Nonprofit Sector

Focus on Newark

Newark Resilience Initiative

The Need

Persistent and growing demand for social services

Our Response

Capital and know-how to adapt

Unified Vailsburg Services Organization meets the ever-changing needs of underserved children, individuals, and families. The Newark Museum promotes art and science with “the power to educate, inspire and transform individuals of all ages.” The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice aims to topple walls of structural inequality. Leadership Newark builds community and civic leaders. GNEC provides financial assistance and training to small businesses. 

Home for these diverse nonprofits and many more is New Jersey’s largest city. An industrial and shipping core, Newark hosts one of the metropolitan New York City area’s three major airports as well as numerous cultural and sports venues. But it also faces many persistent and complex challenges in, for example, poverty, crime, and education – with corresponding demands on the city’s nonprofits.

Despite the US economic recovery, nonprofits still struggle to survive, grow, and innovate. In NFF’s most recent State of the Sector Survey, 86 percent of US nonprofits reported increased demand for services, and more than half said they couldn't meet that demand. When NFF conducted a special survey among Newark nonprofits, an even starker version of the national picture emerged, with fragile financial foundations reported by organizations providing human services, education, workforce development, arts and culture, and other crucial programs. Almost two-thirds of Newark nonprofits said they ended 2015 at breakeven or with a deficit, and 62 percent said they had three months of cash or less.

In November 2016, NFF and Prudential Financial announced an initiative to help 15 Newark nonprofits advance their missions through a unique combination of financing and leadership capacity-building. During the summer of 2016, the Newark Resilience Initiative (NRI) provided financial-skills building clinics to the leaders of 30 Newark-based nonprofits. Next, 15 of those nonprofits, selected through a competitive application process, began a yearlong journey of customized consulting to help their leaders plan and problem-solve for the future. The 15 also applied for and received flexible capital grants, from a $1.5 million pool provided by Prudential, to help enact their plans, drawing on what they learned from the consulting work. 

The 15 NRI Phase 2 participating nonprofits are:
ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey
Boys & Girls Club of Newark
BRICK Academy and South Ward Children's Alliance
La Casa de Don Pedro
Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation
Leadership Newark
Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District
Newark Arts
Newark Museum
The Newark Public Library
Newark Symphony Hall
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
Unified Vailsburg Services Organization (UVSO)
Urban League of Essex County

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