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New $500,000 Princeton Regional Chamber Fund to Benefit Central New Jersey Charities

(l-r) Elizabeth Wagner, Princeton Area Community Foundation; Pat Ryan, chair of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Hopewell Valley Community Bank; Kristin Appelget, chair Community Development Committee at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and director of Community and Regional Affairs at Princeton University; Melissa Tenzer, president of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and president of CareersUSA; and Peter Crowley, CEO & president, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
(l-r) Elizabeth Wagner, Princeton Area Community Foundation; Pat Ryan, chair of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Hopewell Valley Community Bank; Kristin Appelget, chair Community Development Committee at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and director of Community and Regional Affairs at Princeton University; Melissa Tenzer, president of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and president of CareersUSA; and Peter Crowley, CEO & president, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce have created a $500,000 fund to support area nonprofits.

The Princeton Area Community Development Fund, established with a gift from the Chamber Foundation, will be overseen by the Princeton Area Community Foundation. The fund will benefit nonprofits located throughout the Chamber’s five-county footprint.

“This initiative supports the foundation’s mission to give back to the community in a direct and authentic way,” said Melissa Tenzer, president of the Chamber Foundation and Princeton-based CareersUSA. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Chamber and the Community Foundation to provide grants that will go directly to support local not-for-profit organizations.”

The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation is an independent nonprofit. The foundation sold its major asset, the former Princeton Chamber headquarters on Vandeventer Avenue, in early 2012.  The Chamber subsequently moved to its new headquarters to 182 Nassau Street. The Chamber Foundation established the new community development fund with proceeds from the sale.

“With this investment in our local nonprofit sector, the Princeton Regional Chamber Foundation and Board are making an important statement, and a real difference,” said Nancy Kieling, president of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. “Nonprofits account for 10 percent of America’s workforce, and play a vital role in supporting our community’s social, cultural, and economic well-being. The Community Foundation exists to promote generosity and connection in our region, and it’s a wonderful day for us when we can help businesses and nonprofits collaborate for the greater good.”

A committee has been established within the chamber to work with the Community Foundation to distribute the grants.  Kristin Appelget, director of community and regional affairs at Princeton University and former president of the chamber and the foundation, will be the inaugural chair of the committee.

“More than 10 percent of our members are not-for-profit organizations and we want to support them in a genuine way,” said Peter Crowley, president and CEO of the chamber. “We believe that support for a vibrant nonprofit community is one of the keys to a healthy overall regional economy.”

The money will be distributed through an application process overseen by the Community Foundation.  The first gifts are slated to be distributed by the end of this calendar year.

“As the champion for business in our region, the Princeton Regional Chamber, in partnership with the Chamber Foundation and the Community Foundation, is taking a leadership role in providing financial resources to our not-for-profit community with this first-of-its-kind partnership,” said Patrick Ryan, chair of the chamber and the Princeton Regional Chamber Foundation. “I hope this initiative provides the stimulus for others to follow the chamber’s example and reach out and support our not-for-profit community.”

For more information, visit, www.princetonchamberfoundation.org. 

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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