Princeton Area Community Foundation and Burke Foundation award more than $600,000 to local nonprofits

The Princeton Area Community Foundation, in partnership with the Burke Foundation, has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to 16 local nonprofit organizations that are working to address critical needs in communities in the greater Mercer County area.

Nonprofits received grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 through the Princeton Area Community Foundation Community Impact Grants and the Burke Foundation Legacy Grants program.

Nonprofits based in Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, Lawrenceville, Princeton, Trenton and Bordentown received grants. Some of the organizations provide services countywide.

The grants include support for specific programs, as well as support for operations in order to help nonprofits strengthen their capacity to serve their clients. Operating grants were awarded to Artworks, the Passage Theatre, the New Jersey Agricultural Society, Womanspace, Better Beginnings Child Development Center, PEI Kids, and the Trenton Circus Squad.

“Through our collaboration with The Burke Foundation, we increased the pool of funds available to award to nonprofits serving our communities,” said Jeffrey Vega, President and CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. “We know the needs in our community are significant. We received 64 requests for funding. We hope to foster more of these partnerships in the future so we can help support even more programs.”

2020 Awards

Arts Education

Artworks Trenton, $25,000 – The agency works to connect community, culture, and creativity through the arts.

Passage Theatre Company, $50,000 – The Trenton-based theatre company creates and produces socially relevant new plays and arts programming that reflects the community.

Behavioral Health

Trinity Counseling Services, $50,000 – The Princeton-based organization is receiving funding for its childhood intervention initiative, which provides mental health counseling and support services to students and their families. Students who participate attend the Princeton Nursery School, and the Princeton, Cranbury, and West Windsor-Plainsboro public schools, and are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.

Career Development and Literacy Programs

Lawrenceville Job-Training Partnership, $10,000 – The organization’s CookWell program seeks to increase employment prospects and reduce recidivism rates by providing culinary job training to people who have recently been released from prison. Its partners are Arm In Arm, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Mercer County Community College, the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, and local restaurants.

Community and Economic Development

Greater Trenton, $50,000 – The nonprofit is a citizen and business-led organization that works to advance economic development and revitalization projects, especially in downtown Trenton. The agency works with private, public and nonprofit entities throughout the region.

Community Development and Education

Thomas Edison State University Foundation, $47,500 – The Trenton-based institution runs the New Jersey Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Institute and Mentoring Program, a 10-year evidence-based professional development program that works to improve teachers’ interaction with and instruction of English Language Learners. It works to transform educators’ thinking and practices so students can succeed academically and develop strong cultural identities.

Food Insecurity

Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, $40,000 – The Ewing-based organization offers a subsidized meal program that serves homebound participants who live at or near the federal poverty level and cannot afford the traditional Meals on Wheels fees. No one is turned away, and there is no waiting list for services.

New Jersey Agricultural Society, $30,000 – The Bordentown-based organization works to preserve and enhance agriculture, farming, and related activities. Its Farmers Against Hunger program collects 1.4 million pounds of fresh produce each year and distributes it to local hunger relief organizations.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

VolunteerConnect, $50,000 – The nonprofit partners with nonprofits, businesses, and individuals to help develop more effective nonprofit boards, recruit skilled volunteers to assist nonprofits with projects and provide workshops for nonprofit leaders.

Social, Health and Homelessness Services

Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County, $25,000 – The Hamilton-based organization runs the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program that trains volunteers to help homebound, elderly residents and people with disabilities with everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping. Last year, volunteers provided more than 22,000 hours of service to 433 adults. About 60% of those served were at least 80 years old.

Womanspace, $50,000 – The Lawrence-based nonprofit works to prevent abuse, protect families and change lives through empowerment and by providing a safety net of supportive services.

Youth Development         

Better Beginnings Child Development Center, $25,000 – The Hightstown-based organization provides affordable childcare for youngsters, allowing their parents to work or attend full-time training or educational programs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County, $42,270 – The Trenton-based organization will expand its site-based mentoring programs that pair Hightstown High School student-mentors with children from local elementary schools.

Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, $50,000 – The organization’s read for success program will provide 550 students ages 3-11 with a highly structured, computer-based reading and tutoring program. The Trenton school district has agreed to provide access to the program for city students.

Prevention Education Inc. (PEI Kids), $36,500 – The Lawrence organization works with children, families, and caregivers to provide prevention, intervention, and advocacy programs relating to personal safety, sexual abuse, and the overall well-being of the child.

Trenton Circus Squad, $50,000 – The nonprofit works to inspire and develop the life skills of young people from Trenton and the surrounding suburbs through the practice of circus arts. Students learn how to cooperate, push themselves and serve their communities.