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Newark Liaison

Philanthropy has played a vital role in Newark for decades. In 2007, in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor, CNJG hired the city’s first liaison – modeled after a similar position in the State of Michigan – to harness interest, foster greater effectiveness and attract resources toward policy and programmatic areas that affect Newark’s residents. In the years since, the Council’s Newark Philanthropic Liaison has become a model for the country.

Newark is one of the only places in the country to designate someone on staff with the explicit role of engaging foundations for the funding of public projects.

Serving as the Newark Philanthropic Liaison since the beginning was Jeremy Johnson who recently stepped down to become Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council. During his tenure, the Office of the Newark Philanthropic Liaison helped broker over $50 million in private sector support of public-private initiatives to enrich the lives of Newark residents and their communities. On September 1, 2016 the Council welcomed Kevin Callaghan as the next Newark Philanthropic Liaison. Working with the Mayor’s administration, the Liaison Office will continue to convene, connect and leverage the resources of the state, regional and national philanthropic community for the benefit of Newark’s citizens.

A project of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, the Liaison is supported by Bank of America, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation, The Prudential Foundation, Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Turrell Fund, and Victoria Foundation.


Liaison News

Release Date:
August 17, 2016

The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG) and the City of Newark are pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Callaghan as the Council’s new Philanthropic Liaison to the City of Newark.

Release Date:
June 24, 2016

We are pleased to share Strengthening Philanthropy in Newark Report to the Field 2015 from the Office of the Newark Philanthropic Liaison. This report highlights a number of public-private partnerships guided by Liaison Jeremy Johnson.

Release Date:
September 21, 2015

When Ras J. Baraka won the mayoral election for New Jersey’s largest city last year, expectations were high. In the days leading up to, and following the election, the Council recognized an opportunity to work intensively with the incoming mayor. CNJG had previously established a nonpartisan, City Hall-based Newark Philanthropic Liaison office, in collaboration with then Mayor Cory Booker in 2007. Following the transition, Mayor Baraka and CNJG built exciting new bridges.

Release Date:
January 8, 2015

We are pleased to share Strengthening Philanthropy in Newark Report to the Field 2013 – 2014 from the Office of the Newark Philanthropic Liaison. This report highlights a number of public-private partnerships guided by Liaison Jeremy Johnson.

Release Date:
August 5, 2014

Newark’s 40th Mayor Ras J. Baraka (pictured, second from right) invited the Newark Funders Group to hear his vision for the city at special August meeting. Just 30 days into his term, the Mayor called on the Newark Philanthropic Liaison Jeremy Johnson (far left) to organize a convening with the Newark group, co-chaired by Etta Denk of Bank America (second from left) and Barbara Reisman of the Schumann Fund for New Jersey (third from left). Irene Cooper-Basch (far right), Chair of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and Executive Officer at the Victoria Foundation, introduced the Mayor to more than 50 grantmakers who attended the session at the PSEG headquarters in downtown Newark.

Release Date:
June 5, 2014

The Lumina Foundation has announced a second cohort of communities - including Newark, NJ - to participate in an initiative to increase the number of local residents who hold postsecondary credentials.

Release Date:
January 12, 2014

In the December issue of Governing magazine, a national trade publication, a featured article “But what did Cory Booker actually accomplish in Newark?” cites the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and Jeremy Johnson, the Newark Philanthropic Liaison, in connection with the public-private partnership to establish the Newark Office of Reentry.

Release Date:
July 9, 2011

The City of Newark and Newark Philanthropic Liaison are working closely with several consortia of nonprofits to address some of the City’s most critical challenges.

Release Date:
June 2, 2009

On a recent Saturday, the Jeremy Johnson, the Newark Philanthropic Liaison and over 150 arts lovers, historians, and community leaders gathered to reflect on the past, acknowledge the present, and imagine the future of the historic Newark Symphony Hall. The liaison shares his observations from the conference.

Release Date:
December 2, 2008

Through the office of the Newark Philanthropic Liaison, CNJG recently had the opportunity to convene a group of funders with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), a nonprofit that is working with the City of Newark to improve access to fresh, affordable foods for Newark residents.

Release Date:
September 9, 2008

Private donors including three CNJG members contributed $2 million in matching funds to a $5 million grant to support Newark residents returning to their homes and communities from prison over the next two years.

Release Date:
June 1, 2008

In 2001, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey and 10 private and corporate foundations agreed to collaborate on the multi-year Newark Lighthouse Initiative. The Initiative, led by two state nonprofit partners, the Association for Children of New Jersey and New Jersey Community Capital, had program and policy goals: to help three Newark-based early childhood programs move from good to exemplary, and to identify policy changes that would be necessary to enable other early-childhood programs to engage in similar efforts.

Release Date:
May 6, 2008

A $19 million landmark award that will strengthen Newark public charter schools, comprises grants from seven funders including four national family foundations -- the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, Robertson Foundation, and The Walton Foundation -- and three New Jersey funders -- the MCJ and Amelior Foundations, Prudential Foundation, and Victoria Foundation.