, Center for Food Action in Englewood, Children’s Day Nursery and Family Center in Passaic, and Family Promise of Bergen County in Ridgewood.

"There's so many worthy causes and there's so many worthy applicants that we reviewed, but we settled on this group here, and you should all be immensely proud of that," said Dan Sforza, news director for NorthJersey.com.

In New Jersey, the Gannett Foundation focuses on the following communities: Asbury Park, Bergen/Passaic, Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, East Brunswick, Parsippany/Morristown and Vineland. As a company, Gannett has New Jersey media companies based in Neptune, Woodland Park, Somerville, Cherry Hill, Parsippany and Vineland. Looking beyond to the greater Tri-State Area, Gannett also has a presence (and a grantmaking interest) in the New York communities of Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Poughkeepsie, Rochester and White Plains. Past New York grantees include the Robin Hood Foundation, Syracuse University and Smile Train.

Gannett accepts unsolicited applications from nonprofits in these cities during designated times of the year. Local nonprofits can learn about other types of organizations that Gannett typically supports by examining the funder’s recent tax records.

In the past, this funder has given grants totaling around $4.5 million per year to food banks, emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, services for the elderly and disabled, and other direct service efforts to help people in need. However, the Gannett Foundation changed its community grants program guidelines in early 2019 to focus on its “A Community Thrives” program for national projects and local operating grants. Through this program, local organizations in the communities served by Gannett Co., Inc. are eligible for operating support, and applications are available online via the funder’s website. We expect to hear news about the next selection of Gannett grantees after June 1.