New Jersey may be famous for musical exports like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, but there are plenty more creative minds at work in the Garden State. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation helps foster those musicians by donating primarily to New Jersey-based arts programs. Founded in 1974, the Morristown, NJ, foundation focuses on donating to organizations in order to strengthen the community and maintains a specific interest in funding arts education programs in local schools. Since its formation, the foundation has given over $400 million to nonprofits.
Grants range anywhere from $10,000 for burgeoning organizations to $125,000 for larger ones, often for operating costs and education programs. Recent recipients include New Jersey-based symphonies, musical theatre companies, and music education programs all across the state (See Geraldine R. Dodge: Grants for College Performing Arts).
If your organization is either based in New Jersey or contributes significantly to its local arts community, review their grant guidelines to familiarize yourself with the application process. From there you'll need to submit a Letter of Inquiry, which can be done online by signing up for an account with the foundation. If your organization is invited to submit a proposal, you will be notified with instructions regarding submitting online.
Proposals are reviewed year-round, but are due no later than one month prior to the corresponding proposal submission deadline. Over 100 proposals are reviewed quarterly. Keep in mind the foundation does not fund capital projects, equipment purchases and endowment funds. But there's still plenty of opportunity for a wide variety of programs dedicated to strenthening the local community through music and more.
And don't forget, you're not in this alone! The foundation also offers multiple avenues of support for its grantees, including workshops on how to build and maintain their board and how to develop their communication strategies. Further, the board offers access to legal and financial consultations. You can also search the foundation's user-friendly database to find previous grant recipients, connect with fellow grantees, search by keyword and more.
If you need a little bit of inspiration, be sure to check out their stories archive, filled with success stories, both big and small, and for more ideas on the kinds of programs the foundation funds.