With a finite amount of money available, grant giving is increasingly affected by deciding which organizations can deliver the deepest impact or benefit to society.
- Hear what grantmakers have to say about your proposals
- Learn how they decide what to fund.
A selection of grantors – foundation, corporate, small, large – will help you understand their differences and what nonprofits need to do to be more successful at receiving grant money.
Linda Czipo is the President and CEO of the Center for Non-Profits, New Jersey’s state association of charitable nonprofits. The Center strengthens New Jersey’s charities, individually and as a community, through advocacy, public education, management and compliance assistance, and membership services. Linda’s nonprofit sector experience spans over 25 years and includes expertise in public policy, compliance, and management issues. She was named one of the 2014 Top 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ. Linda is a Public Policy Committee member and a former board treasurer of the National Council of Nonprofits. She also serves on the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service; the advisory board of the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy at Fairleigh Dickinson University; and the Leadership and Policy Committee of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers.
Rachel Cantlay is the President of the Board of the Lawrence Township Community Foundation (LTCF), an organization that grants approximately $50,000 a year in small grants to nonprofits serving Lawrence residents. She has served on the LTCF board for the past nine years, including a term as vice president before assuming the Presidency. She is the Director of the Community Service Program at the Lawrenceville School, where she has worked since 1995. Her position at Lawrenceville gives her the opportunity to connect with many nonprofits in the Trenton, Lawrence and Princeton communities as she develops student volunteer projects. In addition, she helps oversee a group of students who are learning the grant-making process from beginning to end. She has an MSW from Hunter College in New York. She lives in Lawrenceville with her husband, Dave, and four adult children coming and going periodically.
Maria Spina is currently Program Officer for the PSEG Foundation and Corporate Responsibility Stakeholder, where she manages the Education and Sustainable Neighborhoods grant portfolio for PSEG’s Corporate Citizenship and Culture Group and PSEG Foundation. Maria works closely with PSEG’s Diversity & Inclusion team to ensure grant recipients are in line with PSEG business projects and community needs, as well as the overall strategic and business objectives of PSEG. She is the liaison with PSEG’s regional and federal public affairs departments, ensuring that there is ongoing support with local and regional nonprofit partners. During her tenor with PSEG’s Corporate Citizenship and Culture Group, Maria was responsible for the implementation and upgrade of PSEG’s grant management system, which helped to reduce cycle time as well as assure a seamless compliance process with grantees.
Prior to joining PSEG, Maria managed the Mental Health and Substance Abuse state and federal grants at Christ Hospital (CarePoint Health) in Jersey City.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Pace University and a Real Estate sales license with the state of NJ. She serves as a member of the Safer Newark Council, Jobs for NJ Graduates Council and STEM Pathways Council, volunteers with the Archdiocese of Newark and serves as a committee member of her local Education Foundation. Maria has served on panel discussions for Corporate Citizenship, most recently at the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Fair, Morris County College Grants Management Program and Rutgers University Business School Corporate Social Responsibility Certificate Program.
In March 2017, Maria received her Green Belt in Six Sigma and is currently pursuing a Black Belt.
Jeffery M. Vega
Jeffrey M. Vega is President & CEO, Princeton Area Community Foundation.
In 2015 Jeffrey Vega joined the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) as president and CEO. PACF is a nonprofit charitable organization that enables individuals, families, businesses, and organizations in central New Jersey to create permanent charitable funds to help communities meet the challenges of changing times. The Foundation invests and administers these funds, awards grants and scholarships, and provides an array of services to promote philanthropy and support local nonprofits.
Before joining the PACF, Jeffrey was president of New Brunswick Tomorrow, a private, nonprofit organization that fosters public and private partnerships to improve the quality of life there. He serves on the boards of The NJ Center for Nonprofit Corporations and LeadNJ. He is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Advisory Council for New Jersey Health Initiatives. He has been honored for his work by various nonprofit and faith-based organizations and government agencies.
Jeffrey was awarded a fellowship to study public policy at Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, where he earned his Master’s degree. As an undergraduate at Cook College, he completed three majors—Urban Studies, Human Ecology, and International Environmental Studies.
He lives in Monroe Township with his wife, Angela Klizos, and young son, Nico.
Lenora M. Green
Lenora is the Executive Director, Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy at Educational Testing Service (ETS). She oversees philanthropy, social investment, community relations and employee engagement. She also focuses on education advocacy by building and managing strategic relationships and collaborations with key national, regional and local organizations that promote educational improvement initiatives for disadvantaged groups in order to further ETS’s mission of advancing quality and equity in education. Among the Center’s objectives are to use philanthropy and advocacy to help mitigate educational challenges for disadvantaged populations and to identify, support and help replicate programs that are achieving results.
Lenora has extensive experience in working with nonprofit and community organizations. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of Parents Step Ahead, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that focuses on family and community engagement in schools, and is on the Boards of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Education Law Center of New Jersey.
The recipient of numerous awards and recognition for her work, Lenora was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of the top 25 influential women nationally who are making a difference in higher education. She is also the 2016 recipient of the Princeton YWCA’s Tribute to Women award, honoring women of excellence who have made significant contributions to their professions and community, and she received the 2017 Circle of Achievement Education Award from the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
Lenora earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Douglass College, Rutgers University.