December 16, 2020 – Trenton, NJ.
The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund has received a humbling $20 million grant from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This prodigious gift will allow the nonprofit to continue to address the social, economic, and medical impact of COVID-19 on the state’s most vulnerable communities.
The grant is the largest donation to date to NJPRF and brings the total amount raised to more than $61 million. Since March, the fund has distributed $36 million to over 460 nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
“On behalf of the State of New Jersey and the thousands of New Jerseyans benefiting from NJRPF grants, I want to thank MacKenzie Scott for this transformational gift. Ms. Scott’s generosity will help so many residents of our state whose lives have been upended by the pandemic,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, the founding chair of the fund.
“The crisis has caused immeasurable pain and exposed unbearable inequities,” added the First Lady. “This gift will enable us to continue our work to help those most in need here in New Jersey as this virus surges again. We are grateful.”
The fund was created in the spring when New Jersey was among the first states in the nation to experience the devastating impact of the COVID-19. Months later, New Jersey is now in the midst of a second surge of the virus, with thousands infected and many families reeling from the loss of loved ones.
NJPRF has collaborated with nonprofit organizations in all 21 counties to address the multifaceted challenges created by the pandemic, including providing assistance to food pantries, bridging the digital divide in low-income school districts, jump-starting an art and culture fund, reimagining childcare, aiding minority- and women-owned small businesses, and supporting free legal and counseling services to tenants facing eviction.
“We’re extremely gratified to have been chosen by MacKenzie Scott for this gift,” said NJPRF CEO Josh Weinreich. “This donation is a validation of the good work that has been done by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. It’s a vote of confidence in our organization, our board, and our mission and will allow us to continue to support those most in need.”
With these additional funds in hand, the NJPRF board, which consists of corporate and philanthropic leaders from around the state, can now expand its assistance to vulnerable populations in the state.
“Our board is keenly aware of the tremendous suffering throughout the state caused by the pandemic and is mindful of the pressing need to get these funds into the hands of people who need it the most,” Weinreich said.
Scott, an award-winning author, was named the fourth wealthiest woman in the world by Forbes magazine. Last year, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of her wealth. The gift to the NJPRF was unsolicited.