With rapidly growing needs for funding to meet societal needs and a finite amount of money available, grant making is increasingly more competitive and strategic. How do grant makers decide which organizations to support and what do they expect from grantees? You will:
- Hear what grant makers have to say about your proposals
- Learn how they decide what to fund
- Gain insights into what grant makers expect from grantees
A selection of grantors – foundation, corporate, small, large – will help you understand grant making from their perspective and what nonprofits need to do to be more successful in a highly competitive environment.
Eleanor V. Horne
Eleanor V. Horne retired in 2009 from Educational Testing Service (ETS) as Vice President of the ETS Social Investment Fund. Under Horne’s leadership, ETS created a strong community and philanthropic presence, developing active and enduring collaborations in the local community and with national organizations committed to increasing educational equity and access for women, people of color, and those with limited financial means.
The Lawrence Township, New Jersey resident is a full-time community activist, engaged in organizations committed to improving education, expanding social justice, and enhancing communities. She is Co-President and trustee of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation. Horne is currently a trustee of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, The College of New Jersey, Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She has chaired the boards of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, the National Council for Research on Women, and The College of New Jersey.
Horne has served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, volunteer management, and governance. She is the recipient of many awards and honors from local and national organizations. She received an honorary doctorate for a lifetime of public service from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2006. In 2008 the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities recognized her for her career commitment to Black Colleges. Her other awards include the 2015 Citizen of the Year Award from the Professional Engineers Society of Mercer County, the 2011 Spirit of Education Award from the Mercer County Community College Foundation, 2010 New Jersey Governor’s Award for Arts Education, and the 2009 Spirit of Community Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.
Marion O’Neill is Manager, Corporate Contributions for Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), a diversified energy company headquartered in New Jersey and one of the largest electric companies in the United States. She began her career at PSEG in governmental affairs and has served as the manager of legislative and regulatory issues for the gas business and manager of legislative issues in the federal affairs department. In the Corporate Responsibility Department, she has been responsible for developing philanthropic strategy integrated with corporate operating needs, safety and disaster-related funding, external events for senior management, employee programs such as the Crisis Fund, and budgets for the Foundation and each corporation. Marion earned a B.A. in English from Montclair State College and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She serves on the board of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, the Zoological Society of New Jersey, and the Newark Museum Business and Community Council.
Michael J. (Mike) Van Wagner
Mike Van Wagner has served as Vice President of Public Affairs for NJM Insurance Company since November 2013. Since joining NJM in 1983 as a claims representative, Mr. Van Wagner has taken on numerous roles of increasing responsibility before being named Vice President in 2006. From May 2012 to October 2013, he served as Executive Director of New Jersey’s Business Action Center (BAC), requiring an 18-month leave of absence from NJM. The BAC is one of four entities that make up New Jersey’s Partnership for Action. While at the BAC, Mr. Van Wagner oversaw a veteran team of economic development professionals helping companies stay, grow, or locate in New Jersey. In 2014, he was recognized by NJBiz as one of the “Top 100 Business Leaders in New Jersey.” Upon his return to NJM, he assumed management of the Company’s Public Affairs responsibilities, which include NJM’s Corporate Giving program. Under his leadership, in 2016 NJM received the prestigious Great Oak and Jefferson awards for its philanthropic efforts. Further, in 2016, NJM’s Teen Driver Safety Program was honored by the National Safety Council with its esteemed Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award for its demonstrated results in changing behaviors to reduce teen crashes. Mr. Van Wagner shares his experience and expertise with a number of nonprofit and leadership organizations, serving on the boards of Lead New Jersey (Chair), the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County Greater Trenton, HomeFront, and as a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Business Cabinet. He is also a member of the Glendale Civic Association, and the Ewing Township Recreation Commission as well as a member of the Mooch Myernick Soccer Foundation’s Board of Directors. Mr. Van Wagner received his B.A. in political science from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. He and his wife, Olivia, and their daughters, Marguerite and Isabel live in Ewing, N.J.
Marygrace Billek LCSW, LCADC
Marygrace Billek is the Director of Human Services for the County of Mercer (NJ). Ms. Billek holds a Master’s of Science of Social Work (MSSW) from Columbia University and received bachelor’s degrees in English and in Psychology from Rutgers University. Ms. Billek began her career in 1986 as a residence counselor at SERV Centers of New Jersey where she learned the art of advocacy and the science of treatment for individuals suffering from mental health and substance disorders.
Ms. Billek joined Mercer County in 2004 as the Deputy Director of Human Services and in 2006 she was appointed to the role of Director. In this capacity she chairs and participates in a broad spectrum of over 30 boards and commissions, which allows her to bring an advocates’voice and influence policy and practice on a state, county and local level. From her unique vantage point of overseeing the provision of services to at-risk youth,homeless individuals and families, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities, Ms. Billek has built a career championing efforts to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse. For the last 10 years she has worked closely with the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness on a countywide implementation of Housing First and Rapid Rehousing. She counts Mercer’s success in reducing homelessness as one of her greatest career achievements.
Katherine N. Nunnally
Katherine N. Nunnally, MPA from Trenton, NJ, attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, where she double majored in African American Studies and Elementary Education. During her college career her passion for community empowerment began to form and she began working in the public and nonprofit sectors in the Greater Newark Community. Katherine coordinated the AmeriCorps and America Reads Programs at Seton Hall as well as participated in the College Leadership NJ Program. She founded the African Student Leadership Coalition and the Educational Opportunity Program Student Organization Seton Hall chapter. Katherine was awarded organizational leader of the year from the Educational Opportunity Fund Statewide Organization 1997 and 1998. She started a women’s support group, The Sister Circle, and mentored youth through the campus ministry DOVE. Her work of empowering girls and young women as well as spreading the love of Jesus Christ continues to be a staple in Katherine’s life.
After graduating in 1999 with a BS in Education, Katherine became a teacher at Sojourner Truth Middle School in East Orange, NJ. Returning to Seton Hall University in 2003, Katherine served as an adjunct professor and Coordinator for Counseling Services. Katherine provided college tutors to Newark Public Schools and community organizations and worked in the Youth Ministry, serving as Christian Education Director, Praise Dance Director, and Minister at her various church homes. Katherine founded God’s Promise in 2004 and received her Masters’ Degree from Seton Hall University, 2006 in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Governance. God’s Promise served both the Newark (Dhkiyah Kabibi) and Trenton (My Sister’s and I) communities and focused on youth and girls’ empowerment. In 2006, Katherine was awarded Woman of The Year by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Gamma Omicron Zeta Chapter. She is a published author (Brick City Blues) and consultant for nonprofit organizations and their governing boards. While working in the non-profit sector, Katherine served in what she calls a “Work of Heart” as a classroom teacher and then administrator in both the public and charter school systems.
In 2016, Katherine returned to Trenton to serve as the Executive Director/CEO of the Smith Family Foundation and #IAMTHECHANGE. The Smith Family Foundation’s mission is to empower the community, cultivate leaders and transform lives by providing funding and leadership development to Trenton based organizations. With her personal mantra, “Success is the ONLY option!”, Katherine is dedicated to the foundation’s Core Values of Education, Cultivation, Transformation, and Urban Ministry.
Katherine resides in New Jersey with her husband Talib and children Makeda, Zaria, Ezra, and Sakura