NextGen Giving Circle awards four nonprofits $22,500 in grants

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Members of the NextGen Giving Circle and staff of Henry J. Austin Health Center, a 2018 NextGen Giving Circle grant recipient.

Four nonprofit organizations received an added financial boost to each of their respective missions after accepting a grant from the NextGen Giving Circle. The grants totaled $22,500.

The NextGen Giving Circle is part of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, which promotes philanthropy across Mercer County and central New Jersey. NextGen was created to help millennials learn about philanthropy and nonprofits throughout the region.

“We started the discussion in February about the group’s giving priorities for the year. We then get proposals from nonprofits that are in line with the giving priorities,” said Jeremy Perlman, creator of NextGen Giving Circle. “There were roughly 10 nonprofits we looked at and we narrowed down the list to four.”

He said the giving priorities for 2019 included food insecurity, nutrition, transportation issues in Trenton and surrounding communities, and sexual education and health.

The four nonprofits which received a grant were Rise in Hightstown; LifeTies based in Ewing Township; Farmers Against Hunger in Delran Township; and the Boys and Girls Club in Trenton.

“I feel great about the organizations we selected. I think they are great organizations doing tremendous work in the community,” Perlman said. “They had creative ideas for programming that aligned with our priorities. I am excited to see what they do with the money and what type of results they get.”

Rise assists families and individuals who are recovering from financial setbacks.

The organization was awarded a $10,000 grant to buy a used, well-maintained refrigerated truck to help increase the quality and quantity of healthy foods that are offered through its food pantry. According to Rise, the truck will allow the agency to transport a total of 4,284 bags of healthy food to 496 families.

LifeTies helps children, young adults and their families through nurturing wellness and self-sufficiency. The organization received a $5,000 grant. LifeTies officials said they will use the grant for safety improvements in the organization’s two group homes.

Farmers Against Hunger helps farmers throughout New Jersey distribute extra or leftover produce to individuals in need.

The organization received a $5,000 grant to help refurbish a cooler at the agency’s new headquarters, which will allow the nonprofit to quadruple its cold storage space and to distribute more produce to individuals in need.

The Boys and Girls Club’s mission is to help all youths reach their full potential.

The organization was awarded a $2,500 grant to purchase new equipment and supplies, such as plants, seeds and containers for its new garden and outdoor education center, and to help pay for additional maintenance costs in the new facility.

NextGen’s grant total in 2019 surpassed the $20,000 that was awarded in 2018.

“When you look at the giving number from one year to the next, there is growth. If you look at our actual number of donors we actually grew by 50% in terms of the number of participating members,” Perlman said. “Overall, we are happy with the trajectory of adding new members.”

Perlman made it a point to get younger people involved with the NextGen Giving Circle, which to date has 26 millennial donors.

“If you talk to a lot of nonprofit executives and board members, they are looking to get millennials and the next generation involved in organizations,” he said. “I think you see millennials who also want to get involved and give, but do not know how.

“This is a direct way for millennials to give their dollars and learn over time about the nonprofits in the community. They can figure out which organizations they want to spend more time with. I definitely think this was a need,” he said.

For more information about the NextGen Giving Circle, contact Diana Leighton at 609-219-1800, ext. 13 or [email protected]